The purpose of this White Paper is to provide introductory guidance for the planning of a total solar eclipse in your community. It includes an overview of the complexities of planning for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Full White Paper available to download by clicking above.
I wrote this White Paper because there is no other detailed written information that can help communities planning for a total solar eclipse to occur in their region. I became interested in how communities plan for eclipses in 2012, when the path of totality occurred in my home region of North Queensland, Australia. For the first time, I was a local within the community in the lead up to the eclipse, doing interviews and surveys with locals BEFORE the eclipse. This gave me unique insights into the local perspective – and highlighted that key eclipse messages were not getting through to the local community. I then did as much as I could to address this problem to ensure that my fellow locals knew the eclipse wasn’t just for tourists or scientists – but rather a special event for the whole community. After the eclipse, I then interviewed the key eclipse coordinators to capture the planning process and learn lessons from hindsight.
I then applied these lessons in my role as the Eclipse Consultant for the total solar eclipse of March 20 2015, in the Faroe Islands. I visited the islands several times in the two years leading up to the eclipse, and relocated five weeks before the eclipse to help out on-the-ground. It was an incredibly busy and exciting time, and was the second time I was on the ground, embedded in the community in the lead up to the eclipse. Following the eclipse, I again interviewed key eclipse organisers to ensure that we learn lessons of what worked well, and what could have been done differently.
Guðrið Højgaard, Director at Visit Faroe Islands (VFI) commented: “This excellent document is now being used across the U.S. path of totality and will no doubt provide crucial information to those who are planning eclipse activities within their region. We are delighted that other communities that find themselves within the path of totality can benefit directly from our experiences.”
In summary, this White Paper is the result of what I have learned through all of these activities over the years. I am keen to share these experiences with those who are lucky enough to be living within a future path of totality. Please feel free to circulate this document widely.