The Eclipse Ambassadors Training Program

The Eclipse Ambassadors Training Program
The Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse as seen by the people attending the viewing event at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem, Oregon.

During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun. Credit: NASA/Dominic Hart.

In the afternoon of April 8, 2024, a rare total solar eclipse will be visible from southern Quebec. Total solar eclipses are a spectacular astronomical phenomenon that occur when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, completely blocking the Sun for a short period.

This upcoming total solar eclipse is truly the event of a lifetime: the last one in Quebec was in 1972 (1932 in Montreal!) … and the next one in Quebec won’t be until 2106!

Our Eclipse Ambassadors program trains university students, free of charge, to learn more about the uniqueness of solar eclipses and how to observe them safely. Ideas, materials, tips, and advice are also offered so that students participating in our program can help bring this special event to life for those around them and in their communities.


How to Register 

Would you like to be an eclipse ambassador? Fill in the following form to apply!

Becoming an eclipse ambassador is the perfect opportunity to share your enthusiasm for astronomy and science with your friends and family, develop new knowledge and build your experience in science communication! It’s also a great opportunity to build relationships and act as a leader in your community. During this training, we will equip you with the skills required to develop initiatives or organize events before or during the eclipse for a wide variety of audiences (e.g. student associations, sports clubs, places of employment, libraries, community centres, seniors’ centres, K-12 schools or CEGEPs, etc.).

Students at the pilot training session on June 1, 2023. Credit:M.-E. Naud.

Our pilot training program took place on June 1, 2023, and trained 34 ambassadors. Additional training workshops will be offered soon. Our top priority is to train students from all cycles and programs at the Université de Montréal, as well as graduate students from the Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec (including iREx members). We are currently looking into extending training opportunities to others (e.g. Secondary 5 and CEGEP students, and students from other universities).

Contact us if you’re interested in participating in a training session!

More details on the April 8th, 2023 Total Solar Eclipse

Carte Eclipse 2024 04 08 Quebec Montage Couleur

The eclipse on April 8, 2024 will be visible from all over Quebec. In the southeast, the eclipse will be total, a rare occurrence in any given location. Credit:

The solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 will be visible from all over Quebec, and will be “total” for a regional band crossing southeastern Quebec (see image at left).

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into alignment between the Earth and the Sun. In some cases, the Sun appears partially covered by the Moon for a short time (referred to as a “partial” solar eclipse) while in others it appears completely covered (a “total” eclipse).

Partial eclipses are relatively rare. In Quebec, for example, the last two eclipses took place in June 2021 and August 2017. Total solar eclipses are visible over a much more limited area on the Earth, and are therefore extremely rare in any given location. In Quebec, the last total solar eclipse took place in 1972, and the next one won’t happen until 2106!

To find out more about the eclipse on April 8, 2024, check out

More info on the Eclipse Ambassadors Training Program

Students at the pilot training session on June 1, 2023. Credit: M.-E. Naud.

Our program aims to educate participants about the unique astronomical event that is solar eclipses, provide information on how to observe them safely, and equip participants with the skills required to be an effective eclipse ambassador. It includes scientific content training, resources (glasses, printables, presentations), tips and tricks for equitable science communication, and ongoing support from career astrophysicists for future eclipse-related initiatives.

Workshop Format

Our 4.5 hr training course is currently offered in-person at the Université de Montréal. Several interactive activities are included, inviting participants to handle materials (scale models, eclipse telescope), reflect on their role as science communicators, and examine the various important factors that need consideration when organizing a solar eclipse-related initiative.

  • 30 min – Introduction
  • 1 hr 45 min – Session I: All About Eclipses
  • 15 min – Break
  • 1 hr 45 min – Session II: What is an Eclipse Ambassador?
  • 15 min – Summary: Additional Resources and Next Steps
Participant Expectations

People safely viewing the partial solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 at Université de Montréal. Credit: A. Philibert (UdeM).

As an “Eclipse Ambassador” you will:

  1. Complete the 4.5 hr in-person training course, as well as a short, post-workshop feedback form.
  2. Agree to lead or help organize an eclipse event or other initiative*** before or during** the eclipse designed for an audience of your choice* (see section below),
    Volunteer at events organized by the Université de Montréal in connection with the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024, or the partial eclipse on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
  3. Receive materials (including eclipse glasses) to share with your audience and ongoing support from the trainers to foster your initiatives.
  4. Complete a short assignment to jump-start planning for your initiative/event (to be submitted to workshop instructors within 5 weeks of the training course).
  5. Submit a short report once your event/initiative is complete. You will also be invited to participate in a May/June 2024 event to celebrate the various achievements of the Ambassador community.

* For an audience of your choice: from your personal network (family, friends) to your wider community, including your student association, a sports or other leisure group/club (e.g. swimming club, climbing center, chess club, etc.), a workplace, municipality, public library, local museum, park or nature center, daycare center, primary or secondary school, scout group, home school group, CEGEP, community center, faith-based organization (e.g. synagogues, churches, mosques), private seniors’ residences and CHSLDs, and more.

** Can take place before or during the eclipse: For example, holding an information booth or a safe viewing of the Sun before the eclipse or creating an opportunity for a given audience to enjoy the eclipse on the day it takes place.

*** Other initiatives might include: building up an eclipse-related image bank (historical newspaper articles, comics and memes, etc.), creating a TikTok, Instagram or YouTube account to inform people about the eclipse, translating/adapting documentation available elsewhere in the world, initiating or contributing to a citizen science project related to the eclipse, etc.

Workshop Instructors

Marie-Eve Naud, PhD, is the Education and Public Outreach Coordinator at the Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at Université de Montréal. Since completing her master’s degree and doctorate in astrophysics in 2016, which focused on exoplanets and the search for life elsewhere, she has been working in education and science communication. Notably, she has been a lead contributor to initiatives connecting young minds with astronomy/space, including Petite école de l’espace and the Exoplanets in the Classroom resource suite.

Heidi White, PhD, is the Outreach Officer at the Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at Université de Montréal and at l’Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic. Prior to her current position at UdeM, Heidi completed a PhD in astrophysics, focusing on star formation and galaxy evolution. She is co-founder and primary contributor to numerous scientific outreach projects, including PASEA, the Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers, and Astrodigenous, an online platform which aims to elevate the presence of Indigenous Sky Knowledges in Canadian K-12 classrooms.


The program is led by the Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets at the Université de Montréal, and supported by the Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec, the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic, in collaboration with numerous partners, including Discover the Universe and the other members of the Regroupement éclipse Québec, which manages, as well as the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, which runs a similar program in the United States.