Just in time for Fall Semester Astronomy classes, an Affiliation Agreement between Copper Mountain College (CMC), and Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center (STL), has established the observatory as a satellite campus for the college’s Astronomy courses. Astronomy students from CMC will have as their “laboratory,” the dark desert skies of Twentynine Palms, on the border of Joshua Tree National Park.
CMC’s Ramón Abrego III, Dean of Instruction, Distance Education, and Learning Resources, and STL’s President Ann Congdon, along with Professor of Physics and Astronomy John Watkins, began discussions back in April, envisioning the Sky’s The Limit campus as an ideal educational environment for students to gain hands-on – and eyes on – experience in astronomy. “This is an exciting opportunity to combine resources in support of a meaningful educational experience, linking Sky’s The Limit’s mission – to facilitate hands-on learning – with CMC’s excellent classroom instruction,” says Sky’s The Limit President Ann Congdon. “By welcoming Morongo Basin students to the rich celestial resource in their own backyard, STL hopes to promote appreciation and stewardship of a naturally dark night sky.” CMC’s Abrego and Watkins couldn’t agree more.
“Learning about astronomy and stargazing is one of the many reasons people appreciate coming to the Joshua Tree area,” notes Abrego. “This is why I am excited that Copper Mountain College has entered into a formal agreement with Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center to have our Astronomy Lab class take place on its beautiful property.”
“I’m very excited about the new cooperative agreement between Copper Mountain College and Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center,” Watkins adds. “Imagine attending your astronomy class and then stepping outside to some of the best night sky viewing in the country. It’s really an ideal partnership for our astronomy students.”