Maunakea and the American Astronomical Society MeetingFebruary 14, 2023
Last month, astronomers from around the country gathered in Seattle for the Winter Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. One of the highlights of the five-day conference was a panel discussion with members of the new Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority (MKSOA). Kaʻiu Kimura, director of the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, moderated the discussion with three of the 11 members of the MKSOA: Rich Matsuda, associate director for external relations at W. M. Keck Observatory; Dr. Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, executive director of the Lālākea Foundation; and John Komeiji, former general counsel and vice president of Kamehameha Schools and chair of the authority.
More than 500 astronomers heard the panelists describe the origin of the Authority and what it hopes to achieve – a Hawaiian solution to the complex set of interest in the unique cultural and astronomical site that is Maunakea. The panelists received a standing ovation. You can read more about it in the Science article below:
Attendees also heard from TMT’s Yuko Kakazu, who gave two talks about TMT’s new approach to educational outreach and community engagement, and Leinani Lozi, who gave a presentation on the Kamaʻāina Connections Program which was founded by Maunakea Observatories to empower Native Hawaiian and kamaʻāina observatory staff. Project Manager Fengchuan Liu also gave a project update as part of the US Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) Open House.
In addition, TMT team members were on hand to share project updates and answer scientific questions as they staffed the TMT booth that was part of the United States Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) exhibit.
TMT International Observatory
The TMT International Observatory LLC (TIO), a non-profit organization, was established in May 2014 to carry out the construction and operation phases of the TMT Project. The Members of TIO are Caltech, the University of California, the National Institutes of Natural Sciences of Japan, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Department of Science and Technology of India, and the National Research Council (Canada); the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a TIO Associate. Major funding has been provided by the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation.
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