Interested in volunteering as a mentor? Get information.
Why should I have a mentor?
The Mentor Program pairs new observing members with experienced observers who help teach observing techniques, tools, methods, etc., as well as give advice on target selection and interesting projects to pursue.
How to connect with a mentor
First: Become an AAVSO member
This program is included in the annual dues that members pay, which help AAVSO, a nonprofit organization, pursue its mission of enabling anyone, anywhere, to participate in scientific discovery through variable star astronomy. (Click for a full list of member benefits).
Then: contact the AAVSO at email@example.com with the following information:
- What kind of observing you are interested in: Visual? CCD? CMOS? DSLR?
- Any previous experience with observing
- Any equipment you use
- Which city/state/country you live in
The Mentor Program is carried out entirely by volunteers who teach members who observe visually, or via CCD, CMOS or DSLR how to do everything from printing comparison star charts, to finding the variables in the sky, to reporting uncertainty in their CCD/CMOS/DSLR observation reports.
Mentors may also connect you with active AAVSO observers near you. More often, mentoring happens remotely via email, Skype, and phone calls. A simple chat with an experienced observer may provide all the feedback you need to continue progressing as an AAVSO observer.
Additional beginner resources
Become a mentor
If you are an experienced observer (visual, CCD, CMOS, DSLR, or PEP) and are interested in volunteering your time and expertise to help new observers become proficient, we can certainly use your help! Just contact the Mentor Program coordinator (Sebastián Otero) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below, we offer a guideline for mentors so they know what is expected from them (also available in Spanish).
AAVSO Mentor Program
Thank you for being a mentor for the AAVSO! Our Mentor program is one of the most valuable services of the association, as novice observers greatly benefit from the experience of their more advanced peers. Therefore, we greatly appreciate the effort and time you put into interacting with your mentees, as we are certain they value your advice and help. Becoming somebody’s mentor is definitely worth your time – they will continue your work as observers and remember your guidance for the rest of their lives, as they improve their observing skills.
If you’ve never been a mentor before, there are a few things you need to know to make it a worthwhile experience on both sides of the table. Below are some guidelines to ensure that we have an understanding of what activities are expected by our mentors, in order to provide the necessary assistance to mentees.
Please note that, by participating in all AAVSO activities, you are expected to follow our Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy. Participation is taken to signify your acknowledgment that you have read these guidelines/policies and your agreement to adhere to them.