Observing Maya

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Advised students on short field projects and graded written assignments and exams. Designed and taught discussion sections; graded quizzes, lab activities, and projects.

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Maya astronomer-priests looked to the heavens for guidance. They used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the. Maya astronomy was naked-eye astronomy based on the observations of the azimuths of the rising and.

Taught discussion sections group activities on primary literature. Graded short answer exams and other course material. Teaching Assistant. University of California, Davis. Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Laboratory. Assisted students with animal dissections, exam preparation, and lab material. Student Mentorship My experiences in teaching have shown me that it is imperative for academic scientists to connect students to active research.

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Zandria Acosta. Current undergraduate student at the University of the Virgin Islands. Computer science major working on object recognition software for coral reef exploration.

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Matt Suiter. Master's Student. Bioinspriation and Design Lab. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

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Conducted independent research in preparation for publication on sea urchin feeding morphology. Co-authored one publication and will be on 2 more publications in preparation. Marina McCowin. She will be a co-author on 2 publications in preparation. Grace Chan. Undergraduate Volunteer. She will be a co-author on one publication in preparation. Annam Raza.

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Sometimes they are seated, surrounded by a sky-band which gives the ruler a halo of celestial authority. Rulers also liked to associate themselves with auspicious gods of the sky such as the Sun God, and Maya rulers and priests in real life often "clothed themselves with the heavens" by dressing in the pelt of the jaguar, whose spots were taken to represent the stars. The Maya believed that the gods guided the Sun and Moon across the sky.

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Even in the darkness of night, the Maya believed that the Sun and Moon continued to journey through the Underworld, threatened all the way by evil gods who wanted to stop their progress. For this reason, the Maya believed that the heavenly bodies needed human help, which was provided through sacred rituals such as self-mutilation, torture, and human sacrifice. To the Maya, offering this help was simply the price to be paid for the continued survival of the universe.

Death from such rituals was a privilege, and conferred immortality on those who died, or who offered themselves as victims. The repeating cycles of creation and destruction as described in Maya mythology were a reminder of the consequences if humans neglected their obligations to the gods. Humans had an inherent responsibility to the gods who made humanity's continued existence possible.

According to the Maya sacred calendar, each year period signalled the renewed possibility of the destruction of the world.

Maya calendar cycle celebrated throughout Central America (PHOTOS)

This was seen as a frightening time when the gods and other forces of creation and chaos would do battle in the world of mortals, determining the fate of all earthly creatures. The planet Venus was particularly significant to the Maya; the important god Quetzalcoatl, for example, is identified with Venus. The Dresden Codex , one of four surviving Maya chronicles, contains an extensive tabulation of the appearances of Venus, and was used to predict the future.

The Maya also went to war by the sky, again triggered by the planet Venus. Venus war regalia is seen on stelae and other carvings, and raids and captures were timed by appearances of Venus, particularly as an evening "star".

Warfare related to the movements of Venus was, in fact, well established throughout Mesoamerica. Maya calendars, mythology and astrology were integrated into a single system of belief. When the Sun is on the east side of the meridian, it is a. To return to the Sun in Time home page, click here. Please direct comments, questions, and suggestions to: Mitzi Adams mitzi dot adams msfc dot nasa dot gov Last Updated: April 23, Pictured here, is the logo for the Sun in Time program.

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The Aztec calendar incorporates a mythological and calendrical system derived from earlier Mesoamerican cultures, including the Maya.