Sunday, September 08, 2013

Be a Solar System Ambassador!

If you live in the US and have an interest in space, planetary exploration, astronomy, and/or science-related educational outreach, please check out the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors volunteer program VERY SOON. September is the only month of the year that new ambassador applications are accepted for ambassadors to start in January 2014.

Although I have been an Ambassador since 2007, for various reasons, I have not been very active in the Ambassador program myself in the last few years. I hope to get more active again starting in 2014. Regardless of my own situation, I strongly believe in this program, and because of reductions of federal government funds related to sequestration, the need for volunteers is stronger than ever. That's because NASA's own employee-based educational outreach programs have been cut. Since the Solar System Ambassadors are volunteers, JPL plans to increase the number of new ambassador appointments for 2014 so there can be more volunteers available who can be involved with programs for schools, museums, libraries, astronomy clubs, and other educational events.

It's easy to apply, and you don't have to be an expert in space or astronomy to participate. Having an interest in educational outreach and a willingness to spend some time on it are more important than space flight expertise. JPL provides various materials and phone conferences that can help you prepare for presentations. These are fun and educational in themselves.

1 comment:

FlyingSinger said...

Here are some additional details about the program for 2014:

Solar System Ambassadors Program Accepting Applications

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassadors Program (SSA), a nationwide network of space enthusiast volunteers, will accept applications from September 1 through September 30, 2013.

Highly motivated individuals will be given the opportunity to represent NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as volunteer Solar System Ambassadors to the public for a one-year, renewable term beginning January 1, 2014.

While applications will be sought nationwide, interested parties from the following states are especially encouraged to apply: Alaska, Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. SSA hopes to add 100 new volunteers to the program in 2014.

To learn more about the Solar System Ambassador Program, visit The Announcement of Opportunity and application form will be available on that website beginning September 1.

If you have questions about this opportunity, contact Kay Ferrari, SSA Coordinator, by email at