23-25 JULY 2018
Big Island of Hawai’i - Hilo
25-27 JULY 2018
Big Island of Hawai'i - Hilo

About the conference

 A conference to provide a global picture of the role scientific research, technical engineering and astronomy education play in student research and education.

The RTSRE conference series focuses on building a sustainable community around the educational, technical and student research uses of robotic telescopes, from small through to large aperture and from radio through to gamma-ray. It aims to be a meeting place for astronomers, educators, researchers, and observatory and telescope network developers and managers, in a continuing effort to share and combine resources, develop and enhance education and research programs, and foster global conversations and collaborations. The co-located CAPER Team’s iNATS astronomy education summit at the end of the week provides worldwide networking opportunities and hands-on workshops designed to expand educators’ teaching strategy toolkit designed for innovative astronomy professors, school teachers, and outreach professionals. Both individual and joint meeting registration opportunities are available.

The diverse program meeting includes a family program, guided-tours of observatories, visiting the astronomy and cultural education center & planetarium and the national volcano park, and a workshop for novice robotic telescope users and educators to learn how to do hands-on astronomy research projects with their students. Student researchers are highly encouraged to attend and present their scientific work at the conference in a special poster session. A combined RTSRE+iNATS peer reviewed conference proceedings will also be open for contribution.

The conference has arranged special ocean-side room rates for attendees at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel at 71 Banyan Drive, Hilo, HI 96720, telephone: +1 (808) 935-9361.

Book your discounted room by telephoning the hotel directly and tell them you are with the “Astronomy Education Conference” and ask for the discounted “Astronomy Education Conference” conference rate, which is available before and after the conference too.

A rental car is not required, but recommended, and free parking is available at both the hotel and the conference venue. A daily shuttle will run between the hotel and the conference venue.

Our Sponsors

Conference speakers


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Experience the Science and Beauty of Hilo

The RTSRE and iNATS conference will be hosted in Hilo, Hawaii, USA

We are actively working on incorporating the suggestions from previous conferences to provide a flexible and varied program which includes workshops and active breakout sessions which caters to our multiple audiences. This audience runs the gamut from middle school educators through high school teachers and students through project personnel and observatory owners, operators and designers through to professional scientists and college educators and more above and below and inbetween. To do this, we need a variety of flexible social and interaction spaces from large to small.

UPDATE: For our part, the school district that offered to host the conference is attempting to find ways to provide meaningful experiences to local students who have been displaced, having lost access to their homes and schools to the volcano. In response, we are ceding our conference space back to Hilo Intermediate School so that they may accommodate the record number of students who need safe, free, educational activities over the school holiday.

The conference will now be hosted at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and the Grand Naniloa Hotel



Students don’t have money. Teachers don’t have significant budgets. Typically speaking. At RTSRE, we are happy to present posters at the conference from people who cannot physically attend. This is to facilitate those important members of our community who do not have the resources to travel to the conference still to present.

We will print, at cost price, your poster and display it at RTSRE for you. There is also the possibility of giving a very short talk about the poster over zoom during the special poster session (Tuesday 9 to roughly 9:30 Hawaii time).


The deadline for RTSRE to receive a high resolution pdf of your poster is the 15th of July as it will take some time to order and print the posters.


Select Poster Size


Abstracts are now closed. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to make this a fantastic conference.


18 July 2018
Online General and Student Registration closes

22 July 2018
Welcoming Reception

23-25 July 2018
RTSRE Conference

25-27 July 2018
iNATS Conference

Conference costs

RTSRE & iNATS (5 days): $300  –  after May 18 – $375

RTSRE Only (3 days): $180  –  after May 18 – $225

iNATS Only (3 days): $180  –  after May 18 –  $225

What’s On at RTSRE & iNATS

Some of the highlights you can look forward to at RTSRE & iNATS 2018

Evening (5pm): Opening Reception – Welcoming reception near the shores of Hilo Bay

Daytime: [RTSRE] Robotic Telescopes, the people and the projects that use them. Major RTSRE panels.

Afternoon:  Tour to the beautiful Waterfalls near Hilo

Evening: Informal “Show’n’tell” Bar night

Daytime: [RTSRE] Student Research Day, Major RTSRE Poster Session, Major RTSRE workshops. Some Education.

Afternoon/Evening: Mauna Kea (Group 1) OR Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.

Daytime: [RTSRE/iNATS] Astronomy education research and practice: Panels, talks and workshops.

Afternoon/Evening: Volcanoes National Park

Daytime: [iNATS] Teaching Innovations: Workshops, Talks and Panels

Afternoon/Evening: Mauna Kea (Group 2) OR Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.

Daytime: [iNATS] Teaching Innovations: Workshops, Talks and Panels

Evening: Luau at Nana Kai Farms

RTSRE Program

Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO)
Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO)

Opening Reception

  17:00 start
Opening Reception – Welcoming reception near the shores of Hilo Bay (Sponsored by LCO)

Opening Ceremony

  08:00 - 08:20
The Adventure Begins! Opening of the RTSRE Conference
Michaela Gleave
Michaela Gleave

Keynote 2 – Michaela Gleave

  11:35 - 12:15
A Day is Longer than a Year: Art, Science, and Barbecuing at the Edge of the Galaxy
Food Glorious, Food!
Food Glorious, Food!

Lunch – Monday

  12:45 - 13:45
More Food, Glorious Food!

Session 4c – James Synge

  14:15 - 14:30
Project PANOPTES: Experiences building, and mentoring builders of, a robotic telescope

Workshop – Richard Gelderman

  14:00 - 15:00
Establishing a Cosmological Education Ladder: Tiered Opportunities to Make the Most of Robotic Telescopes

Poster Session – RTSRE Poster Session (Student Research Section)

  08:40 - 09:40
Thomas Robinson – CCD Measurements and Reclassification of WDS 07106 +1543 to an Optical Double Katherine Fong – Understanding the difference between noise and RFI in the search for pulsars Jake North and Louis Gosart – Observations of Eclipsing Binary EPIC 201826968 Christian Caron – The pulsar J1943-1237 Grace C Wagner – Comparison and CCD Measurements […]

Morning Tea – Tuesday

  09:40 - 10:00
Not an early riser? Just made it to the Conference, this should wake you up!

Session 5d – Pat Boyce

  10:30 - 10:45
Improving Practices for Visual Double Star Observations with CCD Cameras and Small Telescopes
Food Glorious, Food!
Food Glorious, Food!

Lunch – Tuesday

  11:35 - 12:30
This is your last chance to eat for all the late risers
Doug Welch
Doug Welch

Keynote 5 – Doug Welch

  08:00 - 08:40
The Milky Way, Refined! New Opportunities for Astronomy Education from Gaia Data Release 2
Vivian White
Vivian White

Keynote 6 – Vivian White

  10:45 - 11:30
Remote Telescope Round-up Before it’s all through, let’s talk about what lessons we’ve learned this week and where we want to focus our attention as a community. What more can remote telescopes teach us and how can we teach more using this unique tool? Using feedback from attendees, we’ll explore the next frontiers together.
Stephanie Slater
Stephanie Slater

Workshop – Stephanie Slater

  12:30 - 14:00
Polynesian Wayfinding under Hawaiian Stars and Constellations: Sailing with Moana

Session 8a – Ron Diullio

  10:00 - 10:15
Online Training and Certification using remote photometric, astrometric and spectroscopic techniques; and 3 new NASA/NSF pro-am projects available after certification

Tour – Volcano Trip

UPDATE – 11 July 2018: Volcano National Park (VNP). VNP is now closed, with no re-openning date in sight. We are playing our Wednesday night plans by ear, and will let you know more as we get closer to the conference (with our fingers crossed that the road to Kalapana may be reopened by then!) […]

Tour – Mauna Kea

Staggered departures at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 from Hilo Intermediate School Sign up for a specific departure time on site, tours last ≅ 5 hrs. Some slots also available Tues. Shuttle back to hotel after 4pm is provided

Coffee Mingle Time

  07:30 - 08:00
Coffee & Pastries, Yummo! (shuttle leaves hotel at 7:30am sharp)

Lunch – Friday

  11:30 - 12:30
Light Lunch Served at Hilo Intermediate School

Closing Reception & Luau

Nana Kai Farms, 2300 Puia Rd, Hilo, HI 96720 (shuttles leaves hotel at 4:30pm and returns to hotel 8:30pm). You are welcome to drive your own rental car if it is hardy.

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Background image credit: Saeed Salimpour