Recently, the Thomas W. Haas foundation donated 6 million dollars to be used at our public observatory, which was renamed the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory upon receipt of the donation, in honor of Thomas Haas’ grandmother. What is so fascinating about this news is the story of Phoebe Haas’ education and career. She was one of the very first women to receive her PhD in Astronomy and she earned it exactly one hundred years ago, in 1913, which is pretty crazy to think about. Phoebe Haas accomplished this feat at a time when most women involved in astronomy worked at computers, performing data analysis and making calculations in support of the men who actually conducted research. She was an amazing and extremely interesting woman and I would recommend reading more about her in this blog . Anyway, it occurred to us that University of California, Berkeley, the college that awarded Phoebe Haas her revolutionary degree, would probably be interested in knowing that one of their remarkable alumnae was being honored. So I was tasked with figuring out who was best to contact, call and pitch. This was great experience in pitching over the phone, something I am becoming more and more comfortable with as my internship progresses.
Yesterday, I was asked to fact check an article about High Art, an exhibition that is opening here at the museum next week. A task that may normally be mundane and boring, this time the process of fact-checking was actually quite interesting. This is because it involved going downstairs and comparing the information in the article to the actual exhibit. It was very cool being able to check out the exhibit before it opens to the public, knowing that in one week this quiet and deserted exhibit will be filled with people, just as every part of the museum is during the summer. This is definitely one really cool aspect of working at the museum—being able to see things that the public doesn’t have access to, or checking things out before the public has access. We’re working hard on preparing for the Art Exhibition to open, and I’ll update you more on that next week after the Press Preview.