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Windows to the Universe to get a new home, EO a new director

EO director Roberta Johnson will step down on April 12 to focus on a new partnership between Windows to the Universe, the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA), and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Windows to the Universe, which has been based at NCAR since 2000, will be housed at NESTA starting in mid-April. The shift is intended to make the site an open educational resource and allow scientists, university faculty, K-12 educators, and others to contribute content more readily.

“The project presents an exciting opportunity to develop new avenues for supporting Earth and space science education, teachers, and learners. Our goal is to position the website as an education and outreach facility for the entire geosciences community,” says Roberta, who launched Windows to the Universe in 1995 while at the University of Michigan, before coming to UCAR/NCAR in 2000.

The Hewlett Foundation is providing $500,000 for a two-year transition period, with the American Geological Institute contributing another $50,000. The site will undergo a major redesign and update. The new partnership will help the website become more self-sustaining, as it allows for limited advertising and a science store that will sell maps, activity kits, books, and the like.

Roberta will retain her NCAR scientific appointment in HAO and remain part-time in EO. The Windows to the Universe team in EO will continue developing the website under Roberta’s direction. Susan Foster will serve as EO’s interim director.