University of Hawaii Instutute for Astronomy

Friends of Hawaii Astronomy

Maintained by LG

Friends' Survey Results

The Friends of Hawaii Astronomy survey sent out with the paper version of the summer issue of "Na Kilo Hoku" yielded some great suggestions. For example, one respondent proposed that a webcam link on the IfA's Web site show real-time observations on the UH 2.2-meter telescope, or possibly, the NASA Infrared Telescope. Webcams already operate on the summit to monitor weather conditions, and we are exploring the possibility of also showing observing.

Other suggestions included having the Friends offer mini astronomy courses and briefings on special astronomical events. These two ideas are already being implemented; staff are researching the feasibility of mini courses, and information about activities related to the recent sunspot and solar flare was disseminated by e-mail to the Friends. Distributing this kind of information by regular mail or highlighting it on the IfA Web site is in progress or being investigated.

The survey revealed that this newsletter is by far the most common way for people to receive information about the IfA (92%), with 25% also visiting our Web site, and 8% relying on news from acquaintances. The survey was useful in reaching out to individuals who have not yet joined the Friends (67%). Those who expressed an interest have been sent membership invitations with copies of the "Explore" brochure. Current Friends comprised 33% of the respondents; of that group three-fourths said they would increase the amount of their membership gift to help cover the costs of an expanded Friends program.

All the activities listed generated interest among respondents. Stargazing was the most popular with 75%; lectures, the Open House, and tours of astronomy facilities each garnered a 58% interest rating. They were followed by luncheon events with astronomers at 42% and receptions at 33%.

Based on your responses and suggestions, we hope to craft a program of activities and communicate more regularly with all who are interested in astronomy and the Institute.


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