Come explore the universe with new friends at this one-of-a-kind institute.
Ready to star-gaze like a professional using some of Vermont’s most powerful telescopic equipment? At the Astronomy Institute, you will conduct original research using cutting edge telescope equipment (in one of the darkest observatories in the United States), discover new frontiers, interact with space professionals ranging from astronomers to spaceship engineers, and learn about careers related to the skies (including many right here in Vermont).
Damon Cawley is a University of Pennsylvania graduate and an AmeriCorps alum having served with City Year in multiple cities and worked on staff at their headquarters in Boston. He is the former Northern Skies Observatory Director and also former Director of Guest Engagement at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium. He is currently the secretary of the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation board and president of the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust board.
Brad Vietje has been an active amateur astronomer and telescope maker for over 35 years. A former president of the Springfield Telescope Makers and the Vermont Astronomical Society, Brad now coordinates school outreach and research at Northern Skies Observatory, in Peacham, VT. A renewable energy consultant and part-time woodturner, Brad and his wife live in a passive solar straw bale house and permaculture homestead in Newbury, VT with their dog, Homer.
Bill Vinton has been a physics and astronomy teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy since 1980. A graduate of Dartmouth College (AB Cum Laude with distinction in Physics, 1976; MALS, 1991), he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching in 1992, and was a member of the VISMT Curriculum Framework Commission from 1993 to 1996. He currently serves as adjunct faculty at Antioch University New England as a Master Teacher in the Critical Skills Program in the Education Department’s Antioch Center for School Renewal. In addition, Bill has been the director of the theatre program at St. Johnsbury Academy since 1986 and was the dedicee for the Vermont State Drama Festival in 2005, and was named a Life Member of the New England Drama Council in 2014. Currently Bill is the President of the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation and is an active docent with NKAF. He lives with his wife in Waterford, VT, in the post and beam house that they built together, and regularly visits his new grandson Will, who lives in Peacham.