Applications Accepted for 2020 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP). Visit – to apply.

This program, in its sixth year, brings amateur astronomers, planetarium personnel, and astronomy formal and informal educators to U.S.-funded astronomy observatories in Chile. While there, ambassadors receive behind-the-scenes tours of some of the world’s most productive and advanced telescopes, including in-depth information on their instruments and discoveries. Prior to the ACEAP Expedition, participants engage in professional development activities designed to improve STEM communication and education.

This unique professional development experience has become known for:

  • Providing unique access to facilities and people, and the astronomy ecosystem,
  • Bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and skills from both formal and informal education communities,
  • Investing in the Ambassadors: activities don’t stop at the end of the expedition or year of involvement,
  • Building on a foundation of common interest to develop deep connections between people,
  • Creating a network that continues to branch out, and
  • Providing a creative space for participants to interact.

Anyone, including international participants, may apply for one of five positions that are fully supported by their institution and/or personal funding. The remaining slots are restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents or Chilean residents who are amateur astronomers, K through college formal and informal educators who teach astronomy as part of their curriculum or program, planetarium educators, or those working in the area of astronomy communications.

Ten ambassadors will be selected for the Expedition, which will begin on August 9, 2020 and continue through August 17, 2020. This nine-day expedition (not including travel time between the U.S. and Chile) will include stops at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), Gemini-South Observatory, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

ACEAP Ambassadors

ACEAP Ambassadors. Ambassadors visit the Atacama Desert following a successful visit to the ALMA high-site at 16,500 ft. Photo by Tim Spuck (AUI/NSF).

In addition to the professional facilities, ACEAP ambassadors will visit smaller amateur/public observatories. Weather permitting, nighttime observing opportunities will be made available.

To learn more about the program and to apply, go to:

You can also visit us on Facebook at:

The deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. (applicant’s local time), 22 March 2020.

Contact: Yasmin Catricheo at or Tim Spuck at


ACEAP is a collaborative project of Associated Universities, Inc., the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), and NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory including Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Gemini Observatory, and The NSF Vera C. Rubin Observatory. ACEAP was initially funded in 2015 as a two-year pilot program by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Due to its success, a combination of institution, personal, and NSF funding have allowed the program to continue.