What is the NCCN Project ?

NASA Community College Network

The SETI Institute’s NASA Community College Network (NCCN) is a major initiative to bring NASA Subject Matter Experts (SME), research findings, and science resources into the nation’s community college system. NCCN is a constituent team of the Science Activation program, part of NASA’s Science Mission Directive (SMD).

Guided by needs assessments of both community college instructors (CCIs) and SMEs to engage in outreach, NCCN will consist of three key engagement deliverables:

1) To broker direct partnerships between NASA science subject matter experts and community college instructors teaching astronomy, space science and related courses.

2) To provide a set of high-quality, curated, audience-appropriate NASA resources created with or by NASA scientists to support their outreach and engagement and implemented by the community college instructor.

3) To provide professional development and training for both groups:

a) Community college instructors: we want to support or extend their knowledge of NASA science or research topics and help them communicate new or more engaging concepts to their students.

b) NASA subject matter experts: we want to help them engage effectively with the instructors and students at community colleges. For scientists new to outreach, we want to help them understand community college audiences and how best to work with them.

NCCN is funded by NASA SMD Cooperative Agreement 80NSSC21M0009

News & Events

Mon, Aug 28, 2023

Join us for a discussion on Climate Science Science in the Astronomy Classroom

How to Teach and Talk about Climate Change in an Astronomy Class

From a health, social, and environmental standpoint, climate change is an existential threat that requires our immediate attention. The good news is that most Americans now understand that climate change is a threat.  However, many people– particularly the young– are convinced that nothing can be done.  Known as “climate doomism”, this fear represents one of the biggest barriers for people to actively engage in advocating for solutions. Fortunately, physics and astronomy teachers are especially well positioned to help people understand the problem, as well as solutions. In this session, we’ll talk about effective ways to incorporate climate change into your introductory physics and astronomy classes.  (Happily, we already teach many concepts that are important for putting climate change into context, such as conservation of energy and terrestrial planetary atmospheres.) We’ll also talk about research-validated communication strategies that have been found to be effective in raising awareness, concern, and action. 


Dr. Travis Rector is an astrophysicist and professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Living in Alaska, he has witnessed dramatic changes in his home state.  In recent years his focus has been on helping other instructors incorporate climate change into their teaching.  He is the editor and co-author of a new book called Climate Change for Astronomers, to be released this fall by IoP/AAS Publishing.  He is also currently serving as the chair of a task force for the American Astronomical Society, with the goal of identifying ways astronomy as a profession can reduce its carbon footprint.   

Topic: Climate Change: Travis Rector

Time: Aug 30, 2023 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Zoom information was sent directly to your email.  Contact us if you need the link.

Join us for a discussion on Climate Science Science in the Astronomy Classroom

Wed, Aug 09, 2023

ASP2023: Exploring the Art, Culture, and Science of Solar Eclipses

Friday, August 18th - A Day of Talks and Panels

Registration is now open

Virtual Talks and Panels Celebrating Upcoming Awe-Inspiring Events

ASP2023 Link

ASP2023: Exploring the Art, Culture, and Science of Solar Eclipses

Tue, Aug 08, 2023

Solar Flare Erupts from Sun

The Sun emitted a strong solar flare, peaking at 6:21pm EDT on Aug 5th, 2023.

The flare is classified as an X1.6 flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides information about it's strength.

This follows another strong solar flare which peaked at 7:14pm ET on July 2, 2023.

Solar Flare Erupts from Sun

Mon, Jul 10, 2023

Scientists Have Found a Hot Spot on the Moon’s Far Side

The rocks beneath an ancient volcano on the moon’s far side remain surprisingly warm, scientists have revealed using data from orbiting Chinese spacecraft.

They point to a large slab of granite that solidified from magma in the geological plumbing beneath what is known as the Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Complex.



Scientists Have Found a Hot Spot on the Moon’s Far Side

Thu, Apr 13, 2023

An Introduction to NASA's MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network

Join us for an exciting webinar on NASA's MicroObservatory!


An Introduction to NASA's MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network

Mon, Mar 20, 2023

Labs for Astronomy 101

Do you need new labs for your class, or do your labs need need to be refreshed?

Join a panel of community college astronomy professors discuss the life of labs and share new ideas to add more and exciting labs your class.

Labs for Astronomy 101

Sat, Mar 18, 2023

Become a NASA Partner Eclipse Ambassador !

Do you love eclipses and want to share the wow of space science with your community? Apply to become a NASA Partner Eclipse Ambassador!

In 2023 and 2024, two eclipses will be happening across the United States. In an exciting new partnership, Undergraduate Students and Amateur Astronomers will engage their local communities, providing solar viewing glasses as well as context for underserved communities off the central paths. 



Become a NASA Partner Eclipse Ambassador !

Fri, Mar 10, 2023

Asteroid on Possible Collision Course with Earth... in 2046.

Asteroid 2023 DW has a 1 in 560 chance of arrival on Valentine's Day 2046.



Asteroid on Possible Collision Course with Earth... in 2046.