OAD Sponsored Projects

Beyond the Beach – Foundations for Caribbean Astrotourism

Etelman Observatory in the Virgin Islands

The United States Virgin Islands are an underdeveloped US territory whose local economy depends on tourism. That industry was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and the slow recovery was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism tastes are changing, with younger generations more likely to be interested in local, ethical, and unique experiences, which an industry built on catering to large cruise ships and beachgoers has been slow to respond to. USVI astrotourism provides a unique opportunity to expand beyond beaches and bars.

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Cenca Bridge – Central America & the Caribbean

Cenca Bridge NA-ROAD project

The mission of Cenca Bridge (CB) is to provide opportunities to marginalized students from Central America and the Caribbean (cencabridgeastro.weebly.com). The main challenge revolves around scientific research being inaccessible or completely absent. We believe that astronomy research can help students obtain versatile tools and transferable skills to increase employment options and create leaders. CB is a virtual organization run by a co-leadership committee composed of 4 graduate students in astronomy. 

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