AURA and NSF’s NOIRLab Acknowledge Hawai‘i House Bill 2024
NOIRLab stands committed to working with new Maunakea Authority
30 June 2022
The International Gemini Observatory, a program of the National Science Foundation's (NSF’s) NOIRLab, which operates the Gemini North telescope on Maunakea, and its management agency the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), wish to acknowledge the Hawai‘i State Legislature for their hard work and diligence in shepherding through House Bill 2024 CD1 which will become law in the next several days. This legislation establishes a new Authority to manage the summit and surrounding areas on Maunakea. Responsible management of the environmental and cultural resources of Maunakea, as well as the meaningful involvement of the Hawaiian community, is of critical importance and we stand committed to working with the new Authority.
To support the ongoing and future conversations about the Maunakea management structure, a set of principles for the future management of astronomical facilities were endorsed by the AURA Board in April 2022 and can be found here.
Additionally, we would like to express our appreciation to the University of Hawaii and staff for their management of the astronomy precinct and surrounding areas which have allowed Gemini to support world-class astronomical research by the international Gemini partnership.
NSF’s NOIRLab(National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory), the US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, operates the International Gemini Observatory(a facility of NSF, NRC–Canada, ANID–Chile, MCTIC–Brazil, MINCyT–Argentina, and KASI–Republic of Korea), Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC), and Vera C. Rubin Observatory(operated in cooperation with the Department of Energy’s SLACNational Accelerator Laboratory). It is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with NSF and is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. The astronomical community is honored to have the opportunity to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak) in Arizona, on Maunakea in Hawai‘i, and on Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón in Chile. We recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that these sites have to the Tohono O'odham Nation, to the Native Hawaiian community, and to the local communities in Chile, respectively.
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