Our "guy on the ground" in Puerto Rico is
Armando Caussade. One the founders and a past president of the Puerto Rico Astronomical Society (PRAS), Armando traveled to the South Pole in 2015 to work on the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, and wrote a book about his experience. He's written a number ofastronomy books for the general public in spanish. Prior to its closure, Armando presented many shows at the Ferre Planetarium, and was involved in the PRAS's public access observatory project.
Eric Muhs Eric Muhs is an award-winning (and newly retired) teacher with a 32 year career in physics and astronomy education. He’s been fortunate to work on both the Fermi Gamma Ray Space telescope and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, and is a lead teacher in a long-running summer Upward Bound program teaching project based science to underrepresented youth. He met Armando Caussade, author of “A Puerto Rican at the South Pole" several years ago when Armando got involved with IceCube. Eric recently founded a new community radio station in north Seattle, and he suggested to Armando that they could start a similar fundraising effort to help restore education capacity in Puerto Rico. That’s AEwPR!
Dan Pickard is a long-time National Board Certified science teacher with Seattle Public Schools. Before that, he ran his own adventure travel company specialing in Caribbean experiences. He's our researcher and tracker down of technical things.
What's he doing in the photo?
He's watching the solar eclipse of August 2017 (less than a month before Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico). By making holes between his interlaced fingers, the sun shines through and makes images on the beach sand. On every other day, these would be round images of the sun, but on eclipse day, there's a bite out of the sun where the moon has blocked it.
We are partnered with the Puerto Rico Astronomical Society (PRAS), a nonprofit educational organization in Puerto Rico founded in 1985. The PRAS hosts stargazing events, talks, and trainings for the general public on Astronomy topics. PRAS has enjoyed a decades-long working relationship with other astronomy projects on the island, including the famous Arecibo Radio Observatory.
In August 2017, they hosted a "Solar Eclipse Party" in front of the Ferre Planetarium that drew 1,000 participants.
Sadly, in less than a month, Hurricane Maria arrived...
Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Ph.D., is a full professor at Seattle University and the Pigott-McCone Endowed Chair for 2018-19. Author of 7 books, she is an award winning teacher and scholar. She's a great organizer, and speaks 5 languages fluently. She's traveled and presented in nearly every country in the Western Hemisphere, but she's not yet made it to Puerto Rico. She's really helpful with Puerto Rican Spanish, which is a little different than the Mexican Spanish that Eric can already barely understand :).
Joanne Hughes, Ph.D., teaches physics and astronomy at Seattle Univeristy, where she is a tenured Associate Professor of Physics.
She had the honor of serving as the Arline F. Bannan Chair of Mathematics and Natural Sciences for 2014-2016, and was the Murdock Science Research Program Director 2012-2015 for the College of Science & Engineering's Summer Undergraduate Research Program.
Joanne has been an author on over 20 published articles and a co-editor on a volume of conference proceedings. Joanne is involved in outreach and planetarium shows for over 20 years. Joanne was born in Wales, and she only speaks enough Spanish to get her into trouble.
She is seen here in front of the Victor Blanco 4 meter telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona. ->
Steve Stevenoski teaches physics at Harriton High School in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Steve was one of the initial teachers to participate in polar research through the National Science Foundation in 1997. He subsequently played a crucial role in the development of the Teachers Experience in Antarctica and the Arctic (TEA), and its current incarnation, PolarTREC. He's also been a lead in outreach work for the IceCube Neutrino Observatory over the last 2 decades, including developing and teaching an Upward Bound residential science program at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls.
A veteran of 3 polar cruises aboard icebreakers, Steve is working with a student group at Harriton High School to develop the AEwPR project.
Andy Caldwell teaches astronomy at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado
Andy has a 25 year career in education, and runs observing programs at Front Range CC, a nearby community observatory, and travels around with a portable inflatable planetarium.
Through the TEA program, Andy spent 6 weeks in the field in Antarctica in 2002 on a snowmobile hunting meteorites. An avid meteorite hunter, he's written on the subject and taught classes and led field trips through the Denver Museum of Natural History.
Andy's daughter, life coach & mentor Addie can also be seen, seated, in the photo.