NASA @ My Library

Connecting Scientific Research with Communities

Sunset Zoo Behind the Science initiative is a growing network of trained researchers, professionals, graduate students and post-graduate students working together to connect the community to science and elevate the understanding of science-related work taking place in the region.  

In an effort to expand the Behind the Science effort, Sunset Zoo received a grant through the Portal to the Public Network as part of a larger project with NASA @ My Library.  This grant opportunity is supporting Sunset Zoo in facilitating connections between libraries associated with the NASA @ My Library network and scientists working on NASA funded research.  These connections will result in multiple public engagement opportunities benefiting both participating scientists and library patrons.

Benefits for Scientists Who Participate

  • Enhance your science communication skills through a dynamic, engaging and participatory workshop series.
  • Receive letters of acknowledgement and certification suitable for sharing with supervisors and for grant reporting.
  • Join a growing network of certified Fellows who participate in public programsthroughout the year facilitated by Sunset Zoo.
  • A personalized webpage to engage multiple audiences with your work on Sunset Zoo's Behind the Science website.
  • Honorarium for participating in training and required public engagement opportunities.


  • Complete and submit an official Behind the Science: Science Communication Workshop application.
  • Full participation in required workshops totaling ten hours, and complete a short, online training module.
  • Participate in a virtual, pilot public engagement program with the Manhattan Public Library (Manhattan, Kansas)
  • Participate in a minimum of two virtual programs at a partner library facilitated by Sunset Zoo’s Education Department.

NASA @ My Library

For more information about the NASA @ My Library project, visit NASA's website.


Interested individuals should complete the NASA @ My Library Scientist Application and return to Zoo staff. Completed applications can be mailed, emailed or faxed to: 

Sunset Zoo
Attn: Behind the Science
2333 Oak Street
Manhattan, KS 66502
email: | fax: 785-587-2730

More About the Portal to the Public

Portal to the Public was launched in 2007 through funding from the National Science Foundation and a collaboration between Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, Albuquerque’s Explora, Lancaster’s North Museum of Natural History, and London’s Institute for Learning Innovation. Their work created an guiding framework that informal education sites - like zoos, aquariums, and science centers - can use to build programs that connect scientists and the public. The Portal has since received two additional grants including one through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, expanding the network to 44 institutions. Sunset Zoo was invited to join the Network in 2015 and completed a year-long mentoring opportunity provided by Portal staff. To learn more, visit the Portal's website