Educator of the Month

Anne Wilson

Anne Wilson
Our Educator of the Month is Anne Wilson, a Park Ranger at Agate Bed National Monument, NE.

Along with participating in the Sky Rangers Yosemite Workshop in 2010, Anne completed the Interpreting Our Magnetic Sun Workshop earlier this year.

Please read on to learn about Anne and her great work in astronomy, including her many educational partnerships.

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located in the northwest corner of Nebraska where the skies are very dark at night.I took the Sky Rangers training in the fall of 2010 at Yosemite. Prior to that, my park had no astronomy programming at all. Since, I have joined a local astronomy club in Scottsbluff. They help with my night sky programming and I help them gain access to an audience and our incredible park.

My job also involves working with partnerships. As part of that, I have presented The Rescue of Andromeda and made Star finders several times for the Nebraska Game & Parks Outdoor Learning Experience. I also gave two constellation tours this summer at Ft. Robinson State Park and assisted with another at Wildcat Hills State Park.

I also partnered with the Midwest Theater for a screening of The City Dark followed by a star count/light pollution viewing at the top of Scottsbluff National Monument. I used the Junior Ranger Night Explorer books for the kids that came to the viewing. I learned about that film through the Astronomy from the Ground Up chat forum. I really enjoy being a part of that network and it has been an invaluable asset. We now have an annual star party at Agate in the fall. I’ve used the Galactic Address a few times during that as a daytime activity in the visitor center theater. It’s a huge hit.

Agate Fossil Beds bought a telescope at the end of last year and I have really enjoyed using it and sharing the experience with the people that drive all the way out to our park at night since we have no campground. We try to have at least one night event each summer in addition to the star party. This year we will also had a Transit of Venus event followed by a night hike and star gaze. We did an informal event for the Annular Eclipse with the special viewing glasses and some of the activities from the Our Magnetic Sun kit. I used the Our Magnetic Sun banner, sunspot tube, UV beads with the hat, and we made Pocket Sun Clocks.

The training and materials from AFGU have been terrific and we have really broadened our interpretive possibilities here in western Nebraska.

Last modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 01:03 PM
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Astronomy from the Ground Up is based upon work supported by the Informal Education Division of the National Science Foundation under Grant no. ESI-0451933. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.