What are the exciting science opportunities of the 2020s?
What challenges do we need to meet to accomplish the science?
How can NOAO help make it happen?

NOAO welcomes your input on the exciting scientific opportunities of the coming decade in areas in which NOAO can play a role in providing critical resources and/or areas that offer opportunities to strengthen the US ground-based OIR system.

Join us at a community workshop 20-21 February 2018 in Tucson to discuss community needs and to work toward an integrated development program that NOAO will present to the Decadal Survey committee. Input received online through the NOAO Decadal Planning website will inform the workshop discussion.

Scope: We welcome a broad range of science ideas that motivate the need for resources such as:

  • Large science programs that use existing facilities at KPNO, CTIO, Gemini Observatory, and LSST
  • Community access to observing time on non-NOAO facilities
  • Community access to archival datasets not currently in the public domain
  • Resources for the exploration and analysis of large datasets and the time domain
  • New investigations and instrumentation at the mid-scale level ($2M-$100M)
  • New observing facilities
  • Other

The scientific opportunities may build on the science and resources described in the recent studies “Optimizing the US Ground-based OIR Astronomy System” (the Elmegreen report) and the report from the Kavli Futures Symposium “Maximizing Science in the Era of LSST: A Community-based Study of Needed OIR Capabilities”, but they are by no means restricted to these. Concepts may include NOAO as a major or minor partner with universities and/or other federal agencies. An updated “Dear Colleague” letter provides additional details on the planning process.

Format: The workshop will feature plenary talks on major science themes and break out discussions centered on resource themes (facilities, software, archives) aimed at identifying important science and technical directions for the coming decade.

Registration is now closed. There is no registration fee for the meeting.

About the Venue

The workshop will be held at the Tucson University Park Hotel (formerly Marriott University Park). Make reservations by following this link to receive the workshop rates. Hotel reservation deadline is January 31, 2018.

More about the hotel:

Tucson University Park Hotel logoExperience the best Tucson, Arizona has to offer at the Tucson University Park Hotel. Our hotel is adjacent to the beautiful campus of the University of Arizona in the heart of Tucson, which makes us an ideal choice for visitors touring the University or attending athletic events.

Our hotel’s spacious, tastefully appointed guest rooms offer top-quality amenities and comfort whether you are traveling to Tucson, Arizona for leisure or business. Deluxe hotel amenities include a full fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a selection of exceptional restaurants and bars.


Driving directions to the Tucson University Park from the Tucson International Airport.

Local information

Register for the Workshop

Registration is now closed.

Workshop Agenda

NOAO Community Needs for Science in the 2020s
Tucson, AZ, 20-21 February 2018

Download a PDF version of the Schedule.

February 20: Science!

Video Stream of Morning Session
8:30 Welcome (David Silva, NOAO)
8:35 Introduction: Workshop Goals and Deliverables [7.8 MB PDF] (Joan Najita, NOAO)
Science Overview Talks (Bob Blum, chair) (15 min + 5 min)
8:50 Science with LSST [26.9 MB PDF] (Keith Bechtol, LSST)
9:10 JWST Science in the 2020s [42.3 MB PDF] (Jen Lotz, STScI)
9:30 Exoplanet Science in the 2020s [3.6 MB PDF] (Courtney Dressing, UCB)
9:50 High Angular Resolution Universe [6.4 MB PDF] (Gail Schaefer, CHARA)
10:10-10:30 BREAK
10:30 Era of Bright (Star) Astronomy [2.5 MB PDF] (Jim Fuller, Caltech)
10:50 Galaxy Evolution and Stellar Pops [9.4 MB PDF] (David Nidever, MSU/NOAO)
11:10 Time Domain and Near-field Cosmology in 2020s [35.5 MB PDF] (David Sand, UA)
11:30 SDSS-V: Pioneering Panoptic Spectroscopy [7.4 MB PDF] (Juna Kollmeier, Carnegie)
11:50-1:00 LUNCH @ venue
1:00 Science with GSMTs [1.2 MB PDF] (Megan Donahue, MSU)
1:20 Maximizing Science Return from Large Surveys [1.3 MB PDF] (Chad Schafer, CMU)
1:40 Solar System Science in the Next Decade [976 KB PDF] (Henry Hsieh, PSI)
Breakout Sessions on Science Themes:
  • Broader discussion, identify common issues and resource needs
  • Assemble resource wish list for NOAO
2:00-3:15 Bright Universe (Michelle Creech-Eakman + Ken Hinkle + Jayadev Rajagopal, chairs)
Faint Universe (Christy Tremonti + Mark Dickinson, chairs)
3:15-3:30 BREAK
3:30-5:00 Science with Large Samples [132 KB PDF] (Melissa Graham + Knut Olsen, chairs)
Time Domain Science (David Ciardi + Tom Matheson, chairs)

February 21: Implementation!

Plenary (Letizia Stanghellini, chair)
Video Stream of Morning Session [NOTE: there are some sound problems]
8:30 Overview of today’s activities (Joan Najita, NOAO)
Wish Lists from Breakout Groups (10 min + 5 min)
8:40 Bright Universe [3.5 MB PDF] (Michelle Creech-Eakman + Ken Hinkle + Jayadev Rajagopal)
8:55 Faint Universe [80 KB PDF] (Christy Tremonti + Mark Dickinson)
9:10 Science with Large Samples [132 KB PDF] (Melissa Graham + Knut Olsen)
9:25 Time Domain Science [12.5 MB PDF] (David Ciardi + Tom Matheson)
9:40 TBD Breakout
Current Implementation Plans and Possibilities (12 min + 3 min)
9:55 Gemini Observatory plans [3.2 MB PDF] (Bryan Miller, Gemini)
10:10-10:30 BREAK
10:30 KPNO/CTIO + Time Domain Follow up [1.4 MB PDF] (Lori Allen, NOAO)
10:45 NOAO Data Group [14.7 MB PDF] (Adam Bolton, NOAO)
11:00 Wide-aperture Exoplanet Telescope [16.7 MB PDF] (Ben Monreal, Case Western)
11:15 Wide-field Spectroscopy Concepts [3.7 MB PDF] (Jeff Newman, U. Pitt)
11:30 GSMTs [16.9 MB PDF] (Mark Dickinson, NOAO)
Noon-1:00 LUNCH @ venue
Noon-2:30 Breakout Sessions: Capabilities in Need of Development
Video Stream of Afternoon Session [NOTE: there are some sound problems]
GSMTs (Jen Lotz + Bob Blum, chairs)
Wide-field Spectroscopy (Christy Tremonti + Arjun Dey, chairs)
High Angular Resolution Science
Plenary: Reports of Breakout Groups + NOAO Response
2:30-3:30 Reports: GSMTs, Wide-field Spectroscopy
3:30 Response from NOAO Director (David Silva, NOAO)
3:45-4:30 Breakout Sessions:
Write reports on needed capabilities and recommendations to NOAO and/or sketch out community-led white papers
4:30 Adjourn

Workshop Participants (72)

The following people have registered to attend Decadal Survey Workshop: NOAO Community Needs for Science in the 2020s on February 20-21, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona.

  • Tim Abbott (CTIO/NOAO)
  • Andy Adamson (Gemini Observatory)
  • Lori Allen (NOAO)
  • Keith Bechtol (LSST)
  • Robert Blum (NOAO)
  • Adam Bolton (NOAO)
  • Todd Boroson (Las Cumbres Observatory)
  • Cesar Briceno (NOAO/CTIO)
  • Sean Brittain (Clemson University)
  • Mark Brodwin (UMKC)
  • Jeff Carlin (LSST)
  • Yumi Choi (University of Arizona/Montana State University)
  • David Ciardi (Caltech/IPAC-NExScI)
  • Will Clarkson (University of Michigan-Dearborn)
  • Philip Cowperthwaite (Harvard University)
  • Michelle Creech-Eakman (New Mexico Tech/MRO Interferometer)
  • Christopher Davis (NSF)
  • Ian Dell'antonio (Brown University)
  • Arjun Dey (NOAO)
  • Mark Dickinson (NOAO)
  • Megan Donahue (Michigan State University)
  • Courtney Dressing (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Gregory Dubois-Felsmann (Caltech/IPAC-LSST)
  • Christophe Dumas (TMT)
  • Michelle Edwards (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory)
  • Jonathan Elias (SOAR)
  • Jim Fuller (Caltech)
  • Douglas Gies (Georgia State University)
  • Melissa Graham (LSST/UW)
  • Raja GuhaThakurta (University of California Santa Cruz)
  • Pat Hall (York University)
  • Steve Heathcote (CTIO/NOAO)
  • Kenneth Hinkle (NOAO)
  • Henry Hsieh (Planetary Science Institute)
  • George Jacoby (Lowell Observatory)
  • Buell Jannuzi (University of Arizona)
  • Juna Kollmeier (Carnegie Observatories)
  • Shri Kulkarni (Caltech)
  • Chien-Hsiu Lee (Subaru Telescope, NAOJ)
  • Jennifer Lotz (STScI)
  • Thomas Matheson (NOAO)
  • Patrick McCarthy (Carnegie Institution and GMTO)
  • Ginny McSwain (Lehigh University)
  • Bryan Miller (Gemini Observatory)
  • Benjamin Monreal (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Joan Najita (NOAO)
  • Jeffrey Newman (University of Pittsburgh)
  • David Nidever (MSU/NOAO)
  • Dara Norman (NOAO)
  • Knut Olsen (NOAO)
  • Angel Otarola (TMT International Observatory)
  • Tae-Soo Pyo (Subaru Telescope/NAOJ)
  • Jayadev Rajagopl (NOAO)
  • Travis Rector (University of Alaska)
  • Stephen Ridgway (NOAO)
  • Susan Ridgway (NOAO)
  • David Sand (University of Arizona)
  • Gail Schaefer (Georgia State University)
  • Chad Schafer (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • David Schlegel (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)
  • Yue Shen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • David Silva (AURA/NOAO)
  • Warren Skidmore (Thirty Meter Telescope)
  • Marcelle Soares-Santos (Brandeis University)
  • Letizia Stanghellini (NOAO)
  • Theo ten Brummelaar (CHARA - Georgia State University)
  • Gelys Trancho (TMT)
  • Christy Tremonti (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Gerard van Belle (Lowell Observatory)
  • Christian Veillet (Large Binoculat Telescope Observatory)
  • Alistair Walker (NOAO/CTIO)
  • Benjamin Williams (University of Washington)