GNIRS Key Science Opportunity in Semester 2005B
Taft Armandroff, Jeremy Mould & Steve Strom
Since semester 2004B, the Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) has been in use for community science programs. NOAO seeks to enable the US community to further exploit the powerful capabilities of GNIRS for major scientific initiatives.
As announced in previous issues of the NOAO-NSO Newsletter, NOAO is conducting a program to enable observations with high scientific potential that require significant blocks of time with GNIRS on Gemini South (15 to 20 nights over the first two to three years of GNIRS use). Proposers must agree to make all Gemini data and ancillary information available publicly following a minimal proprietary period (less than six months). Please submit such proposals using the normal NOAO Time Allocation Committee (TAC) process, but indicate in the Abstract that your proposal is to be considered for the “GNIRS Key Science Opportunity.” The TAC will evaluate the scientific merit of these proposals. In addition, because discretionary time from the NOAO Director will be used for this program, the Director will employ the following criteria in evaluating proposals:
- Intrinsic scientific merit as evaluated by the TAC
- Breadth and quality of the scientific team and its demonstrated track record
- Enhancement of undergraduate education through involvement in research
- Potential value of the archival database to other users
- Plans to manage data reduction and archiving, and deliver data products, in a timely fashion. We recommend that you address the last three bullets explicitly in your proposal.
During the proposal review process for semester 2004B, NOAO selected the first program for GNIRS Key Science, “A NearInfrared Kinematic Survey of Nearby Galaxies: Black Holes, Bulges, and the Fundamental Plane,” by Karl Gebhardt (University of Texas) and colleagues. This program was continued in semester 2005A. In addition, a second program of GNIRS Key Science, “A GNIRS Survey of Massive Galaxies at z~2.5: Stellar Populations, Kinematics, and Scaling Relations in the Young Universe,” by Pieter Van Dokkum (Yale University) and colleagues was initiated. We wish these teams great success with their GNIRS programs, and we look forward to ambitious GNIRS Key Science submissions for semester 2005B.