Astronomer Community Engagement (ACE) Program

Directors at Caltech Optical Observatories (COO), University of California Observatories (UCO), and the W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) have identified an acute need for astronomers from the mainland to meet WMKO staff and members of the Hawaiʻi community, to further bilateral understanding of the issues at stake surrounding observatories on Maunakea. Further there is critical need for astronomers to demonstrate a willingness to give back to and foster a reciprocal relationship with members of the Hawaiʻi community.

Therefore, the COO, UCO, and WMKO Directors are jointly initiating a pilot Astronomer Community Engagement (ACE) program to encourage observers from our constituencies to travel to Hawaiʻi, observe at WMKO headquarters, meet and perhaps give informal talks to WMKO staff about science and their scientific program, and most importantly participate in Hawaiʻi community engagement activities. This program will provide travel support for one observer for the period of their observations in addition to two extra days to provide time for these additional activities. Program participants will spend at least one full day devoted to community engagement programs while at WMKO.

Proposers should indicate in the proposal template (section 3.5) their willingness to participate in the ACE program. Based on the response, and the observation scheduling, COO will coordinate with WMKO to accommodate approximately six observers per year, three per semester, for ACE participation from within the Caltech constituency. UCO will do likewise from among the UC constituency. Expressions of ACE interest will not impact TAC grades or time allocations.

1. Program Eligibility and Requirements

  • The participant must be affiliated with Caltech at the time of the observing run, and designated as a representative of the observing team by the program Principal Investigator.
  • The observing must be in support of a Caltech project; that is, in observing time allocated by the COO Director.
  • Participating individuals (no more than three selected per semester) will be selected by the COO Director and notified of the selection as a part of the standard program notification process.
  • Support will be provided for only one selected participant/trip per observing program and semester.
  • Participants shall commit a minimum of one working day to support program community engagement objectives working in coordination/conjunction with a designated WMKO ACE program coordinator.

2. Travel Support

Supported travel elements are limited to:

  • Standard round trip airfare LAX to Hawaiʻi
  • Lodging at WMKO Visiting Scientist Quarters (for supported duration)
  • Rental car (for licensed drivers and supported duration)
  • Per diem allowance (for supported duration)

Support Duration: participant travel expenses shall be supported for the associated contiguous observing run duration plus three (3) days up to a maximum of seven (7) total days. Personal travel may be combined with program participation, but will not be reimbursed by COO.

3. Participation Requests

Requests to participate in the ACE program are submitted as a part of the general proposal solicitation cycle for Caltech Keck time (see proposal template section 3.5).

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ACE Program / v 0.0-dev
Last updated: 02 September 2023 CM/AFB/ACM