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From the NSO Director's Office (1Mar96) (from NSO, NOAO Newsletter No. 45, March 1996) Jack Zirker, Astronomer Emeritus Jack B. Zirker donned the robes of astronomer emeritus on 1 January 1996. In addition to his prominent scientific career, Jack played a pivotal role in the evolution of the solar facilities on Sacramento Peak and in the formation of the National Solar Observatory. Jack first came to Sunspot in 1954 as a summer student. He received his PhD from Harvard in 1956 for investigations in collaboration with R.N. Thomas and R.G. Athay on the temperature structure of the chromosphere and lower corona derived from non-LTE analysis. During the years 1956-1964 at Sacramento Peak, Jack's work included elucidating the properties of photospheric filigree, a fine-scale magnetic structure discovered by R.B. Dunn. Between 1964 and 1976, Zirker was a professor at the University of Hawaii and participated in the development of Mauna Kea as an observing site. Jack returned to Sunspot in 1976 to assume the directorship of the Sacramento Peak Observatory, which had just been transferred from the US Air Force to the National Science Foundation. His leadership was strongly felt during those years of transition and re-orientation. In the early 1980s, Jack was instrumental in the formation of the National Solar Observatory as a consolidation of SPO with the solar section of the Kitt Peak National Observatory and, shortly thereafter, as a division of NOAO. Jack Zirker's broad scientific interests are reflected in over a hundred scientific papers and several books, including a well-known monograph on solar eclipses and a recently-completed biography of Robert Dicke. His research has included mechanisms of coronal heating, the physics of prominences and their fine structure, flare mechanisms and energy distribution, and the use of non-redundant arrays for high-resolution imaging. We'll miss Jack's energetic leadership within NSO, but we look forward to the continuing opportunity to benefit from his scientific insight and enthusiasm. Other Transitions John Varsik joined NSO on 1 October 1995 as a Research Associate at Sacramento Peak. John's mini-bio is included below in the "Who's Who among the NSO Postdocs." Trudy Tilleman has executed a nimble lateral move within NSO. Following the conclusion of her observing responsibilities for the synoptic solar-stellar program at the McMath-Pierce Telescope, Trudy signed on as an observer at the Orbital Debris Observatory in Cloudcroft, which NSO/SP is operating for NASA. Senior engineer Glenn Spence has renewed his association with NSO/SP on a part-time basis. In a sign of the times, computer specialist Neil Jones is working part-time on some of the NSO Web pages completely over the network from his base at Caltech. Nonprogrammatic Observing at NSO Telescopes The McMath-Pierce solar-stellar program closed as of 1 January 1996 and is no longer part of the overall NSO program. Some members of the solar-stellar community have asked whether limited observing opportunities can still be made available. The answer is that, as with other nonprogrammatic observing, application may be made to the NSO Telescope Allocation Committees. However, because nonprogrammatic observations have no NSO operators, technical support, or money normally assigned to them, the TAC will only consider proposals that identify an extraordinary scientific opportunity that can only be exploited at an NSO telescope. Lodging and Meals on Kitt Peak Please note that the price of lodging and meals on Kitt Peak has been increased (the last increase was in 1992). Details are given in the KPNO section of this Newsletter. Doug Rabin, Acting Director
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