JUNE 24 - 29, 2013

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Fellow Space Enthusiasts,

As we all know by now, we survived the “December 2012 End-of-the-World” scare. And now the time has come for you to ask yourself if you can survive Jacksonville in 2013…

The Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, part of the Museum of Science & History in Jacksonville, Florida, is proud to be hosting the 2013 SEPA Conference, June 25 – 29.

And what a conference it will be!

With the recent discovery of the amazing Manatee Nebula, the theme for this year’s conference was chosen to be, “From the Seas to the Stars,” acknowledging not only the majesty of our celestial interests but the beauty and variety of Florida’s marine wildlife. It offers a chance to celebrate the many great discoveries in astronomy during the past year while also reflecting upon our Earthly responsibilities and our own humble beginnings.

Attendees will have the usual opportunities to meet with vendors and collaborate with colleagues, but we are planning some special surprises! Unique and insightful speakers are being planned, most notably Sy Liebergot, retired Apollo Flight Controller. The day trip is, of course, to KSC (please remember to bring two forms of identification, one a photo id), and we are working diligently with our partners to make sure the experience is a memorable and awe-inspiring one.

Because of the cooperation of Visit Jacksonville, a local tourism organization, and the generosity of special sponsors, the registration fee for the SEPA 2013 Conference will be very low, only $135! In addition, the trip to KSC, the Welcome Reception and the closing Banquet are already covered, so it is not a circumstance where the registration fee is low and then stacked with “nickel-and-diming!” The only meals deliberately not included are the breakfasts, as there are a wide variety of options available.

But be sure to register early, as there is a $50 late fee after June 1.

Lodging has been arranged at the Crowne-Plaza Hotel in downtown Jacksonville, which is right across the street from the museum. This will allow attendees to comfortably go back-and-forth between museum and planetarium activities to the exhibit area – or even their rooms! This also eliminates the need to pay for a rental car or coordinate carpools during the conference. Just mention you are with SEPA when making your reservations with CPH.

But it is not all work and no play! What would a SEPA Conference be without an Io Pizza Party, Constellation Shoot-out or friendly get-togethers and hospitality meetings? Time has also been set aside to explore the Jacksonville area or meet with vendors. Special coupons and offers from local businesses are being provided.

At this time I would like to also like to do a call for papers. Is there anything interesting you would like to share with other planetarians? Just let me know.

To register, just click the link, which will take you to our on-line registration system, which is linked to PayPal for your convenience.

More details and information will be coming in the next few months.

All of us at the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium – Corina, Sydney, Brett and myself – are looking forward to being your hosts, reuniting with old friends, and making new ones. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Go boldly!

904.396.6674 x 243.