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Shannon Schmoll

Shannon Schmoll

Director, Abrams Planetarium

Shannon Schmoll is an expert on basic astronomy, naked-eye astronomy, eclipses, constellations and the night sky.

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Area of Expertise

Night Sky Eclipses Basic Astronomy Planetariums Science Education Naked-Eye Astronomy Constellations


Shannon Schmoll is the director of the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University. She has worked on expanding our audience and finding new ways if utilizing our immersive planetarium theater. She has a PhD in astronomy and science education. Her dissertation was titled "Toward a Framework for Integrating Planetarium and Classroom Learning" and was aimed at better understanding how planetarium field trips can effectively fit into formal astronomy curriculum. She also has completed a certificate ... in Museum Studies which included a 3-month internship at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago where she worked on exhibit content development, exhibit design, and creating materials for educators. She is currently guiding the planetarium in the development of engaging and interactive astronomy programming including full dome shows and exhibits and building partnerships with various groups on the MSU campus and the greater Lansing and Michigan communities.

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University of Michigan: Ph.D., Astronomy and Science Education | 2013

University of Michigan: M.S., Astronomy and Astrophysics | 2009

University of Washington: B.S., Astronomy and Astrophysics | 2007

Selected Press

Telescope sales and stargazers are both looking up these days

The Christian Science Monitor Daily | 2020-12-18

The pandemic makes astronomy a fitting hobby. People can do it alone in their backyard. But it also offers ways to connect with others virtually, as people post their astrophotography on social media and share celestial experiences at a time when they can't be physically together. Furthermore, the night sky itself can be a unifying view, says Shannon Schmoll, director of the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University. “Right now, we're all separated. We don't get to see our families right now. We don't get to see our friends. We don't get to see other people. But all over the world, everyone sees the same stars,” she says. “And so we have that shared experience by going outside to look up … and that is something that can connect us.”


MSU Today | 2017-10-18

“The display will feature meteorites found from around the world but will put front and center the Michigan meteorites in our collection, a little piece of our state’s own ‘space heritage’ so to speak,” said Abrams Planetarium Director Shannon Schmoll...