University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Observatory to hold second annual fundraising banquet March 25

The Observatory will host its second annual fundraising banquet from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the Hilton Garden Inn. The observatory is part of the Department of Space Studies in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

This year's keynote speaker is Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute, a world famous scientist who frequently presents talks at TED events. Shostak has written several books and hosts the weekly radio show “Are We Alone.”

The banquet will also feature Rep. Kevin Cramer; Department of Space Studies faculty member and Observatory director Paul Hardersen; and Tim Young, Department of Physics and Astrophysics.

The event comprises dinner and a silent auction. All proceeds from the banquet benefit the UND Observatory, a non-profit organization, and will allow the Observatory to upgrade its equipment and facilities.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with an hour for socializing; there will be a cash bar.

Three brief talks will start at 6 p.m. and will end at 7 p.m. when dinner is served. Shostak will deliver his talk, titled “What happens when we find Extraterrestrial Intelligence?,” from 8 to 9 p.m.

After any questions are answered, the silent auction winners will be announced and payment collected. Please be sure to bring cash or check.

Tickets for the banquet cost $25 for students and $60 for members of the community. New this year, we will stream the banquet talks live over the internet. To log in, the ticket is just $25. You also can bid on the silent auction items remotely. Donations also will be accepted.

To register for the banquet:; please indicate special dietary needs on the registration form. If you're dining at the event, please register no later than March 18.

For Shostak’s most recent TED talk:

For more information on the UND Observatory, please visit, follow us on Twitter at @UNDObservatory, or ‘Like’ our Facebook page “University of North Dakota Observatory.”

For more information, contact Paul Hardersen at 777.4896,

-- Juan Miguel Pedraza, writer/editor, University Relations, 777.6571,

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