Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Dr. Pedro Valdés-Sada
November 21, 2008

Well, it is happening all over the place. Not hard to find either. A buddy of mine from New Mexico State U. grad school, Pedro, got a great interview from UNESCO. In it, he shares how he started, and gives tips about how to become a scientist and an astronomer. He also shares his passion for el Cielo Nocturno. ˇCon gran pasión!

Yay for Pedro! Did I mention it's all in Spanish? Well, what do you expect for a guy who grew up there? One of the great goals of IYA2009 is to show the international reach of Astronomy, and Pedro does great work reaching out from and to his hometown. Last I heard from him, he was filling up the liquid helium dewar for his evening observing run on the telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory. Here is what he had to say.

"Here in Monterrey the local astronomy group is also gearing up for 2009. They have asked me to give a few talks during the year, and I am planing to have an "Astronomy Movie" fest at the University (every two weeks an astronomy related movie will be shown followed by a talk about the relevant astronomical issues in it and then sky observations if weather permits). Besides that I continue to broadcast my weekly astronomy radio show (check it out at www.radiokosmos.org - the audioblogs section - the show is called 'Obsesion por el Cielo') and I will be preparing a set of radio capsules to be broadcast daily at a bunch of radio stations."

Dr. Sada researches and teaches in Monterrey, Mexico at la Universidad de Monterrey.

Pedro Sada at Kitt Peak filling a dewar with liquid helium

About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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