[Recent department graduate Jessica Johnson (left) and current GPS Club President Sara Poppa (right) delivering registration packets]
For many astronomers, the word “Stellafane” is synonymous with magic. The world-famous annual convention of amateur telescope makers, observers, and general astronomy aficionados is held each summer on Breezy Hill outside of Springfield, Vermont. Each year, members of the Geological Sciences Department at CCSU help to bring this event to life through their volunteerism and expertise. 2016 was no exception. Student Sara Poppa, recent graduate Jessica Johnson, and professor Kristine Larsen began their work on the convention months before the official August 5 start date arrived. Larsen, a member of the Springfield Telescope Makers, is co-coordinator of programming at the convention, as well as facilitator of four sessions of children’s astronomy activities at the convention, and is the moderator for all programming held in the McGregor Observatory Library. This year she also delivered a contributed talk on the observing programs of the AAVSO (in her role as AAVSO President) and was the invited “Shadowgram” speaker, a prestigious honor.
Jessica Johnson, a recent inductee into the Springfield Telescope Makers, reprised her popular 2015 Geology Tour of Breezy Hill, as well as assumed the duties of the docent of the scale model of the solar system walks during convention. She also succeeded Larsen as the coordinator of the Telescope Making Award Ceremony presentation.
This was Sara Poppa’s first Stellafane Convention, and was an active volunteer beginning during pre-convention, helping to set up the registration gate, which she and Jessica helped to man during the initial rush of arrivals. Sara also put in many hours volunteering wherever needed on the 80+ acre convention site.
Many thanks to all the GSCI department members who helped, and we look forward to seeing you on the hill again next year!