Dan Reichart
Dan Reichart

Tuesday 21st June, 2022

Talks & Workshops

Dan Reichart – Robotic Telescope Labs for Survey-Level Undergraduates

  11:45 - 12:00

For the past 14 years, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been developing a unique, survey-level astronomy curriculum, primarily for undergraduate students, with the goal of significantly boosting STEM enrolments on a national scale, as well as boosting students’ technical and research skills. Called “Our Place In Space!”, or OPIS!, this curriculum leverages “Skynet” – a global network of ≈20 fully automated, or robotic, professional-grade telescopes that we have deployed at some of the world’s best observing sites. The curriculum has now been adopted by ≈2 dozen institutions, and we have just received (1) $1.85M from NSF’s IUSE program to expand it nationwide, and (2) $3M from DoD’s NDEP program (a) to integrate a global network of 10m – 30m diameter radio telescopes into Skynet, and (b) to develop a follow-up curriculum to OPIS!. Both grants come with funding for new instructors. The NSF grant pays up to $3,500 per adopting instructor to learn, implement, and help to improve the OPIS! curriculum. The DoD grant pays up to $9,000 per instructor to help to develop and trial the follow-up curriculum, which will be called “Astrophotography of the Multi-Wavelength Universe!”, or MWU!.

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