Helping Out CosmoQuest – NASA’s EPO Funding Issues Related To Sequestration

It’s a gorgeous Saturday here and the second blog-post that I write for Patheos was intended to be a cheerful one about what I got up to last night and today (such as checking out Bad Apples’ opening in Applecross, seeing Silver Lining Playbook and dressing up as a bee and so forth)…

…But there’s something that I should draw your attention to instead (particularly if you love supporting education, space exploration and all that good stuff):

“Effective immediately, all education and public outreach activities should be suspended, pending further review. In terms of scope, this includes all public engagement and outreach events, programs, activities, and products developed and implemented by Headquarters, Mission Directorates, and Centers across the Agency, including all education and public outreach efforts conducted by programs and projects.” leaked memo posted on Space Ref and other sites.

From Dr Gay’s blogpost on CosmoQuest:

And if you know how CosmoQuest is funded, you may be wondering what this means to this site.

Bottom line: we don’t know, but the writing is on the wall for EPO funding in general.

…Basically, we know very little, but it is clear many programs will be stopped. A lot of really good people who spend their days communicating NASA science and creating NASA related educational materials are about to be out of work. You can help by donating via the SIUE donation page for this project.

This could, worst case, include loss of all or partial funding for the core staff of CosmoQuest: Pamela Gay (50%), Cory Lehan (100%), Nicole Gugliucci (100%), Joe Moore (tuition waiver and graduate stipend), Georgia Bracey (partial), Kathy Costello (partial), Ellen Reilly (partial). I have enough donations at the moment to pay 1-2 months salary if the worst case becomes reality. All staff working on media projects (365 Days of Astronomy) and on the forums are funded through Astrosphere New Media, and are safe.

…If you want to help people (including perhaps us) who are losing jobs due to NASA EPO funding issues related to sequestration, please donate (tax deductible where US law allows) via SIUE’s Paypal account for this project.

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