2022 Agenda & Minutes

August 26, 2022 at 2:30pm Pacific

Link to meeting recording: https://youtu.be/GDkeyCZmnro


Call to Order

Additions to the agenda?

Approve minutes of last meeting

Old business:

Treasurer's Report

Committee Reports

IDEAs committee

Mini Grants Committee

History Non-committee

New business:

Discuss possibility for second PPA meeting later this year.

All online?

In conjunction with BAD meeting (or other PPA region)?

Field trip meeting (like old Yosemite meetings)?


2022 Mini Grants now open for applications

A Donations button now available for Mini Grants and other programs



Call to order at 2:38pm Pacific

4 in attendance at Huntsville Alabama, 7 virtual: John Erickson, Karla Harrington, Mary Holt, Alan Gould, Andrew Kerr, Benjamin Mendelsohn, Bob Pippin, Tony Smith, Jim Todd, Karl Von Ahnen, Ryan Wyatt

Approve minutes from last meeting:

  • Bob Pippin called for a motion to approve the minutes. Alan Gould seconded. 6 approved, none opposed.

Treasurer's report (Alan Gould):

  • We now can take donations via the website, partially to support the mini grants program - button on the website was put up a couple weeks ago

  • Most of the transactions happen in PayPal

  • We are in the red for the year, but our total assets make that negligible

  • If members want to see the treasurer's report, please reach out to Alan

Committee Reports:

IDEA Committee (Mary Holt)

  • Committee meets monthly, though attendance has been less over the summer

  • Mostly focused on partnerships with Indigenous communities and trying to find ways to support planetarians that want to establish or maintain relationships with Indigenous communities in their areas

  • Want to have a PPA webinar at some point

  • There was a paper at SEPA about Indigenous relationships - Karl encourages folks to watch the recordings

    • Kathryn Williamson from West Virginia University gave this presentation

    • Ryan Wyatt was going to follow up with her later

  • Tony Smith read a great book called The First Astronomers, Ryan also read this, highly recommended

  • Jim Todd pointed out there was a great article in the winter in the Planetarian about Indigenous astronomy

  • Alan wants to have a PPA webinar as well

  • Tony asked Ryan about the One Sky project - would be cool to hear about this during one of the PPA webinars

    • Ryan says this is a good time to share out about the One Sky project since they're wrapping up the premiers of the shorts right now

Mini Grants Committee (Karl Von Ahnen)

  • Mini grants applications are now open

  • If anyone wants to apply send them over to our website - need to check if Andy has activated the form first though

  • Still collecting reports from the previous year's recipients

History (non)Committee (no official representative)

  • Karl would like to have an archive area of the website

  • John Erickson has been contributing with The Pointer publications - 6 out of 8 have been shared so far

  • Would like to have a list of past PPA presidents

  • Bing Quock was drafted as the Chair in abstention, wasn't sure how serious the committee is

  • John Erickson volunteered to make a page on the PPA website

Planning for next PPA meeting

  • Karl would like to have another meeting in person with a Zoom component at some point before the end of the year

  • Any ideas of where to have it or what to do?

  • Ryan: having a Bay Area Domes (BAD) LIPS meeting would be nice - would be challenging to do as a hybrid though. Could host this at California Academy of Sciences? Or maybe West Valley College?

    • Talked to Karrie Berglund about it, she's happy to support this

    • 1 day thing would take ~6 weeks to put together

    • CAS - before the end of the year would be challenging, maybe early next year, ~mid-February if they want to host

    • Alan suggested maybe having a section of the day be hybrid, or a separate day with virtual?

    • John suggested having a 2-day LIPS, one day at CAS, one at Lawrence Hall of Science - they are getting a new dome, supposed to be ready by January

    • Benjamin is interested in showing off his dome, would like to have a BAD meeting - timeline wondered if October would be too early for an informal BAD meeting, a potluck and show and tell - LIPS would be more involved, that would be not this year

    • Maybe start with something more informal with BAD in October or November at Benjamin's facility - could include a virtual component and a PPA business meeting - could also discuss further what a LIPS meeting would look like

Field Trip Meeting

  • Karl noted that PPA used to have 2 meetings per year and one was a trip to Yosemite

  • Yosemite itself might be difficult right now that you need reservations to get in

Donations button

  • Now available - tell the rich folks you know!

  • Tony asked what the purpose of it is - Karl says mainly to supplement our other projects and would be nice to build some sort of sustainable program

  • Could have more mini grants or increase the size of the mini grants depending on how many donations we get

  • There are donation buttons on the main page, mini grant page, and on the membership page

  • Tony suggested having a scholarship fund or travel fund if we start to have in person meetings would be very useful - would somewhat reduce barriers

  • GLPA also has funds set up for child care at their conferences - great idea

Other business/announcements

  • Tony Smith is leaving his position - trying to connect to planetariums in Washington so hopefully won't be leaving the planetarium field. Said thank you for supporting his development and that PPA has been a great group to be a part of

  • Andrew Kerr: Nick Juliano left and they are not going to replace him - so Andrew's planetarium is a staff of 2 instead of 3 now. Looking to hire part time person for animations. Been filming and creating content. May be able to put out some of this to share with other planetariums soon

    • Alan mentioned that PPA is established in Nevada - Andrew is going to be representative for the state of Nevada

  • Ryan Wyatt: CAS is hiring an engineering position working under Dan Tell supporting planetarium operations

  • Bob wondered if current officers are planning to run again - next year is an election year. Karl is planning on this being his last year as president, will be 6 years. Alan thinks the treasurer position is a smoke-filled backroom situation to try and replace that position. Alan thanked Mary Holt for stepping in as Secretary and she says she's happy to be here!

Tony motioned to adjourn - Ryan seconded - all approved

Adjourned at 3:27pm Pacific