The next few years will bring not one, but TWO solar eclipses visible from the entire contiguous United States and beyond. We are excited to welcome Cris White, our new team member who will be focused on helping you prepare to interpret these unique astonomical events. Cris can help connect you to experts at NASA, NPS, and other Earth to Sky partners, and act as a sounding board for your ideas about eclipse programs. Keep your eyes out for emails to the ETS mailing list with new NASA resources, discussions, webinars, and updated eclipse resources coming to the ETS website soon!
A note from Cris:
Hello Earth to Sky constituents! I’m very excited to join this incredible group of dedicated individuals and looking forward to getting to know you all in the near future.
A bit about me:
As a child, most of my time was spent wandering through the mountains and playing in the rivers of the Salt and Greys River Mountain ranges. Observing the natural world instilled an inquisitive nature in me from a young age. Growing up in Wyoming in a place called Star Valley, I guess I've always been obsessed with looking at the night sky and dreaming of what is beyond our pale blue dot.
I graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management in 1996. In 2003, I was hired as one of the first professional Naturalists to join Utah State Parks. My position primarily involved front line – place-based interpretation of Antelope Island’s various ecosystems. I was also connected to the Ogden Astronomical Society as the park liaison. As a Naturalist, I was often involved in training incoming interpretive staff in general interpretive techniques.
In 2009, I moved to Moab as the Assistant Park Manager at Dead Horse Point State Park. I continued as the lead trainer for astronomy and dark sky conservation programs. I also had the opportunity to join the Eppley institute as an Interpretive Coach and Mentor, followed by NAI Interpretive Mentor as the two merged. In 2016, I was able to get Dead Horse Point State Park certified as an International Dark Sky Park. Also that year, I was a co-founder of Moab Dark Skies, a community group organized to assist in dark sky conservation efforts in the greater Moab area. In 2017, I assisted in the revision of the City of Moab, and Grand County Utah’s exterior lighting policies to create a more night sky friendly lighting ordinance for both regions. These ordinances took effect in the spring of 2018.
In 2018, I was accepted as a Solar System Ambassador volunteering with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It was a wonderful honor that continues today.
In 2018, I left Utah State Parks to begin a grand adventure as a private business owner. Moab Astronomy Tours opened May the 4th in 2019. I am the owner and lead guide for this local, small astronomy tour business. I feel fortunate to have experienced both sides of the spectrum from civil servant to private business owner. As the lead guide for this company, I have deeply enjoyed sharing a night of deep space observation during the full lunar eclipse. What a riot seeing the blood Moon while observing galaxies, nebulae, planets, and more.
I am very much looking forward to guiding the ETS eclipse efforts for the Oct. 14th, 2023 annular eclipse and the April 8th, 2024 total eclipse. I have seen firsthand how powerful eclipses can be at bringing people from all backgrounds together and igniting their passion for earth and space science. I’m looking forward to assisting the effort to strengthen that bridge in a meaningful way for both interpreters and eclipse viewers.
Save the date!
Earth to Sky's Team New Mexico will host a climate change communication workshop with a focus on fire, water, heat, and hope on October 25, 26, & 27 2023 in Albuquerque for interpreters and informal educators. Earth to Sky is an active community of practice comprised of scientists, interpreters, communicators, and informal educators from NASA, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other place-based organizations.
This workshop will focus on how to connect with people regarding the challenges of climate change. We will leverage foundational climate science, engagement with scientists and peers, exposure to new technologies, and traditional ecological knowledge. Participants will learn skills and methods to create a variety of interpretive and educational products and programs for use in refuges, parks, and other sites in New Mexico.
The NASA Earth to Sky Team New Mexico seeks your suggestions and feedback on information and possible session topics you would like included in the workshop so we can best serve your needs and the needs of your community.
To send your suggestions, and to sign up to receive future Team New Mexico announcements and details about the October workshop, visit this announcement page.
In a decade of rising fires and falling water lines on the Colorado Plateau, interpreters, informal educators, and Tribal professionals are the front lines of communicating climate science and engaging the public in ways that inspire action and hope. This course is designed to deepen participants' understanding of climate science and expand their climate communication and interpretation skills.
A tuition-free course for interpreters, informal educators, and science communicators interested in creating and nurturing regional communities of practice focused on improving climate science communication.
- When: October 17–21, 2022
- Where: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD)
Participant Webpage (Accepted participants only)
The Earth to Sky Academy is intended for teams of experienced informal educators and climate communication leaders who have a strong commitment to furthering climate literacy within their respective regions.
The purpose of the Academy is to train Regional Leaders who will conduct regional Earth to Sky (ETS) courses and nurture their own Earth to Sky Regional Community of Practice. Academy content is based on over 17 years of experience and extensive evaluation of the ETS model. Participants will be supported every step of the way, before, during, and after the course.
The most effective conversations about climate interpretation and education are happening at regional scales.
Earth to Sky is excited to announce that five new regional teams have been selected to receive specialized training and to support interpreters and informal educators developing their climate communication skills.
- Team Greater Boston
- Team Niobrara River Watershed
- Team New Mexico
- Hawaiʻi Hui
- Team Southern Appalachian Highlands
The five teams were chosen via a competitive selection process. Spanning the country, the five new teams represent several federal and state agencies, universities, city government, nonprofits, and partnerships. Collectively representing centuries of experience in interpretation, education, science, training, communications, and networking, the new regional leaders will bring valuable expertise to the entire Earth to Sky community.
The teams will travel to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in October 2022 for the Earth to Sky Academy, a week of training in NASA climate science, communication techniques, and Earth to Sky methodology. After completing the Academy, each team will offer one or more climate communication courses tailored to the specific needs in their region, while serving as a resource and focal point for their community of interpreters and informal educators on an ongoing basis.
Learn more about Earth to Sky Regions
Join Earth to Sky at the National Association for Interpretation 2021 Annual Conference in Palm Springs!
We are partnering with Joshua Tree National Park to offer a highly interactive two-day pre-conference workshop, emphasizing experiential learning in a collegial environment with peers and scientists. We’ll spend our first day at Joshua Tree NP, exploring the science of global climate change through the lens of desert ecosystems. At the park, we will observe climate impacts and engage in a discussion with interpreters and educators about effective techniques and strategies for interpreting climate change in a hopeful way, for a variety of audiences.
Join us for three days of training with native informal educators from across the South Central Region who recognize the importance of teaching climate change. Participants are encouraged to apply as teams of 3–5 collaborators (e.g. Tribal environment and education staff). You will work with these teams to develop plans to implement an youth outreach activity in your tribal community!
- NASA Arctic & Earth Signs Training
- NASA Living Landscape Project
- Shar-A-Thon of Youth Activities
- Field Trip to Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Course Website (Participants Only)