What We Do - AGSO

Bi-weekly Meetings 

Once every two weeks, the grad students meet as a whole behind closed doors and out of faculty earshot (more or less). What happens at these mysterious meetings? Well, we might discuss whatever crazy thing that happened that week, get the scoop on upcoming events, or discuss issues for the faculty. Attendance is not mandatory but is encouraged. The meetings are nominally run by the AGSO President and only occur during the school year. (Currently these meetings are held virtually via Zoom.) 

Student Round Table 

If there is a colloquium that day, we also have a student round table with the speaker. We use this time to ask them about their career and also for advice. Perhaps they've worked on an instrument team, or with a large research consortium, or have done well with job placement. You will get the most out of this time if you come prepared with a question or two in mind. 

Tea Time 

The Tea Time Overlord organizes volunteers to provide weekly refreshments for students and faculty. Tea Time is held on the second floor landing and is an informal setting for people to relax and chat. (Tea Time is currently held over Zoom! These virtual Tea Times can include cooking tutorials, a snack theme, or just time to socialize.) 

Cume Parties & Proposal/Defense Dinners 

Tradition states that when a grad student passes their fifth and final cume, they may throw a party for everyone to attend. Cume party style varies and is entirely up to the person throwing the party. Previous parties have been as casual as an afternoon BBQ, or more formal affairs, and have even included camping at Kilbourne Hole. 

When a grad student successfully completes their dissertation proposal or dissertation defense, tradition states that either one of their office mates or close friends may organize a dinner in their honor to celebrate their incredible accomplishment. 

Amateur Astronomy Club 

We interface regularly (and often times help lead!) the Amateur Astronomy Club. This group is usually undergraduates, but can certainly include graduates, who are enthusiastic about astronomy and may or may not have any prior experience looking through telescopes! Check out their page here. 


We participate in outreach activities with our local community here in Las Cruces and broader in the southern part of New Mexico (and sometimes El Paso). Organized and volunteer-solicited by our AGSO Vice President, these events can range from outdoor daytime activities with solar telescopes and sundials, to indoor activities with demonstrations and presentations, to outdoor nighttime activities with portable telescopes or the Tombaugh Observatory. Check out our pages about How To Volunteer and a breakdown of our Outreach Activities. 


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