Zooming to Rochester for eclipse planning workshop 21-22 October

Zooming to Rochester for eclipse planning workshop 21-22 October

My preferred Zoom window view for the next eclipse planning workshop October 21-22. (c) 2022, Dr. Kate Russo


Back in 2011 when I was looking for a platform to record my interviews for my first book “Total Addiction”, I stumbled across Zoom. I took the leap from Skype and started to use it exclusively after finding it reliable, easy, and versatile. I was an early adopter and encouraged many people to use it.

Fast forward to 2022. Who knew that Zoom would become so embedded within our work-from-home pandemic lifestyle that ‘zoom fatigue’ would become a thing?

Zoom has allowed me to continue with my international focus despite moving country and then being in country lockdown for two years. Daily Zoom check-ins, weekly Zoom meetings, virtual Zoom conferences, and Zoom workshops have enabled my eclipse work activities to continue with minimal impact. Being a member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Solar Eclipse Task Force while located in Australia hasn’t been an issue thanks to Zoom. (Ok, coffee has also played an important role here too for those 4 am Zoom sessions, to be fair). And despite significant COVID impacts over the past few years, the AAS eclipse planning workshops have continued virtually via Zoom.

However, I miss the joy, interactions, and networking of real-life events. Life is about the people you meet, the deep conversations. The laughs. Finding new ways of thinking about things, sharing experiences, and developing partnerships. I really miss those times. I miss being in the shadow, and I miss being part of our wonderful community.

This is why I’ve made the decision to attend the next AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force eclipse planning workshop in person. Real life. In the flesh. En persona. It has been so long since I have flown internationally that my passport had expired and it took me TWO YEARS to decide to renew it.

So, in October, I will be putting my shiny new passport to use and will fly to the US to take part in the next eclipse planning workshop with our hosts in Rochester, New York. I am SO looking forward to connecting with my eclipse-chasing community, eclipse planning colleagues and those in communities who are preparing for the solar eclipses of 2023 and 2024 in North America. We will share knowledge, experience, encouragement, and resources with those attending in person and via Zoom for this hybrid event.

Come join me, and consider coming in person. It’s going to be a great weekend – see the AAS website for details and to register.

Until then, see you on Zoom!

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