Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand, Variable Star Section (RASNZ-VSS)
Sat, 02/01/2020 - 01:04

Please can someone tell me when the Annual Report comes out. I have been getting them digitally for several years now but I can't remember. Thanks.

Stephen [HSP]

Nucleo de Estudo e Observacao Astronomica - Jose Brazilicio de Souza (Florianopolis, Brazil) (NEOA-JBS)
Dear friends,

Dear friends,

I noted that recent Annual Report didn't show observer's totals for 2018-2019.


Vereniging Voor Sterrenkunde, Werkgroep Veranderlijke Sterren (Belgium) (VVS)
Annual report no longer what it was


unfortunately the Annual report in the new style is not infomrative any more like before where information was given on user totals, country totals and how AAVSO data was used in scientific research. I would plegde to have at least an additional report on these issues if you continue with the type of annual report like for last year.


American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Annual Report Format Change

We did make major changes to our Annual Report format.  The primary objective of corporate and non-profit organization annual reports is for marketing and public relations.  The reports need to succinctly describe the organization's mission, major accomplishments, summarize finances, and recognize donors.  

We appreciate you letting us know what information from previous annual reports you would still like to receive.  We will publish a separate report containing the observer and country totals and also describe the use of our data in scientific research.

You have forgotten the membership

Sorry we are NOT a corporate organization.  Who are we trying to impress with all of the splashy color photos and non-information?  I am VERY unhappy with the direction the organization has taken.  First the disappearance without warning or explanantion of the Bulletin and now we have this non-informative excuse for an annual report.  

I've already backed down my membership level because I was not happy with the direction of the organization.  Maybe I should give my money to the BAA.  They seem to care about their members instead of their wealthy patrons.    


Variable Stars South (VSS)
Annual Report Format Change

I also was disappointed in the change, not only in format, but in content.

One blank page and three full page colour photographs which have little or nothing to do with variable stars could well have been replaced with material more relevant to the Mission of the AAVSO.

The omission of membership data and observer totals is lamentable.


American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
In point of fact, the AAVSO

In point of fact, the AAVSO is indeed a corporate organization, specifically "a Massachusetts nonprofit public benefit corporation". It's right in the by-laws.

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Supplemental material for Annual Report?

If the AAVSO decides to make the Annual Report leaner because that's more in line with usual practice, that's actually fine with me. However, the now missing material was in the report for a reason and has its audience, so as long as it is published in *some* form, e.g. as Supplemental Material to the report, I'm ok with it.

Let me write something controversial here: I do observe a bit of a tendency tho that nothing should change, ever, about the AAVSO, and I find that equally troublesome. I have an AAVSO bumper sticker on my car, and some colleagues who have seen it from a distance in the car park somethimes ask me what that ugly, strange, sticker is about. I usually reply that this happens when you adopt a logo in 1911 and then (almost) keep it unchanged, unlike what is done in industrial corporate design :-), and that astronomers are continuity freaks.  

If I read the financial part of Annual Report correctly, an increase in income would not be unwelcome to put it mildly, and donations and grants are a big part of this. We should trust the people with business expertise that were elected to care about these things to have some freedom to work towards this goal. If having a 20+ page "prospectus" instead of a 70+ page "booklet" helps in fundraising, why not try this. Just put the other information in some other publication.



American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Importance of Observer Data In The Annual Report

I can’t really put into words the joy and pleasure I experienced when I read the Annual Directors report for 2001-2002.  There were my observer initials and name showing my 13 observations for the year and that I was the only Alaska Observer.

The next Annual  Director’s Report (2002-2003) showed that I now lived in Oregon and was one of five observers from here and my Observers total had now risen to 43 observations for the year.  Not a lot but I was still part of a US observing membership of 271 folks with a worldwide total of 752 observers.  Even though this was a relatively meager total,  I still had a  great feeling of pride in my contributions.

 I can still remember how excited I was looking forward to the 2003-2004 Directors report as I had started observing with a CCD and was anxious to see my totals and how I compared with other observers.  There were only three of us observing from Oregon for that time period and my observing total had now risen into the thousands for the year.

From then on I very much looked forward to the Annual Report  (and yes, I would read it all, not just look at the Observer data).

However, I am really saddened knowing that new observers will not be able to experience the same joy and pleasure that I had in seeing my name in our Annual Report.  This is very visual way for those observers being able to  verify that they are making an important contribution.  I am further saddened by knowing that existing observers will probably no longer continue to look forward with anticipation to the Annual Report.

On the other hand, the membership should fully grasp the fact that our membership dues only contribute approximately 10% of the cost of all AAVSO Operations and without our Director, Officers, Board and Staff pursuing contributions we would gradually exhaust our current reserves and would be unable to continue operations.  Fund raising, as well as management of our reserves, is a vital part of our ability to continue as the AAVSO.

On the other hand, the Director, Officers and Board need to remember that we are a contributing membership organization and the contributions of our observing members should not be marginalized as without them there would be no reason for continuance of the AAVSO, IMO.  The Observer Totals give a “face” to what we do and who does it.

Maybe the Management of the AAVSO will reconsider their decision regarding observer totals.

‘nough said

Tim R Crawford


American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
"What we have here is a failure to communicate"

Discontinuing the quarterly newsletter and dropping observer totals from the annual report were both actions destined to raise eyebrows.  Doing so without prior explanation belies a lack of concern for the interests of the membership.

I find it hard to believe that omission of all specifics for observer totals makes the report more in line with corporate communication norms.  That would be like a maufacturer omitting the breakdown of its sales figures by market segments.  If the annual report is used to introduce the AAVSO to potential funders, it should clearly show our breadth of observer support and our global reach.  As Edward Tufte said in his books about communication, "To clarify, add detail."

More concerning than the missing observer statistics, in my view, is the failure to show how AAVSO data are used in professional publications.  This would appear to be of the utmost importance in illustrating our value to the scientific community.  The "AAVSO in Print" web page ( that used to track the application of our data has not been updated in over a year, which no doubt accounts for the information's absence from the annual report.  Without an objective record of our role in professional astronomy, I don't see how we can make any claims about our importance or come to any informed decisions about the "Strategic Plan."

I suspect the real reason for whittling down the annual report, ending the newsletter, and dropping coverage of our data use was to save staff time, and this raises an important issue: HQ is seriously overloaded and has been for years.  Our employees are short of time for administrative work and, more seriously, haven't the hours to deal with the discrepant photometry that continues to flow into the AID.



American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Observer Totals Now Live

Hello All,

First let me apologize for the delay in the release of this information. It was always our intention to release these numbers, however, they will now come as supplemental information, and not in the annual report itself. You can find observer totals, as well as country totals, on the annual report page here :

in the Addendum.  Thanks again for everyone who took the time to submit your observations. We really appreciate it.  I also wanted to take special note of the top 20 observers of the past fiscal year:

HMB F. Hambsch 336431
ATE T. Arranz 298714
DKS/td> S. Dvorak 180424
VMT T. Vanmunster 162796
SGEA G. Stone 116463
MGW G. Myers 95879
SAH G. Samolyk 94425
COO L. Cook 90813
DFS S. Dufoer 75125
CDZ D. Cejudo Fernandez 61943
SRIC R. Sabo 35194
TRT T. Tordai 35042
RMH M. Rosseel 32215
UJHA J. Ulowetz 30547
MZK K. Menzies 29845
RJWB J. Rock 28133
TRE R. Tomlin 27209
DERA E. Dose 26927
FJQ J. Foster 23101
BSM S. Brincat 21869

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me here:



Bert Pablo
Staff Astronomer, AAVSO