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POSTPONED UNTIL 2021 | Master Astronomer Train-the-Trainer Workshop

August 21, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - August 23, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

$40 – $70


TIME: Friday: 6:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m., Sunday: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Montana Natural History Center

The Montana Natural History is pleased to offer a weekend workshop for individuals interested in engaging in astronomy outreach and dark sky advocacy. This workshop will be based on materials from the Master Astronomer Program created by the National Park Service in collaboration with Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah. The workshop consists of hands-on, experiential learning activities with an emphasis on highlighting local Montana resources and opportunities.

Who? This workshop is especially targeted to educators who would like to share astronomy and dark sky preservation with students and/or the public. All skill and background levels are welcome, though experience in science education and outreach is helpful. Classroom educators, non-formal educators, interpreters, and guides can find new ways to engage their students with astronomy and dark skies.

Note: Calling all curious sky gazers! If you are interested in becoming a certified Master Astronomer, the Montana Natural History Center will be providing the state’s first 40 hour program this fall. This semester long course is perfect for anyone with little or no prior background in astronomy or science outreach. You do not need to be an educator or guide. Check our website for updates and registration. Registration will be coming soon!

Your Instructors:

Diane Friend: Diane Friend has been passionate about astronomy for as long as she can remember!  From a career that began at the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, CO to a 29 year stint as an award winning astronomy lecturer at the University of Montana, Diane continues to shamelessly take advantage of any occasion she can to share with others the wonders of a dark night sky.

John Ashley: John Ashley is a Montana biologist, photographer, author and educator. As Board Chair of the International Dark Sky Association Montana Chapter, he helps Montana citizens and businesses improve their nighttime lighting to increase safety and reduce light pollution over the Big (Dark Sky) State.

Workshop Schedule: (exact topics and order subject to change)

 Friday, August , 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

  • Introductions
  • Introduction to the Master Astronomer Program
  • Activities: Telescope Properties
  • Activity: Telescope Set-up
  • Discussion: Local Resources
  • Activity: Star Party (if clear)

Saturday, August , 10 am – 6 pm

  • Planetarium (travel to UM planetarium by MNHC bus)
    • Activity: Constellations
    • Activity: Celestial Motions
    • Activity: A sense of Scale
  • Activity: Reading the Stories Told by Light
  • Activities: Discovering Planets and Their Properties
  • Break for Dinner 

Saturday, August 22, 7 pm – 10 pm

  • Activity: Introduction to Light Pollution
  • Activity: Community Lighting Tour

Sunday, August 23, 9 am – 5 pm

  • Discussion: Light Pollution- ecology, safety, economy
  • Activity: Measuring and Monitoring Light at Night
  • Discussion: Solutions and Dark Sky Advocacy
  • Discussion/Activities: Communicating with the Public
  • Wrap-up and future goals

What to Bring:

  • Water bottle, snacks, bag lunch
  • Clothes appropriate for Montana spring and night time conditions
  • Travel mug for coffee and tea (recommended)
  • Laptop or pad
  • An astronomy night sky app for your phone, pad, or laptop. Any reasonably good app will do. Sky Safari is one great possibility.
  • Red headlamp or small flashlight for observing
  • Mask and hand sanitizer


  • Coffee, tea, light snacks

Provided as electronic copies

  • The Master Astronomer Program Handbook
  • The Master Astronomer Program Instructor’s Guide
  • Supplemental Power Point’s, handouts, and teaching aides


OPI Credits

22 OPI credits are available

Cost: $70/$40 educators (classroom, outdoor education, camps, interpreters, ect.)

Registration is required. Please click this link to register.


What’s the refund policy?
The course fee (minus a 25% administrative fee) is refundable if a cancellation is made up to 7 days before the event. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline. View our full cancellation/refund policy here.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Nope! We will have a list of all the attendees.


August 21, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
August 23, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
$40 – $70
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Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory St.
Missoula, MT 59801 United States