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July 2019 IPS Communicator
Communicator logo

IPS Newsletter — Issue 3 — July, 2019


Help for planetariums in danger
Save the planetarium graphic

How many times have your read online or in your local newspaper about a school planetarium that might be closed because of budget cuts? Do you need to convince your local school board or other school officials that a planetarium is an asset for a school, not a liability?

IPS can help.

As printed in the June Planetarian - and available on the website at - the white paper “The Value of Education in the Planetarium” is designed to be support, backed by research, to prepare you for that school board meeting or other public session.
A one-page summary also is available to download, copy, and distribute. Also available: the paper “Where’s the Data? Why Here It Is,” also in the June issue, and Mark SubbaRao’s President Message from March 2019.


More news from the IPS council meeting
The Planetarium 1 Crew

CONGRATULATIONS TO PLANETARIUM 1, welcome to new representatives, and dialog continues

  • Plantarium 1: The IPS 2022 conference will be held under the world’s largest planetarium dome. Planetarium 1 in St. Petersburg, Russia has won the bid to host our biennial gathering. Their innovative 37-meter dome is large enough to hold all conference attendees at one time. The IPS would like to extend its warmest thanks to the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Rice University for putting in a strong bid as well.
  • April WhittSusan MurabanaRepresentatives: April Whitt from the Jim Cherry Memorial Planetarium at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, Georgia, attended her first council meeting as the affiliate representative for the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society.As already reported, the African Planetarium Association was accepted as IPS’s newest affiliate. Susan Murabana Owen from the Travelling Telescope’s Nairobi Planetarium will be the APA’s first representative.
  • Dialog continues: The IPS leadership is currently engaged in constructive dialog with concerned members of the planetarium community on how the IPS can further strengthen its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. We encourage all IPS members who care about these issues to get involved in that dialog. To stay abreast of that dialog in realtime, join the Planetarians Slack (at and subscribe to the #lgbtq channel. Please also consider joining our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group, chaired by Karla Peregrina.

How do I nominate someone for the new IPS board?
Governance Map

(click on map for larger image)

Nominations are now open around the world for IPS Board Members, who will commence office in 2020. Do you have someone in mind to lead your region? Do you think you would be the best candidate? Go to the revised and updated page for complete details. Deadline: 1 August.

Hot off the press
Proceedings cover

While at the 2018 IPS Conference in France, did you miss a paper that you really wanted to hear? Just couldn't get up in time for that 8 a.m. paper session? Take heart! The Proceedings from the 2018 IPS Conference in Toulouse, France, are now available on the IPS Website. You can go there directly:

Welcome from your new membership chair
Mike Murray

To provide better service to our members, IPS now has a dedicated Membership Committee. This group began meeting in January to support improved communications with members and provide more awareness of member resources and membership development projects.


Please welcome Mike Murray, the new Chair!  Mike heralds from Bay City, Michigan, where he manages the Delta College Planetarium. He has a 43-year career in planetariums, including the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.


Mike is joined by a team of amazing mover-shakers in the planetarium universe, including four IPS past-presidents. Members include Karrie Berglund, Ann Bragg, Susan Button, Jon Elvert, Sharon Shanks, David Weinrich, Joanne Young, and Ruth Coalson.


We encourage ideas, suggestions, and feedback! Feel free to contact Mike (or any of the committee members) directly at or +1 (989) 667-2270.


Are you getting ready for IPS2020?
IPS 2020 logo

The call for abstracts and posters has gone out from Edmonton for the IPS 2020 Conference. The deadline is 15 October!

IMPORTANT: The paper session guidelines have been changed for this conference. Instead of submitting a single paper, submissions must be for a set of papers for an entire session. We hope to have more details soon on the procedure with examples of how to proceed; in the meantime, be sure to check the Submission Guidelines at

You can have the latest conference information delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for the IPS 2020 Newsletter. Go to the conference home page at to get it done.

This will be a conference of Firsts:

  • The first Mini-LIPS in conjunction with an IPS conference, scheduled for Sunday, 21 June
  • The first one-day IMERSA Summit associated with an IPS conference.

Upcoming deadlines

LIPS LogoRemember: Thanks to our new partnerships, IPS members receive discounted registration to upcoming workshops such as LIPS at the Cradle of Aviation Museum 14-16 August, and the Data to Dome Workshop at Colgate University 18-20 October.

An American in Italy
Chrysta Ghent

If you'd like to know more about the Experience in Italy program, you can check with Chrysta Ghent from the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, Jersey City, New Jersey. Chrysta was the 2019 winner of the Experience in Italy contest organized by IPS in collaboration with the astronomical facilities of Brescia and Lumezzane (Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory), “StarLight… a handy planetarium” Association (Perugia), and the Astronomical Center of Farra d’Isonzo (Gorizia).

Students and the public from the cities of Perugia, Spoleto, Assisi, Brescia, Lumezzane, and Gorizia participated in conferences and lessons that involved Chrysta as lecturer. Chrysta taught about the solar system, the moon, Native American star stories, and Italian astronomers, and in Assisi she held a workshop for teachers about "New ideas to teach the moon."

The time spent traveling and teaching in Italy will likely inspire Chrysta to share all that she has learned with her audiences at the Liberty Science Center. For more information go


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