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Ambassador Program

Who are AAVSO Ambassadors?

Undergraduate through graduate students:

  • excited about astronomy and the Universe
  • knowledgeable of scientific data and their indications
  • passionate about science education
  • committed to building a diverse community of citizen scientists
  • actively participating as AAVSO members

Superstars todayleaders in the future

Leaders—Director's Circle


Melanie Crowson


I am currently a PhD student in physics at UC Berkeley, with a specific interest in nuclear astrophysics. I got my first telescope in 2015, and after seeing how incredible Saturn was in it, quickly figured out how to do astrophotography so that I could share its beauty with others!  From there I dove pretty deep into astrophotography, which has been an ever-evolving adventure of new equipment, software, and techniques. I share those images and do as much public outreach as I can!  I am also a Girl Scout leader for middle school- and high school-age girls, and have been a Girl Scout for over 20 years.


Currently a graduate student in astronomy at American Public University, I began my journey into the sciences as a curious-minded child who reached for every book on space that I could find, culminating in the telescope that I built with my father in high school. I have since been a planetarium operator and mathematics tutor, and I lead several astronomy outreach events for my community. I serve as Vice Chair on the SEDS USA national board (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) and am working on RR Lyrae variable star research and supernova hunting projects.


Ana Veronica Parra


Alexander is an astrophysics major whose experience ranges from research in different astronomical fields to writing technical reports and publishing his work in peer-reviewed journals. Previous professional experience: Astronomy Tutor, Research Advisor and Mentor at Boyce Research Initiatives and Education Foundation (B.R.I.E.F.), NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program (Head of Communications and Outreach), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador (volunteer position), an undergraduate researcher at the National Solar Observatory, and leadership experience at San Diego Mesa College as a STEM Community Scholar.


Ana is a Translational Research Associate Scientist at an oncology company in San Diego and is a part-time community college student pursuing a higher education in Astrophysics. When she is not working or studying, she spends time attending social/environmental justice movements, art/music camping festivals, and astronomy events. At home, she enjoys cooking/baking vegan food, playing board games with her family and friends, and researching exoplanets. She is currently learning how to compost, be a crew member of a sailboat, and use her personal telescope. Ana resides in San Diego with her cousin Andrea and their many house plants.

YOU can be part of our teamjoin us!

The AAVSO Ambassadors represent the AAVSO through various activities, including but not limited to, outreach talks about astronomy and variable stars to schools, clubs, and communities; participating in public engagement events such as star parties and sidewalk astronomy; acquiring or analyzing data; participating in specific research projects; giving presentations on variable stars in conferences; maintaining an astro-blog with news; astrophotography; and mentoring.

As an AAVSO Ambassador, you are expected to:

  • engage in at least 3 events/activities per year
  • tell us of your activities and their outcomes
  • respectfully interact with other members through forums, blogs, social media, or in-person activities
  • actively participate as an AAVSO member

By joining the AAVSO Ambassador program, you agree to abide by the policies of the AAVSO.

If you have questions or would like an application, please contact Lindsay Ward at


AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484