What: STFC Public Engagement Programme Manager (maternity cover) for the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh
When: February 2016 —
Tasks: 8-month fixed-term contract in the public outreach department. Tasks include heading up the Tim Peake Primary Project for Scotland, coordinating the loan of meteorite boxes from Down2Earth, organising local events, coordinating the ROE’s Winter Talk and Popular Observation series’.
What: Astronomy Distance Learning and Engagement Developer
When: November 2015 — February 2016
Tasks: Based at the Astrophysics Research Institute, part of Liverpool John Moore’s University. I was a tutor for the online distance learning course entitled “Science with the Liverpool Telescope”. I also assisted with the operational activities of the National School’s Observatory project, as well as participating in the general astronomy outreach activities of the department.
What: Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre casual staff
When: September 2015 —
Tasks: I assist in public astronomy events run by, and held at, the ROE, including their annual “open doors” weekend and weekly winter astronomy evenings.
What: Freelance science writer
When: December 2014 —
Tasks: I write articles on astronomy and astrophysics for popular science/astronomy magazines on a freelance basis. I was also a regular news journalist for the website Sen (Space Exploration Network) between December 2014 and July 2015. See the Science Writing section for more details
What: Public Outreach Officer for ePOD Chile
When: April 2014 — July 2015
Tasks: I worked the Education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD) at ESO-Chile, helping promote and represent ESO, its observatories and its activities to the general public, media, and visiting guests/VIPs. I was the ‘live tweeter’ for the E-ELT Groundbreaking Ceremony that took place on 19th June (#EELTblast), have hosted representatives of the media at Paranal Observatory, and helped host a visit from musician Rick Astley during a visit to the ESO office in Vitacura. I also took part leadership in updating the public pages of the official ESO website, describing each telescope instrument and technical system in layman’s terms. I was the coordinator for the volunteer outreach group consisting of staff, Fellows and students, acting as the intermediary between nation-wide institutes/events and the astronomers.
What: Spaceport casual staff
Tasks:Spaceport is a space-themed visitor attraction based in Seacombe on the Wirral, UK, and is a joint venture between Merseytravel and Liverpool John Moore’s University. Here, I was part of the general staff on-hand to answer any space-based questions, but also helped to attend special guests at large events (such as the highly successful Star Wars days), act as host for visiting schools, and regularly carried out astronomy-based short talks and Q&A sessions for up to 80 adults and children.