NASA/JPL is looking for highly motivated volunteers to communicate the science and excitement of NASA’s space exploration missions and discoveries to the people in their communities.
Each September, the volunteer NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador program has a recruitment drive for new volunteers; there are currently volunteers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.
SSAs are required to do a minimum of four events over the year, and log them on the SSA website; events can include: lectures, workshops, star/eclipse parties, hands-on activities, etc.
The SSA program hosts frequent teleconferences with NASA scientists, mission specialists, and engineers covering a HUGE range of topics; presentation materials and media for each teleconference are made available for SSAs to use. When it can, the program also provides freebies; my wife and I received 1000 solar glasses and distributed them far and wide before the eclipse.
Applicants that are accepted into the program are required to go through an orientation program, and rigorous ethics training; SSAs are representing NASA/JPL, which is funded by the U.S. government, so you are essentially representing them. You may note the images on all my blog posts have credits – that’s one of the many requirements of the program.
The 2017 application form is here – be warned, it is quite thorough, and you will have to provide references; I feel like I was almost cheating in that department: I used Br. Guy and Bill Higgins…
Being an SSA for the last several years has offered me several very rewarding experiences, a great network of contacts, and access to information and knowledge that is literally out of this world!