AstroTech Summer School: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

This page is specific to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 impact on ISEE programs and scheduling. As the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves, we will continue to monitor the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and the policies of our and partnering institutions. Please check this page for any updates of new information as it becomes available.

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Communication: April 21, 2020

Dear AstroTech applicants,

It is with sadness we write to inform you that due to COVID-19 we are forced to cancel the 2020 AstroTech Summer School. We have been monitoring the evolution of the pandemic, it’s impact, and potential progress toward recovery, as it relates to holding the summer school as scheduled. During this time, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz policy has transitioned to remote instruction for summer sessions. The hands-on focus of our instrumentation summer school means remote instruction in July is not an option and we cannot postpone it later in the year. In addition travel and accommodations add complications and risk, and there are still many uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is tremendously disappointing, as we know it will be for you. Having gone through the application and selection process. We really hope that those of you who are able to apply again next year will do so. In the meantime please stay safe and healthy.


Lisa Hunter (ISEE Director) and AstroTech Program Managers

Communication: March 11, 2020

Dear AstroTech applicants,

We would like to inform you that we are monitoring the evolving situation around the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and university policy. At this time, the 2020 AstroTech Summer School at UC Berkeley is scheduled to take place as planned. 

In this time of uncertainty, we understand everyone is evaluating their own personal situation and have adjusted our program policies to address uncertainties in this unique situation. Our new policy while COVID-19 is of concern is that there will not be any negative ramifications if you accept our offer to participate and decide later -- at any time up until the program begins -- that you are uncomfortable traveling or participating due to COVID-19. All we will ask is that at the time you may decide to withdraw, you send us an email indicating that you would like to withdraw due to your concerns about COVID-19. We will reimburse you for any non-refundable travel costs you incur, and will welcome your future applications to AstroTech or any other ISEE programs. It will in no way reflect poorly on you.

Under normal circumstances, we ask for your confirmation and commitment to attend and there are a number of negative consequences if you later back out. For example, we are unable to reimburse travel expenses, and any future applications to AstroTech or our other programs would get a lower priority, when a participant cancels without a documented good reason. However, these are not normal circumstances, and we are making a policy revision to address the specific context of the COVID-19 epidemic. 

If you have not booked travel, please hold off on purchasing tickets until further communication from us.

We are really looking forward to AstroTech this summer and encourage you to accept our offer to participate. We hope that our new policy will help you feel comfortable moving forward with your participation as we all watch and see what happens. We are closely monitoring, and though it would be very disappointing, we will cancel the program if there are ongoing concerns about COVID-19 at the university or national level. 

As new information becomes available, we will provide updates to all participants. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

Thank you,

AstroTech Team