New ACEAP astronomic expedition visits ALMA

New ACEAP astronomic expedition visits ALMA

18 June, 2018 / Read time: 3 minutes

Nine astronomy education and outreach professionals - eight from the United States and one from Chile - are participating in a 9-day expedition to ALMA and other prominent North American observatories in Chile as part of the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP).

This program sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), currently in its fourth year, aims to share details of operations in the foremost Chilean observatories funded by NSF, such as the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO), the  Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope, the Gemini South Observatory and ALMA.

“Chile is rapidly becoming the astronomical capital of the world, providing a window to the Universe and making discoveries that benefit all of humanity,” said Tim Spuck, education officer of Associated Universities, Inc. - North American representative of ALMA in Chile - and leader of ACEAP, which has already brought 36 ambassadors to Chile.

The new ACEAP participants are being trained on the science and technology involved in the different observatories they visit, and on communication and outreach of what they have learned, so that they can go on to be ambassadors of these concepts in their places of work, through media, presentations or with students.

Participants in this version include planetarium directors, science, physics and astronomy teachers and an astrophotographer. ACEAP ambassadors for 2018 are:

  • Stephen Case, physics and astronomy professor at Olivet Nazarene University (Bourbonnais, Illinois); and director of the Strickler Planetarium.
  • Yasmín Catricheo, a high school physics teacher at Concepción school in Chillán and ambassador for the Mapuche community.
  • John Goar, a science teacher at North Kitsap High School (Poulsbo, Washington).
  • Eileen Grzybowski, astronomy and AP biology teacher at Norman North High School (Norman, Oklahoma).
  • Kyle Jeter, 2017 Broward County (Florida) Teacher of the Year and honors astronomy teacher; Director of Amazing Space & Science Camp in Boca Ratón, Florida.
  • Moiya McTier, astronomy Ph.D. student at the University of Columbia.
  • Samara Nagle, astrophotographer, and leader of Facebook group Telescope Addicts.
  • Tiffany Stone Wolbrecht, planetarium lecturer, and producer at Ward Beecher Planetarium, Youngstown State University (Ohio).
  • Nicolle Zellner, astronomy and physics professor at Albion College (Michigan).

Additional Information

More information on ACEAP and its ambassadors at

ALMA, an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.