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Jury Dates: 8/1/23 - 9/11/23
Grand Canyon National Park is located high on the Colorado Plateau, far from the lights of large cities, in the desert Southwest. Grand Canyon National Park has some of the most pristine night skies in the world.
In 2019, the International Dark-Sky Association certified Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) as an International Dark-Sky Park. Later that year, the park was awarded International Dark-Sky Place of the Year. These distinctions culminate in a long history of night sky appreciation at Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon Conservancy's (GCC) Astronomer-in-Residence program supports astronomers and dark-sky advocates from various disciplines that wish to engage with the night skies of Grand Canyon and build connections with the community by sharing their expertise, instruments, and passion with the park's public.
Astronomers, both professional and amateur, scientists from ecologists to geologists, dark-sky advocates, educators, writers, and other practitioners with expertise in the night sky are encouraged to apply. Selected astronomers live and work at the Grand Canyon South Rim in Arizona for up to six weeks in a private one-bedroom apartment above the historic Verkamp's Visitor Center overlooking the Canyon. In addition to free live/work space, a weekly stipend of approximately $400 is offered to offset the costs of travel, food, and supplies. Residents will have first-hand access to the natural beauty of Grand Canyon National Park, park leadership, staff expertise, on-site resources, archives, and visitors from around the world.
Selected astronomers are asked to provide:
2-3 public programs per week in their area of expertise (Please note: One can expect up to three hundred people per program depending on the program offering and time of year.)
One community event. This could include a program, workshop, or presentation for Grand Canyon School (K-12), GRCA National Park Service staff, Lowell Observatory visitors (Flagstaff), or others. Grand Canyon staff can work with you to shape this event.
The development and/or implementation of a creative project that fosters emotional and intellectual ties to the Grand Canyon's night skies.
- Brief Bio (200 words max)
- CV or resume (upload)
- Astronomer Statement or Teaching Philosophy (optional upload)
- Documentation of astronomy-based work. Samples that detail your work with the public are encouraged. Three - five (3-5) images, pages, and/or minutes of media with titles, dates, medium, and descriptions of work.
- Press / Media: Articles, publications, relevant media (optional upload)
- Donation receipt (more info below under APPLICATION FEE)
- Responses to the following questions:
- How does your work advocate for dark skies? (100 words maximum)
- Please provide a brief marketing description of 4 different public programs you'd like to provide while on site, including a title and a 1-2 sentence description of each (maximum 75 words per program description with title).
- Please briefly describe a project you will work on while on-site that creatively connects people emotionally and intellectually with the Grand Canyon. (200 words max)
Examples of potential residencies:
- You are an astronomer with impressive telescopes and vast experience with outreach. You would like to provide your expertise to park visitors through nightly public talks, informal telescope viewing on the canyon's rim, and electronically assisted astronomy (video scopes).
- You are an astronomy professor. You'd like to spend your residency providing astronomy lectures and outdoor constellation talks to the public. You also produce a daily series of short videos on how to live a night-sky-friendly lifestyle for use on GCC and the park's social media sites.
- You are a writer and a scientist. You would like to write a piece about the effects of living in a dark environment on sleep and well-being. You present at least two public presentations per week in the park. You publish the piece on your website and give a related video presentation with a Q&A to Grand Canyon Conservancy's community.
- You are a dark-sky advocate. You would like to provide a series of presentations to the public about the effects of light pollution, followed by Sky Quality Measurements under the stars, teaching the public about citizen science programs like Globe at Night.
- You are a scientist with a passion for art. You'd like to combine your knowledge of the dark skies into a series of workshops encouraging the public to make images representing their feelings about darkness. You use the images to illustrate your scientific theories on human relationships with darkness in a book or blog you share with the public.
Instead of an application fee, we ask that you give a gift in any amount to the Astronomer-in-Residence program through Grand Canyon Conservancy. While you will be asked to include proof of your gift in the application, your donation amount will not be shared with the review panel or relevant to the decision-making process.
Please follow this link to donate online: bit.ly/3GWmSfZ
You may also donate by phone at (928) 556-5300 or by mailing a check/money order to PO Box 399, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023. Please include in the memo line: "Astronomer-in-Residence program donation."
If you have any questions or require support completing your proposal, please contact Clover Morell, Residency Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-368-7154 (calls only, no texts).
For more information about Grand Canyon Conservancy, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, please visit grandcanyon.org.
A panel of astronomy-focused park rangers, program alumni, and dark sky advocates will review the proposals. Residents are selected based on experience, the clarity and strength of their public outreach plan, and the creativity and possibilities for connection with their on-site project. The panel selects astronomers as a group, seeking diverse approaches throughout the year.
Applicants will be notified of decisions by September 15, 2023.
Upon acceptance, applicants must confirm dates, sign a formal agreement, review a Residency Handbook, and complete a background check. Applicants who are selected for residency in 2024 may not postpone their residency to another year.
Astronomers (18yrs or older) from around the world are welcome to apply.