Asteroid Day Community Member Spotlight – Saulo Machado

Asteroid Day Community Member Spotlight – Saulo Machado

Asteroid Day Community Member Spotlight – Saulo Machado https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/20233722/Saulo-featured-image.jpeg 285 185 Asteroid Day Asteroid Day https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/20233722/Saulo-featured-image.jpeg

Saulo Machado was a member of a Brazilian Astronomy club when he was contacted by one of Asteroid Day co-founders to join the Team as a Regional Coordinator.

In today’s Community Member Spotlight we will learn about the Asteroid Day Global Event Coordinator who is also the author of our monthly learn series, event ideas, ADx event organiser spotlight, and asteroid news.

Saulo, how did you hear about the opportunity to get involved with Asteroid Day?
I was a partner of a Brazilian astronomy group that had participated in Asteroid Day since its first edition. I already did and encouraged others to do astronomy dissemination activities in schools, universities, and public places with lectures and sky-watching sessions. The popularisation of social networks helped consolidate these activities across the country, and for each astronomical phenomenon, dozens of Brazilian organisations held coordinated events like lunar eclipses and planetary oppositions. In 2016 Asteroid Day Co-founder Grig Richters was looking for regional coordinators in several countries. He reached out to the group I partnered with and that’s how I started with Asteroid Day.

What were some of the roles you held while working for Asteroid Day?
My main role has been to encourage organisers from around the world to participate in Asteroid Day annually with various activities that raise public awareness about asteroids.

At first, my approach to these small celestial bodies was superficial. So I had to deepen my asteroid expertise to be able to create engaging didactic articles and lessons. I had to put myself in the audience’s shoes and think about how I could find something that presented asteroids in an attractive way. Asteroids are not visible in the sky as easily as a planet or stars, so, given this limitation, I had to think of alternatives.

Currently, in addition to the global coordination of event organisers, every month I create custom articles with asteroid-related lesson plans, event ideas, and the latest news about asteroids and planetary defence.

Asteroid Day events are held all over the globe.

What were some of the new skills you picked up?
I have learned how to use project management tools, numermous Software as a Service (SaaS) tools and basic graphic design tools. Working across cultures has given me the opportunity to boost my communication skills and be effective in engaging with Asteroid Day event organisers via social media.

My experience with Asteroid Day has allowed me to improve my English language skills. When I was a child I studied English for 7 years. I had good basics, but there was a setback in my practice because for decades my work didn’t require the use of foreign languages.

Thanks to the patience and solidarity of the entire team, I could keep improving my English skills and now have a professional working proficiency.

What is your favourite part about the work as a whole?
It’s the opportunity to improve my communication and language skills, offer innovative ideas, and understand the principles of cross-cultural communication.

Saulo with the Asteroid Day Team in 2021

What person did you meet during your time with Asteroid Day that inspired you and why?
In addition to connecting with professionals involved in asteroid research and exploration, it was very rewarding to meet some of the Asteroid Day co-founders and to learn a lot of skills and team spirit from my colleagues: Colleen Fiaschetti, former Programme Director, Rhea Abdo, Communications Coordinator, and Anna Bordus, Programme Manager.

How did the experience with Asteroid Day impact you personally and professionally?
My professional horizons have been exponentially expanded along with my way of thinking. I learned how to interact with colleagues from different time zones efficiently and produce the best work results in home office while juggling multiple personal commitments.

Would you recommend working for Asteroid Day?
Yes, definitely! It’s a great opportunity to expand your skills and increase your sensitivity in interacting with people from other parts of the world.