Sidney C. Wolff
In the last Newsletter, I described some of the new directions of the NOAO program. New directions mean new priorities and new assignments for the staff.
At its recent meeting in Chile, the AURA Observatories Council approved the appointment of Robert Schommer as the Associate Director of NOAO for Gemini. This is the position formerly held by Todd Boroson, who had the title of US Gemini Project Scientist. Caty Pilachowski will serve as Bob's deputy in Tucson. These changes are being made with the goal of providing the support that will be required by the US users of the Gemini facilities. NOAO staff will be the first point of contact for US observers who want to know how to apply for and use the Gemini instruments and telescopes. Bob and Caty are now working out the strategies for organizing and providing the necessary information to the community and for training the NOAO supporting staff. Bob will remain in Chile, where he will have direct access to Gemini South and can become thoroughly familiar with operational issues. Scientific support will be reassigned from the existing KPNO and CTIO staffs.
Taft Armandroff has accepted the position of, in Gemini terminology, US Gemini Project Manager. In US terms, he might better be described as US Gemini Instrument Scientist. In this capacity, he will be responsible for working with Bob and with the US community to provide input into the strategic planning for Gemini instruments and other development activities. He will also monitor, with the assistance of Mark Trueblood, the progress of all the Gemini instrument projects being carried out in the US, both at NOAO and within the community.
Todd Boroson will continue to serve as Deputy Director of NOAO and will also take on responsibility for overseeing the software efforts in data acquisition, reduction, archiving, and mining. We expect this area to be one that offers major opportunities and challenges over the next decade. Todd will also work with the teams currently conducting surveys with NOAO telescopes to make sure that the data are archived and made available to the community in a timely manner.