News from Grand Canyon

Mar 21, 2022
Imma Barrera Named Next Grand Canyon Astronomer in Residence  

Grand Canyon, Ariz.—Grand Canyon Conservancy (GCC) and Grand Canyon National Park are proud to announce the selection of the next Grand Canyon Astronomer in Residence, biologist, landscape and nature photographer, and conservationist Imma Barrera. She will live and work at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, with visits to the North Rim and Tuweep, from April 28 to May 23, 2022.


Barrera’s current project, “Under the Night Sky,” involves raising awareness about the importance of protecting the night sky by presenting different features of select National Parks in the format of a published book, combining photography and nature education and illustrating the efforts these parks have undertaken as part of their mission to preserve the environment. Barrera’s goal is to capture those inspiring landscapes under the night sky.


“I consider Grand Canyon Conservancy’s Astronomer in Residence program at Grand Canyon National Park as an important addition to my project, an excellent opportunity to contribute to protecting our natural resources and to share the beauty of the park at night with all visitors including the surrounding communities,” said Barrera.


Born in Barcelona, Barrera is based in New Jersey. She is a biologist and a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography who has exhibited her photographs in galleries worldwide. Her favorite subject to photograph is landscapes from dusk to dawn, including astrophotography. Barrera has been selected for several National Parks Artist in Residence programs (Acadia National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Glacier National Park) for her night sky photography. In addition, she was shortlisted in the Landscape category of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards/Professional Competition with her series “Under the Night Sky.” One of her night photographs was selected by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) to represent the One Big Sky fundraising campaign and as cover for their 2020 calendar. Barrera also runs educational programs about photography and seminars to raise awareness about the need to protect our natural treasures.


“As a biologist, photographer, and conservationist, I feel uniquely positioned to capture the world that surrounds us and to use my images to educate others as to why preserving these ecosystems is critical for the health of our planet. My mission is to showcase the wonders of the night sky in our light-saturated world and inspire others to help preserve darkness and the night environment,” said Barrera.


The Grand Canyon Astronomer in Residence program, launched in the summer of 2021, offers professional and amateur astronomers, educators, scientists, writers, and artists the opportunity to practice and share their discipline under one of the most pristine night skies in the United States. During her time at Grand Canyon National Park, Barrera will host several workshops and discussions for visitors to the park.


“As an International Dark Sky Park, Grand Canyon is the perfect location to host an Astronomer in Residence program,” said Theresa McMullan, GCC Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to a grant from the Flinn Foundation, the insights learned during the residencies will be beneficial to our understanding of the skies above and will provide unique educational experiences for our visitors and the local Grand Canyon community.”


Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Ed Keable echoed McMullan’s sentiments, adding, “The night skies at Grand Canyon are unparalleled and I am looking forward to engaging with the astronomers who will be spending time at the park. I marvel at the night skies and often ask our staff to provide additional information to me about the wonders of our star-scape.”


The program is modeled after the Artist in Residence program popular in parks across the country. The park hosts a chosen applicant on-site for a short-term residency; the resident, in turn, completes projects in their discipline through direct experience of the park’s resources and engages in public programming.

 apply to be a grand canyon astronomer in residence 


About Grand Canyon Conservancy: 

Grand Canyon Conservancy is the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, raising private funds, operating retail shops within the park, and providing educational programs about the natural and cultural history of the region. Our members fund projects including trails and historic building preservation, educational programs for the public, and the protection of wildlife and their natural habitat. Grand Canyon Conservancy inspires generations of park champions to cherish and support the natural and cultural wonder of Grand Canyon. For more information, visit





Mindy Riesenberg, Director of Marketing and Communications

Grand Canyon Conservancy

(928) 863-3878 work

(602) 617-6678 mobile

Want to stay informed about what's going on at Grand Canyon?

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get updates about projects, programs, and events at Grand Canyon.