Volunteer in the parks program bryce canyon national park agreement for individual voluntary services

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(Act of July 29, 1970 Public Law 91-357)

NAME: (Please print — Last, first, middle initial): __________________________________

ADDRESS (Street, city, state, zip code): __________________________________



TELEPHONE: _______________________ Email: _______________________________

Brief description of work to be performed, including minimum time commitment required. (Attach complete job description to this form)

POSITION TITLE AND DESCRIPTION: Astronomy Assistant: operates privately owned telescopes and provides informal interpretation of what visitors are seeing through the scopes for the benefit of lay public in attendance of Bryce Canyon’s Astronomy Programs. VIPs must attend one 90-min orientation session. Neither Bryce Canyon National Park nor the National Park Service will assume liability for damage incurred to privately owned equipment.

DATES: June 13-16 2007 HOURS PER DAY: 3-6 hrs. per night


CLUB AFFILIATION: ___________________ SUPERVISOR: Angie Richman 435-834-4444
I understand that I will not receive any compensation in the form of salary or stipend for the above work and that volunteers are NOT considered to be Federal employees for any purpose other than tort claims and injury compensation, and I understand that volunteer service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other employee benefits. I also understand that either the National Park Service or I may cancel this agreement at any time by notifying the other party. I agree not to hold the National Park Service accountable to damage or wear and tear to personal equipment incurred during the completion of tasks outlined in above Position Title and Description.
I hereby volunteer my services as described above, to assist the National Park Service in its authorized work.

Signature of Volunteer X Date

The National Park Service agrees, while this arrangement is in effect, to provide supplementary materials, equipment and facilities as are available and needed to perform the work described above, and to consider you as a Federal employee only for the purpose of tort claims and compensation for work related injuries.

Signature of Supervisor Date

Signature of Park VIP Coordinator Date

Agreement Terminated on _____Sept. 30, 2007 ______________________________________

Month, Day, Year Signature of VIP Coordinator GPO 913-551 Revised

Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival Volunteer In Park (VIP) Checklist
ٱ Signed VIP agreement has been mailed to Angie Richman by May 25, 2007

ٱ Don Colton has me on the SLAS participant list (or contact Angie directly if non SLAS)

ٱ I’ve specified which nights I will participate

ٱ I agree to arrive early enough to set up my campsite prior to telescope set up

ٱ If RV campsite required I’ve contact Angie Richman to make special arrangements
NOTE: RVs are not allowed at festival sites – carpool from campground with another VIP)

ٱ If opting not to camp, I’ve made my own arrangements at my own expense

ٱ I’ve have agreed to attend one of the Bryce Volunteer Orientation sessions Unless Attended in 2006

ٱ I understand that Bryce Canyon National Park is not responsible for damage incurred to personal


ٱ I understand that pets are not permitted at festival site nor allowed to be left unattended in


ٱ I understand that free camping is for persons directly participating in festival and immediate family. Friends and extended family must make other camping arrangements.

ٱ I understand that the stargazing site must be clear of telescopes and vehicles by 6:30 am each
morning. Trailered telescopes can be stored on the lot during the day.

ٱ I understand that as a VIP I represent the National Park Service and my professionalism, conduct,

and opinions directly reflect on the National Park Service.

90-min Bryce Volunteer Orientation Sessions (All VIPs must attend 1 session)
Wednesday, June 13 4:30 – 6:30pm (tentative) Bryce Canyon Visitor Center Conference Room D (top floor)
Thursday, June 14 4:30 – 6:30pm (tentative) Bryce Canyon Visitor Center Conference Room D (top floor)
Friday, June 15 4:30 – 6:30pm (tentative) Bryce Canyon Visitor Center Conference Room D (top floor)

Astronomy VIP Coordinator

Angie Richman

Bryce Canyon National Park

PO Box 640201

Bryce Canyon, UT 84764



Bryce Canyon Telescope Operator Guidelines (Dos and Don’ts):

Be patient and proactive in assisting visitors at the eyepiece – 50% will be first-timers (encourage moving head in small circles over eyepiece to find the image)

Familiarize yourself with NPS star party telescope etiquette rules:

No Dogs on the telescope field (leashes and telescopes are a bad combination)

Don’t touch the telescopes (without asking the operator first) because touching scopes can cause misalignment or

More importantly create too much vibration to maintain a good focus for the visitor’s enjoyment

No flash photography!

White lights are strongly discouraged (but not with zeal or maliciousness)

No visitors allowed on the telescope field before 10 pm.

If you don’t see the object in scope be honest and say so.

Use step stools for children and to maintain your balance. Assist elderly.

Leave glasses on for best focus. If not seeing object, get telescope operator’s permission before removing

glasses and adjusting focus.
Protect your equipment by telescope etiquette “refreshers” and polite but firm correction when visitors are not demonstrating good etiquette.
Divide your time, attention, and accesses between the visitors in-line and the individual at the eyepiece. 50/50, though hard to get used to is optimal. At the very least if you are not directly helping the person at the eyepiece you should be addressing the line.
Provide preparatory information and interesting, relevant facts and especially “meanings” for those in line so to help keep their attention and build their anticipation.
Answer questions by repeating/rephrasing the question for the benefit of the entire line of visitors
Promote (without preaching) the benefits of night sky preservation and light pollution reduction (astronomy, ecology, health, economics, cultural identity, etc.)
Defer to grey and green uniformed park rangers any issue of safety or unruly behavior.


Initiate or participate in discussion of religion, politics, or NPS management policies. Instead refer them to one of the grey and green uniformed park ranger on the telescope field and or respond as suggested below:

Religion = “Tonight I’m working for the federal government, which according to NPS interpretation of “Separation of Church and State” means I can NOT speak to one religion more than another. So, because I’m NOT qualified to speak intelligently on all 75+ religions recognized by the US government, I can’t discuss any.”
Politics = “Even as a Volunteer employee of the federal government I’m restricted by the Hatch Act from speaking for or against existing or nominated elected officials and his or her policies.”
NPS Management Policies = “As an astronomy volunteer I can only speak to the National Park Service’s policy on night sky preservation which includes [talking points spelled out on black and white rack card ] “
Speak only in Messier or NGC #s. INSTEAD, Please refer to objects by their common names whenever possible, and/or in terms of the type of object that they are. Instead of saying “Here you will see M51” say “This object is called the Whirlpool Galaxy. It is a face-on (explain) spiral galaxy with a smaller companion galaxy, etc. etc.” Make data like galactic diameters, distance in light years relevant with analogies or in-depth explanations.

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