First High Energy Astrophysics Workshop, Spring 2000: Meeting Announcement

HEA Workshop Announcement

High-Energy Astrophysics Workshop for Amateur Astronomers
Sponsored by: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center and
The American Association of Variable Star Observers

April 13-14, 2000
Huntsville Marriott Hotel, Huntsville, Alabama

Dr. Gerald Fishman, Chief Scientist for Gamma-Ray Astronomy, NASA/MSFC
Dr. Janet Mattei, Director, American Association of Variable Star Observers

Many of the recent discoveries and advances in high-energy astrophysics (HEA) remain relatively unknown to the public and are poorly understood because of their esoteric nature. We believe that an intensive workshop presented to a receptive and dedicated group of amateur astronomers, who are committed to spreading the information, would provide a highly effective means of education and outreach. To our knowledge, this will be the first such workshop.

Amateur astronomers have played an important role in many recent high-energy multi-wavelength observing programs. We are planning a groundbreaking workshop focused on expanding the knowledge base of this very valuable group of amateur scientists so that they may gain a greater understanding of the science behind these programs. These amateur participants will, in turn, use this information to help educate other amateur astronomers and the public in general.

Two full days of lectures and demonstrations will be presented by a group of expert research scientists in the field of high-energy astrophysics. Presenters will use materials that they have developed for use in their own research programs. Information will be presented at such a level that the participants will be able to easily share the excitement and knowledge of this rapidly growing field with other amateurs, students, and the public.

Due to space limitations candidates must complete an application and provide a plan on how they intend to disseminate the knowledge gained and utilize the materials received during the Workshop. This can be done through lectures at schools, space and science museums, civic clubs, science teacher workshops and planetaria.

We hope to make small grants available to help cover travel and accommodation expenses. However, each applicant is also encouraged to seek a small grant from his or her own state's NASA Space Grant Institution. Links to all NASA Space Grant state sites can be found at:

This workshop will be followed by the Spring Meeting of the AAVSO on April 15, also to be held at the Huntsville Marriott Hotel.