Subject Matter Experts

Join us in our efforts to engage the public about the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse by volunteering as a subject matter expert!

2017 Eclipse Subject Matter Expert Application Instructions

We welcome scientists, engineers, science writers, amateur astronomers, and science educators to identify themselves as subject matter experts, or SMEs, available and interested in supporting programs around the nation on the 2017 eclipse. By signing up here, groups seeking an expert speaker can reach out to you to join their event.   

To be considered as subject matter expert, you will need to have a minimum understanding of selected eclipse content. Before filling out our application form you must download and review our eclipse training documents. In addition, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.

  • Have a basic working knowledge of astronomy especially eclipses and the sun-Earth-Moon system.

  • Be available to support a solar eclipse event somewhere in the country as a speaker/eclipse educator.

How this works:

By volunteering your expertise, you are offering your knowledge and willingness to event coordinators that would like their 2017 eclipse events to become official NASA events. An event coordinator may contact you and request that you be a SME for their event. NASA will provide each official event with an eclipse care package of educational materials. We will also include a badge with your name, title/expertise and affiliation on it. This badge will arrive with the other event materials. Please contact the event coordinator to receive your badge. You may also be contacted by both, non NASA eclipse events such as schools, community groups, etc.

What you can expect at an event:

Each event will be different. Your role at the event will be defined by you and the event coordinator; but at a minimum you should expect to answer a variety of questions from the public. As a NASA-approved expert, it is important that all answers are guided by the information found in the NASA eclipse training documents.

About the application form:

All of the information you submit through the SME application form will be made available to NASA event coordinators.

Your location on the SME map will be your answer for the question, “Where do you plan to be on the day of the eclipse?” Please answer in the form of an address. For example: 1234 Green St, Washington DC.


You and the event coordinator should be aware that being a SME for an event does not mean that you are a NASA representative. Any opinions you share as a SME are not necessarily the opinions of NASA.

All negotiations involving compensation, travel, lodging, dates, etc. will be between the event coordinator and you. We are acting solely as the catalyst and handshake between events and subject matter experts. Please stay in contact with, and direct all questions about the event to your event coordinator.

We appreciate your providing proper captions and credits when using maps, infographics, images or videos that were created by NASA and otherwise.