March 2016  •  Issue 39


From the NOAO Director:
Announcing the NOAO Strategic Plan

NOAO Strategic Plan: A Forward Look

I am pleased to release the NOAO strategic plan, a forward-looking vision for enabling excellence in optical and infrared (OIR) observational astronomical research by the U.S. community into the 2030s.

For decades, NOAO has been a focal point for excellence by the entire U.S. community, thanks to continuous innovation in capabilities spanning most aspects of ground-based OIR astronomy. Based on this strategic plan, I believe NOAO will remain a focal point of excellence for decades into the future.

This strategic plan is well aligned with our NSF mandated mission, purpose, and competencies. It positions NOAO to enable community-based scientific leadership in a broad range of modern topics in astronomy and astrophysics from the formation of our own Solar System to the interplay of gravity and dark energy over cosmic time.

Activities and initiatives planned into the early 2020s are consistent with projected funding levels. Funding for activities and initiatives planned for the mid-2020s and beyond depends on the outcome of near-term discussions with our federal sponsors and non-federal partners.

This is a high-level plan. More details will be provided within upcoming NOAO annual and five-year plans.

I look forward with excitement and enthusiasm to working with all our stakeholders, especially the community-based scientists we support, to bring this vision to fruition.

Forward NOAO!

David Richard Silva
National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Download the NOAO Strategic Plan

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Currents is a sparkplug for communication between NOAO and our community. It provides updates—and solicits community input—on NOAO observing opportunities and NOAO programs and policies on a more rapid timescale than is possible with the NOAO Newsletter.

NOAO is the national center for ground-based nighttime astronomy in the United States and is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

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