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The Association Of Lunar and Planetary Observers Lunar and Planetary Training Program

Observation by ALPO Training Program Graduate David Lehman

The Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (A.L.P.O) is an international group of students of the Sun, the Moon, the major planets, minor planets, meteors, and comets. Our goals are to stimulate, coordinate, and generally promote the study of these bodies using methods and instruments that are available to amateur astronomers. We provide a service for the advanced amateur specializing in particular investigations, for the novice who wishes to develop techniques and general knowledge, and for the professional scientist interested in group studies and in systematic patrols of our Solar System neighbors. All interested persons are welcome as members. Our activities are on a volunteer basis. The A.L.P.O. gains in stature in proportion to how much and also how well each member contributes.

The Lunar and Planetary Training Program is open to all members of the ALPO, beginner as well as the expert observer. The goal is to help make members proficient observers. The ALPO revolves around the submission of astronomical observations of members for the purposes of scientific research. Therefore, it is the responsibility of our organization to guide prospective contributors toward a productive and meaningful scientific observation.

The course of instruction for the Training Program is two tiered. The first tier is known as the "Basic Level" and includes reading the ALPO's Novice Observers Handbook and mastering the fundamentals of observing. These fundamentals include performing simple calculations and understanding observing techniques. When the student has successfully demonstrated these skills, he or she can advance to the "Novice Level" for further training where one can specialize in one or more areas of study. This includes obtaining and reading handbooks for specific lunar and planetary subjects. The novice then continues to learn and refine upon observing techniques specific to his or her area of study and is assigned to a tutor to monitor the novice's progress in the Novice Level of the program. When the novice has mastered this final phase of the program, that person can then be certified to Observer Status for that particular field.

To began the first phase of training at the basic level, interested persons should Tim Robertson, the Training Program's coordinator at the following addresses:

Timothy J. Robertson
ALPO Training Program
195 Tierra Rejada #148
Simi Valley, California 93065

Please be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with all correspondence.
The ALPO staff is "all volunteer" and receives no compensation for postage.

There is no cost for participating in the ALPO Training Program, but you first become a member of the organization.
Once you join, please send me an email with your membership number and a request to be entered into the Training Program.
I will then email a link to the PDF copy of the Handbook of the ALPO Training Program.

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