Current projects

(c) 2015, Kate Russo

(c) 2015, Kate Russo

Project:  Supporting Eclipse Coordinators for the 2017 TSE 

Status:  In preparation, and ongoing until August 2017

This is an important research project that will serve a number of purposes.  Firstly, all across the path of totality in the US – from Oregon to South Carolina, hundreds of communities are now preparing for the total solar eclipse to occur in their region.  Each region has an Eclipse Coordinator which is leading the process.  As there has not been a total eclipse in the U.S. in nearly 40 years, this is unknown territory.  I have provided much-needed resources already, including the White Paper on Community Eclipse Planning, and consulting support via Skype.  This project aims to provide support to Eclipse Coordinators, by identifying additional needs, validating a framework for support, developing shared resources, and implementing solutions.  This project uses a business consulting model, and is a great example of how research can inform tasks undertaken on the ground by many across the path of totality.

The first part of this project is to undertake a needs analysis survey aimed to identify the key issues, the main barriers, and additional resources needed.  Findings from this survey will be used to support those in this role, develop timelines that will help guide the process of planning, and will allow for a more coordinated way to develop key resources.



(c) 2012, TTNQ

(c) 2012, TTNQ

Project:  First time total solar eclipse experience  

Status:  Ongoing, to be completed by the end of 2016

In 2012, I went home to Far North Queensland to undertake a very large research project (see past projects).  The largest of the projects is to explore the first time eclipse experience for a number of people.  For some, I was able to interview them before and then after the eclipse.  Many people got in touch with me after the eclipse, wanting to be part of the project and to share how the total eclipse experience really did impact upon their lives.

This project is being written up for my third book Transformed by the Shadow.  I have selected eight people to focus upon, who were most clearly able to describe their experiences in a rich and detailed way, and these make fascinating accounts.  For each person, I describe their lives before the eclipse, their eclipse experience, and then how the eclipse itself was a turning point that allowed them to develop fresh insights into their lives.

This project will be self-published as my third book, and will be available during my six month tour along the path of totality.



Post eclipse workshop at the Eclipse Festival in Sulawesi. (c) 2016, Kate Russo

Post eclipse workshop at the Eclipse Festival in Sulawesi. (c) 2016, Kate Russo

Project:  Exploring the perception of connectedness during totality 

Status:  Ongoing, on hold to prioritize the above two projects

Immediately after the 2016 total solar eclipse in Indonesia, I ran a post-eclipse workshop at the Sulawesi Eclipse Festival in Palu, Indonesia.  In this workshop, everyone had just experienced a total solar eclipse, and we shared our personal experiences of the wonderfully clear and emotive total eclipse. There were tears, there were thanks, there was a great feeling of being at one in the world.  It was pretty special.

I also encouraged those who wanted to, to record individual interviews on camera to explore in more detail the feeling of connection during totality – what was that like?  Who, or what, did you feel connected to?

These materials will form part of a future documentary exploring the psychological response to totality.

I am hoping to extend this project following the 2017 total solar eclipse, to include the experiences of Americans from across the country.



Far North Queensland. (c) TTNQ, published in Totality 2012

Far North Queensland. (c) TTNQ, published in Totality 2012

Project:  Pre- and Post-eclipse surveys of locals within the path of totality 

Status:  Survey completed, full analysis and reporting to be completed 

In 2012, the path of totality went across my home region of Far North Queensland. I relocated back home for six months, and undertook a very large research project that aimed to capture the awareness and experiences of locals both before and following the eclipse. I used local media to recruit local participants, who then completed a survey before and after the eclipse.

There is much data available in this project, and I have yet to fully explore or report on these important findings that will no doubt have direct relevance for communities living with the path of totality for the 2017 total eclipse across the U.S.