Seminar Schedule

Planetarians' Zoom Seminars

...are usually on the last Friday of the month at 11am or 2 pm Pacific Time. The seminars are recorded and archived. For connection URL, see the Zoom Online Seminar page. If you would like to do a presentation at a seminar, please contact PPA Treasurer, Alan Gould, with the following:

1. Possible date(s) for your presentation
2. A catchy Title
3. A brief description
4. A brief bio (who you are, where you work, 1-3 sentences)

Young Moon, 2.4% illuminated. Photo by Rich Ozer.

Upcoming Planetarians' Zoom Seminars

2023 (has two "5th Fridays": March and June)
Dates and times subject to alteration depending on availability of presenters.

  • 2023 Jan 27 - 11 am PST - (19:00 UT) NASA Artemis Mission in Planetarium Programs. NASA plans to land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon with NASA's Artemis missions. Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap - sending astronauts to Mars. Join Patricia Moore, NASA's Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate's Outreach Strategist to learn about the successes of the Artemis I mission and future crewed missions to the Moon. Q&A and discussion about resources that will be useful in planetarium programs will follow the presentation.

  • 2023 Feb 24 - 2pm PST - Planetarium Marketing Tips and Tactics. In this interactive workshop, we will explore and share ideas for marketing your planetarium programs. We will discuss the following: What is marketing anyway? What are some strategies to consider when putting together a marketing plan? What tactics have other planetarians found to be successful or unsuccessful? Karrie will also share some insights on an overarching philosophy that has worked for Digitalis in marketing their products. This workshop is led by Karrie Berglund, Director of Education for and co-founder of Digitalis Education Solutions. In this role she wears many hats, including serving as marketing director. Karrie is a former planetarian, having started out in a Starlab for Pacific Science Center's Science On Wheels program, and she oversaw the Willard Smith Planetarium at Pacific Science Center for about a year before starting Digitalis in January, 2023. She is also chief instigator for the Live Interactive Planetarium Symposium (LIPS).

  • 2023 Mar 31 - 2pm PDT - 23 Years of K-8 Under the Dome. Seminar leader: Jeremy Amarant. I was hired to run the Palmdale School District's SAGE Planetarium just over 23 years ago. At the time, it was a new facility that had only been open one year. Pretty much everything from there has been a huge learning curve and I have learned to surf that wave. I will tell you my journey and let you know what I have learned along the way. Whether it is building a planetarium program for covid, or designing a science bus, you are guaranteed to gain some insight into surviving and thriving in a K-8 environment.

  • 2023 Apr 28 - 2pm PDT - Fundamentals of Visual Storytelling. Seminar leader: Michael McConville. This seminar provides a primer for understanding how our audiences experience and interpret information. Our choices of color, position, relationships, and context can make good shows great and great shows extraordinary. We’ll walk through numerous examples of how proper visual storytelling can make even the most complicated concepts and data sets easier to understand, and we’ll spend time during the workshop sharing some best practices and working through some visualization decisions as a group. Michael McConville is the president of the International Planetarium Society, founder of the Dome Dialogues online forum, and the director of customer outreach for E&S and Spitz.

  • 2023 May 26 - 11am PDT - [tentative] Show and Tell: Graphics Editing Apps. Demonstrate some of the tricks you can do with your favorite graphics editing app.

  • 2023 Jun 30 - Highlights of Stars For All 2023 Conference [Stars for All 2023! (U.S. National Conference) is June 20-24, 2023]

  • 2023 July 28 - 11am PDT (18:00 UT) Two North American Solar Eclipses in Two Consecutive Years! Jim Todd, Director of Space Science Education at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) and the president of the Rose City Astronomers Club, will help you prepare for the 2023 Annular Solar Eclipse and 2024 Solar Eclipse! The annular eclipse this year is the second of three notable solar eclipses viewable from the US. It follows the US total eclipse of August 2017 and comes six months before the North American total eclipse of April 2024. On October 14, 2023, annularity, where the Sun forms a 'ring of fire' around the Moon, is visible along a narrow path that crosses from Oregon to Texas. It then passes over Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, plus parts of Central America, Colombia, and Brazil. Portland will observe an 86% partial eclipse at 9:19 AM (Pacific Time). The Great North American Total Solar Eclipse will take place on April 8, 2024. The narrow path of totality will run through central Mexico, the eastern United States, and eastern Canada. A partial eclipse will be visible across nearly all of North America. Portland will observe a 22% partial eclipse at 11:25 AM. Solar viewing glasses will be required for both viewings! Where will YOU be in 2023 and 2024 and how will your planetarium?

  • 2023 Aug 25

  • 2023 Sep 29

  • 2023 Oct 27

  • 2023 Nov 17 (week before Thanksgiving) PST

  • 2023 Dec 22