IDA Outreach Committee

The International Dark-Sky Association 2020 Outreach Committee members are:

Constance (Connie) Walker Ph.D., Chair | USA
NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, Scientist

Connie Walker is an astronomer dedicated to advocacy of dark skies education as well as measurement and mitigation. Inspired from an early age by astronauts landing on the Moon and the original Star Trek series, her curiosity for anything astronomy propelled her to be the first in her family to go to college and earn a Ph.D.

Connie has been a Scientist at NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (OIR Lab, basically your national observatory) for almost 20 years, creating (somewhat) innovative programs on dark skies education and sharing them via workshops, talks, and events all over the globe.

She holds a Bachelors’s degree in Physics and Astronomy from Smith College, a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Arizona. A cool thing is that discoverers Levy and Shoemaker named Asteroid 29292 ConnieWalker, for her efforts in education outreach.


J. Kelly Beatty | USA
Sky & Telescope Magazine, Sr. Editor

Kelly has been explaining the science and wonder of astronomy to the public since 1974. An award-winning writer and communicator, he specializes in planetary science and space exploration as Senior Editor for Sky & Telescope magazine. He enjoys sharing his passion for astronomy with a wide spectrum of audiences, from children to professional astronomers, and you’ll occasionally hear his interviews and guest commentaries on National Public Radio and The Weather Channel. Kelly has been active in efforts to reduce light pollution for nearly 30 years. He served for more than a decade on IDA’s Board of Directors and is now an officer with IDA’s Massachusetts chapter.


Fernando Avila Castro | México
Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM, M.Sc.

Fernando has been working on science outreach for over 20 years in different media. Currently, he is working at the Mexico National Astronomical Observatory where he is in charge of the Dark Sky Law Office. There, he works with the three levels of government and also does outreach activities related to the preservation of dark skies.





Rosa Doran, Ph.D. | Portugal
NUCLIO, President of the Executive Council

Rosa Doran was born in Brazil where she finished a bachelor’s in Physics. Since 1992 she has moved to Portugal where she did an MsC in High Energy and Gravitation on the topic of Black Holes and a Ph.D. in Science Education on the topic of Teacher Training and Community Building for Innovation in Science Education. She is the president of the executive council of NUCLIO, a non-profit and an NGO for development and the president of the executive council of the Global Hands-on Universe Association. She is the vice-chair of the panel education of COSPAR and a member of the organizing committee of the Commission C1 Astronomy Education and Development of the IAU. Rosa is also the coordinator of the Portuguese Language Office of Astronomy for Development. 


Vivian White | USA
Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Director of Free Choice Learning

Vivian White has been an astronomy educator with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific since 2006. She uses her degree in physics, a Dobsonian telescope, and a fascination with human learning to inspire people to look up in wonder at the riches of the night sky. She currently designs activities for amateur astronomers engaged in public outreach through the NASA Night Sky Network, a coalition of more than 400 astronomy clubs across the US. Recent projects include the creation of educational materials for the NSF-funded the Big Astronomy planetarium project.


Cindy Luongo Cassidy | USA

Sze-leung Cheung | China

Beatriz Garcia | Argentina

Margarita Metaxa | Greece

Pedro Russo | Netherlands

Malcolm Smith | Chile

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