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TMT Contested Case Deadlines Set

Presiding Officer Issues Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Deadlines

In an order (Minute Order No. 43) issued today, contested case hearing officer Judge Riki May Amano (ret.) notified the parties of upcoming filing deadlines in the Contested Case Hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) at the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. During the evidentiary portion of the Contested Case Hearing, spread over five months in late 2016 and early 2017, twenty-five parties to the case presented testimony and evidence.

Today’s order sets May 30, 2017 as the deadline for the parties to submit proposed findings of facts and conclusions of law.  Responses to these proposals are due by June 13, 2017.  Each response shall identify by Document Number the specific decision and order, findings of fact and conclusions of law to which it responds.

Minute Order No. 43 and all other minute orders and documents related to the TMT Contested Case can be viewed at: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/mk/documents-library/.

Complete transcripts from the TMT Contested Case Hearing were made available yesterday at Hilo Public Library, Kailua Kona Public Library, Thelma Parker Memorial Library, and Edward H. Mookini Library on Hawaii island, and at the Hawaii State Public Library on Oahu.

Judge Amano will consider all filings and submit her proposed recommendation.  The matter will then go back to the State Board of Land and Natural Resources for argument, review and final decision.

TMT Hosts International Workshop For Future Science and Technology Leaders in Hilo

Astronomy and engineering graduate students from the TMT international partnership countries are gathering in Hilo for a future leaders workshop this week through Wednesday, December 7. The scientific/technical workshop with an emphasis on international collaboration focuses on project management and other professional skills with the intention of training TMT’s future leaders.

The Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators has been training graduate students and postdocs, and has partnered with telescopes for more than 15 years. ISEE is located at the University of California Santa Cruz, which is the headquarters of UC Observatories and the center for the University of California’s participation in the TMT. ISSE is developing a new program for TMT, which will be designed to engage the full international partnership of TMT science and technology development.

The Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators has been training graduate students and postdocs, and has partnered with telescopes for more than 15 years. ISEE is located at the University of California Santa Cruz, which is the headquarters of UC Observatories and the center for the University of California’s participation in the TMT. ISSE is developing a new program for TMT, which will be designed to engage the full international partnership of TMT science and technology development.

“TMT is hosting 40 graduate and post doctorate students from Hawaii, Japan, China, India, Canada, University of California and Caltech to help them gain valuable technical and project management skills while collaborating with TMT staff and Mauna Kea Observatory partners. This workshop is serving as a pilot for future sessions for the TMT international training program. What better place than on Hawaii Island, in Hilo and on what many call the best site in the world to view the heavens,” said Sandra Dawson, TMT’s Hawaii Community Affairs Manager.

Participants in the workshop are gaining knowledge about opportunities for future involvement with TMT, project management skills, leadership and teamwork experience through hands-on training activities and an opportunity to help design a potential future TMT international program.

Workshop activities include a Mauna Kea summit tour, visits and interaction with scientists and engineers from Subaru Telescope, Gemini Observatory, W. M. Keck Observatory and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Participants are working with TMT staff members focusing on project management, systems engineering, science instruments, software development, safety compliance and invasive species controls.

The graduate students are also learning the history of astronomy in Hawaii, and particularly on the summit of Mauna Kea, and an overview of the cultural significance of Mauna Kea.

Participating students are from Caltech, University of California Davis, University of California Santa Cruz, University of California Los Angeles, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, University of Science and Technology of China, Dunlap Institute University of Toronto,  NRC-Herzberg, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, University of Tokyo, University of British Columbia, University of California Riverside, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan /Sokendai, University of Victoria, University of California Irvine, National Tsing Hua University, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Tohoku University and the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.

The workshop is funded by the Thirty Meter Telescope and led by the Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educators (ISEE) at UC Santa Cruz.

For more information contact Austin Barnes at isee.austinbarnes@gmail.com or visit the website at http://isee-telescope-workforce.org.

TMT Site Preparations Beginning

While workers associated with the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island begin maintenance and repair activities, hunting and other recreational activities and research also continue on the mountain.

Suzanne Case, Chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources said, “Mauna Kea is very much a multiple-use area for a wide array of cultural, recreational and research activities. Our goal is to ensure that people on the mountain conduct themselves responsibly and with respect for other users. As local workers prepare to begin work at the TMT site, we want to remind people of other simultaneous activities that may be occurring on the mountain.”

TMT laser

November 16-17, 2015 and again December 14-15, 2015 the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybirds, as well as staff hunting and/or aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats, sheep, mouflon and mouflon/sheep hybrids.  These activities will occur within critical palila habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K) and the Ka’ohe Game Management Area (Unit G). Aerial shooting is required by federal court order to improve and maintain critical habitat for the palila, a bird endemic to Hawaii.  Please see this link for the news release announcing these animal control activities: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2015/09/28/nr15-149/

Also the 2015-2016 game bird hunting season began on November 7, 2015 and continues through Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 on private and public lands.  This includes multiple game management units, forest reserves and other public lands on Mauna Kea.  For specific information on game bird hunting rules and specific hunting areas please refer to this news release: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dofaw/announcements/nr15-160f/.

Case added, “We want everyone conducting customary and traditional practices, enjoying recreational activities, or exercising their free speech rights on Mauna Kea to understand that they are sharing the mountain with many others and we want an atmosphere where kama’aina and visitors can all enjoy their activities, safely.

7 Arrested 6 Cited on Restricted Area of Mauna Kea

Early Friday morning, July 31, 2015, officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement arrested seven men, camping in the restricted area on Maunakea on Hawaii Island. The Hawaii County Police Department provided transportation support and booking and rangers from the Office of Mauna Kea Management provided logistical support. An additional six men were issued citations and voluntarily left the mountain.

Mauna Kea from Mauna Loa

Mauna Kea from Mauna Loa

Under the emergency rule approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and signed by Governor David Ige, it is illegal to be in the restricted area along Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road from 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. The arrests and citations follow more than a week of awareness efforts to ensure people knew the particulars of the emergency rule. These efforts included the placement of signage around the Mauna Kea Visitors Center and the handing out of educational flyers which detail the specific provisions of the rule. Additional law enforcement efforts can continue at any time while the rule is in effect. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Our DOCARE officers have done an outstanding job of informing people about the emergency rule. I’m proud of the professionalism they demonstrated, both in making people aware of the rule and in enforcing it.”

Arrested for prohibited activities (Hawaii Administrative Rules section 13-123-21.2(d) as amended:
Eric Ana, 35, Oahu ($250 bail)
Joseph Henderson, 26, Pahoa ($250 bail)
Laakeaokani Sanborn, 32, Kona ($250 bail)
D’Angelo Montez McIntyre, 29, Oahu ($250 bail)
Marcus Yoshizu, 26, Oahu ($250 bail)
Bronson Kobayashi, 23, Kona ($400 bail, additional for failure to appear)
Pueo McGuire Turcotte, 27, Naalehu ($3100 bail, additional for resisting arrest and contempt of court)

Citations for prohibited activities:
Michael Kyser
Lakea Trask
Sam Whatley-Keliihoomalu
Justin Murphy
Caleb Murphy
Kapono Kuikahi

Commentary – Poor Job Handling TMT Protestors

Governor Ige’s administration, and to a lesser extent, the County of Hawaii, are doing a poor job handling the ongoing Thirty Meter Telescope protests on Mauna Kea. The governor’s proposed changes to the stewardship of Mauna Kea offended both the protesters and the individuals who’ve helped preserve this sensitive area.

TMT laserThe protesters  were mainly unhappy the governor reaffirmed the TMT’s legal right to begin construction, but there were other aspects of the revised stewardship plan the protesters were not pleased about. They were also unhappy the removal of ¼ of all the existing telescopes and imposing access restrictions to the summit area, among other issues

The governor’s stewardship changes also offended the individuals who’ve helped preserve Mauna Kea. It was  like a slap to the face when the governor stated the University of Hawaii and Department of Land and Natural Resources have been poor stewards of  Mauna Kea. There were issues with the stewardship of Mauna Kea in the past. However, there has been immeasurable improvements over the past 15 years. The execution of the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan in 2010 was one of the highlights of these recent improvements.

Governor Ige’s administration also dropped the ball as far as dealing with these ongoing Thirty Meter Telescope protests. His administration has allowed these protesters to illegally encamp at Hale Pohaku for the past three months and obstruct access to the summit area. Yes, these protesters have a constitutionally protected right to protest, but they shouldn’t break the law in the process.

The elephant the room is the ongoing Hawaii sovereignty debate. The latter has Trojan horsed itself into the current debate over the Thirty Meter Telescope. The State and County of Hawaii are playing softball with these groups as a result. For example, the Hawaii County prosecutor is considering dropping criminal trespass charges against the first wave of 21 protesters in lieu of initiating  ho’oponopono with these individuals. This will entail holding discussions with the governor, the University of Hawaii, Thirty Meter Telescope, DLNR, etc.

The Thirty Meter Telescope has undergone a seven year public vetting process. These individuals had  ample opportunity express their concerns about this project during this time. In short, this is simply another stalling tactic that is being employed by the opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

As it stands now, the Thirty Meter Telescope has the legal right to initiate construction until the appellate courts say otherwise. I hope Governor Ige gets a backbone and  stops pandering to the interests of these protesters.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

TMT Cuts Short First Day of Construction Restart For Safety Reasons

Statement from Henry Yang, Chair of the TMT International Observatory Board:

TMT laser

“This is a difficult day for Hawaii and TMT. As we attempted to begin our work today, we were met by protests that regrettably resulted in some arrests. Boulders blocked our access to the construction site and the Department of Land and Natural Resources deemed it unsafe for us to proceed. For the safety of our team, we made the decision to bring them off the mountain and we are planning to resume when the issue is resolved.

“We want to thank the state and county police officers for protecting the safety of our team and the protesters and extend our gratitude to them, as well as to all of our supporters in Hawaii.

“We want to acknowledge and reach out to those who disagree with our project. We respect their views and, looking toward the future, we hope we can work together to find common ground.”

Commentary – TMT Has Bent Over Backwards to Address Concerns

I’ve followed the Thirty Meter Telescope public vetting process over the past seven years. The unprecedented public protests against this project caused me to write this commentary.

The public had equal opportunity to give comments about this telescope project. It underwent an extended contested case hearing process before the Board of Land and Natural Resources granted the conservation district use permit in 2013. In addition, Governor Lingle accepted the FEIS in 2010. There was a 60 day window to contest the FEIS after acceptance. No one stepped forward to do this during that window.

The hearing officer determined the Thirty Meter Telescope met all eight criteria to develop their project in the conservation district.

Click to view

Click to view

In addition, he noted the Hawaii Administrative Rules #13-5-24c permits the construction of astronomy facilities in the conservation district, as long there is a management plan in place.

In short, the Thirty Meter Telescope Corporation has bent over backwards to address all concerns about their project over the last seven years.

This is why it would be huge mistake to revoke their vested permits after they’ve been granted. The TMT relied on these permits to start construction on their telescope.

The possible revocation of their legally obtained permits would bring up eerie parallels to the Hokuli’a project in South Kona. Judge Ibarra invalidated their permits after four years of construction and after Oceanside spent 350 million dollars on their project. However, the big difference between these two project is the fact TMT followed the law when obtaining their entitlements, Oceanside (Hokuli’a) did not.

Judge Ibarra placed an injunction on Hokulia project for 2.5 years until a settlement agreement allowed construction to resume in 2006. I foresee a similar scenario happening with the TMT project. The Mauna Kea stakeholders need to reach a global settlement that would allow construction to resume on this telescope.

The Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan contains an excellent framework to get this process started. For example, the TMT will be last new telescope on Mauna Kea. All new telescope projects after the TMT will recycle existing sites.

However, I believe any global settlement needs to go further.

The University Hawaii and the other owners of the Mauna Kea telescopes should reevaluate the telescope decommissioning plan for the science reserve area. The Hawaii Tribune Herald reported the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, James Maxwell Clerk Telescope and Very Low Baseline Array are facing possible decommissioning before the Mauna Kea science reserve master lease expires in 2033.

This is on top of the scheduled decommissioning of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory slated to begin 2016.

The University of Hawaii also needs to indefinitely delay any attempts to extend the master lease for the science reserve area. The current lease expires in 2033, which means all telescopes on Mauna Kea face decommissioning between 2025 and 2033.

The university naturally wants the lease extended another 65 years.I believe more discussion between all Mauna Kea stakeholders is necessary before this proposal moves forward. If this doesn’t happen, the University of Hawaii risks turning an ugly situation uglier.

Mauna Kea’s telescopes have contributed 92 million dollars of direct economic impact in Hawaii County per year. This figure cannot be understated. If all the Mauna Kea telescopes were removed, it would be a huge economic hit to this island.

This is another reason why all the Mauna Kea stakeholders need to come to together and discuss a mutually agreeable plan for Mauna Kea’s future. These discussion need to occur in a face to face environment and not through social media. The latter has poisoned all civil discussion regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope project and future of Mauna Kea.

Aaron Stene,
Kailua-Kona

University of Hawaii Board of Regents to Hear More TMT Testimony

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents have scheduled another Special Board Meeting on the TMT issues.
tmt meeting

Many folks who wanted to testify at the last meeting on Thursday April 16th, weren’t able to because of the regents flight plans.
TMT HearingThis next meeting will be held on Sunday April 26th, 2015 at the University of Hawaii Hilo Performing Arts Center (PAC) beginning at 11:30 A.M..

Please see the above notice of the hearing for more specifications on how and where to submit testimony in advance or in person.

What the TMT Will Look Like on Top of Mauna Kea

There have been many reports and computer generated memes about what the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will look like on top of Mauna Kea.

Here is another rendition of what it will look like:

Click to enlarge

Artist rendition of what the TMT will look like on top of Mauna Kea (TMT Located at Bottom left of photo) Click to enlarge

KHON2 News has reported that the University of Hawaii has stated that the TMT will be the last project on Mauna Kea and that other telescopes will be decommissioned.

…The university, which manages observatory activity on the mountain, says this will be the last project for the area.

In the years to come, the university also plans to shut down, or decommission, some of the 13 observatories already on the mountain.

“This is the last new site that will be developed,” said Gunther Hasinger, director of the university’s Institute of Astronomy. “We have made a promise that in the long run, there will be fewer telescopes on the mountain, so we will see some of them go away.”

In the past, all the state got from the telescopes now on Mauna Kea was free access to viewing time. The state collected no money, not even rent.

“But for us, that is not the central point,” said Hasinger. “It is the creation of knowledge.”

That will not be the case with the Thirty Meter Telescope.

According to the lease rent schedule, the project last year cut the first check to the state, $300,000, with most of the money going to help
manage the conservation land where the telescope will sit on Mauna Kea. Some of the money will also go to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The rent will eventually climb to $1 million a year…

More here: http://khon2.com/2015/04/13/uh-says-tmt-will-be-last-project-plans-to-decommission-telescopes/

On Thursday April 16th at 11:30, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents will have ANOTHER meeting to discuss the TMT Project and the public is invited to attend and submit public testimony.

University Board of Regents Holding Special Meeting to Discuss TMT Future – Public Comments Welcome

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents will be having a special board meeting to discuss the future of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. at the University of Hawaii Hilo campus.
Board  Meeting

Thirty Meter Telescope Project Manager Gary Sanders Statement

The time has come to allow TMT access to the public roadway and the TMT project site.
TMT laser
TMT, its contractors and their union employees have been denied access to our project site by a blockaded road. Our access via a public road has been blocked by protestors and we have patiently waited for law enforcement to allow our workers the access to which they are entitled. We sat in our vehicles for eight hours awaiting a peaceful resolution from law enforcement. There was no resolution and our access continues to be denied.

Our permitting and sublease process was a lengthy seven-year public process and agency review.

Our Conservation District Use Permit was upheld in a Contested Case hearing where the Hearings Officer concluded that TMT is consistent with the purpose of the Conservation District and should be granted its permit. The State Board of Land and Natural Resources agreed and issued a CDUP. Third Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura heard the CDUP appeal and ruled in favor of TMT. Subsequently, the Land Board approved TMT’s sublease with the University of Hawaii. Earlier this month, on March 6, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources  issued a Notice to Proceed noting that TMT had met all preconstruction requirements in the CDUP and associated management plan.

A flyer that was distributed recently

A flyer that was distributed recently

We’ve been patient, but the time has come to allow us access to the public roadway and our project site.

Gary Sanders, TMT Project Manager

 

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Begins Construction on Mauna Kea

Following the approval of a sublease on July 25 by the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) announces the beginning of the construction phase on Hawaii Island and around the world throughout the TMT international partnership. Contingent on that decision, the TMT International Observatory (TIO) Board of Directors, the project’s new governing body, recently approved the initial phase of construction, with activities near the summit of Mauna Kea scheduled to start later this year.

TMT with the Laser Guide Star at Night (An artist concept of TMT at night, with the laser guide star system illuminated).

TMT with the Laser Guide Star at Night (An artist concept of TMT at night, with the laser guide star system illuminated).

Kahu Ku Mauna and the Mauna Kea Management Board reviewed, and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents recently approved, the proposed TMT sublease. The final approval from the Board of Land and Natural Resources—the last step in the sublease process—allows TMT to begin on-site construction on Mauna Kea, home to many of the world’s premier observatories.

“It has been an amazing journey for TMT, from idea to shovel-ready project,” said Henry Yang, TIO Board Chair and Chancellor of the University of California Santa Barbara. “We are grateful to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Hawaiian government, its citizens, and our project partners in bringing this important astronomical science effort to fruition. It is also my rewarding experience to work with so many community friends, University of Hawaii colleagues, and officials on both the Big Island and Oahu in this journey.”

The Rise of a New Observatory – Activities Around the World

The TMT project was initiated a decade ago by the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the University of California as the TMT Observatory Corporation. Now, as the TMT International Observatory (TIO)—founded as a nonprofit limited liability company on May 6, 2014 —the project has the official green light to begin constructing a powerful next-generation telescope.

The TIO founding members are Caltech, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan, and the University of California. India, an associate, is expected to become a full member later this year. Canada is also an associate and aiming to join as a full member in 2015.

Initial construction activities in Hawaii will include grading the site in preparation for future building work, enabling a site dedication ceremony in October. TMT is committed to work within a plan for responsible development on Mauna Kea created by the Office of Mauna Kea Management.

“TMT has worked for many years to design an unprecedented telescope, but also to work with the community to incorporate respect for Mauna Kea in our stewardship,” said Gary Sanders, Project Manager for TMT. “It is an honor and a privilege to now begin building our next-generation observatory in so special a place.”

Other work has already been proceeding off-site and will continue now apace.

“Design of the fully articulated main science steering mirror system in the telescope, as well as development of the lasers, laser guide star systems and other high-tech components, is proceeding in China,” said Yan Jun, Director General of the National Astronomical Observatories of China.

“Japan has seen to the production of over 60 mirror blanks made out of special zero-expansion glass that does not alter its shape with temperature changes. The blanks will be highly polished for use in the telescope’s 30-meter diameter primary mirror. The final design of the telescope structure itself is nearing completion,” said Masanori Iye, TMT International Observatory Board Vice Chair and TMT Japan Representative for the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

In Canada, the TMT adaptive optics facility is in final design. Ernie Seaquist, Executive Director of the ACURA, added, “The TMT enclosure design is complete and the enclosure is now ready for construction by a Canadian industrial firm.”

“Prototyping of TMT’s primary mirror assemblies and the building of mirror actuators, edge sensors, and support systems is ongoing in India,” noted Eswar Reddy, Program Director of the India TMT Coordination Centre.

Three “first-light” instruments are also under development with major contributions from all of the TMT partners.

The Path to Construction

The announcement of an imminent start to on-site work, where all of these initial developments will come together, is welcome news to scientists worldwide.

“The start of construction means that TMT is becoming real, and that’s exciting news for astronomers,” said Catherine Pilachowski, an astronomer at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., and an observer representing the United States astronomical community at TMT board meetings. “The science TMT will do is breathtaking, and will engage all astronomers in the adventure of new frontiers.”

The advancement of TMT to this stage of imminent on-site construction has been made possible by the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The foundation has spent $141 million to date to fund the design, development, and construction phases of TMT.

“I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and all of our partners and supporters,” said Edward Stone, the Morrisroe Professor of Physics at Caltech and the new Executive Director of TIO. “We are looking forward to starting construction this year and moving ahead.”

A Boost for Hawaii

The start of TMT on-site construction will directly benefit the local Hawaiian community. TMT will now make its first annual contribution to The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund, a program that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math education across grades K-12, secondary, and post-secondary education. Over the life of the TMT lease on Mauna Kea, TMT will give $1 million per year to the THINK Fund.

In the construction sector, TMT will create about 300 full-time construction jobs. TMT has committed to the hiring of union workers for these positions. Looking further ahead, during operations, TMT will have a staff of about 120-140, which will be drawn as much as possible from Hawaii Island’s available labor pool. A workforce pipeline program in the meantime will also educate and train island residents for jobs with TMT, as well as other observatories and high-tech industries.

“The start of construction of TMT is great news for Hawaii Island residents,” said Sandra Dawson, TMT’s Manager of Hawaii Community Affairs. “We are proud to be a good citizen of the community as we all work toward building a revolutionary astronomical instrument.”

 

One World, One Universe, One Dream – TMT in China

The TMT Collaborative Board of Directors met in Beijing, China this week. The Board meets quarterly and this marks the first time the Board has gathered in China.
TMT
Guests included several Chinese officials, including Xu Guanhua, the former Minister of Science and Technology, Cao Guoying, the Vice Director General for the Department of Basic Research and Xu Ruiming, Director General of the Bureau of Frontier Sciences and Education, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In his remarks to the Board, Minister Xu described the frontier science questions that TMT will explore.

“Nearly one thousand exoplanet systems have been discovered. I hope the question ‘Are we alone in the universe?’ will be answered by TMT,” said Xu. “It is my sincere hope that TMT does this.”

TMT is an international partnership among institutions in the U.S., Canada, China, India and Japan. Marking the international flavor of the project, leadership meetings have rotated among the partner countries. In October 2012 the Board met for the first time in Tokyo, Japan, followed by a January 2013 meeting in New Dehli. India. In an important milestone in July 2013, the Board met in Hawaii and signed the TMT Master Agreement. The Master Agreement establishes a formal agreement amongst the international parties defining the project goals, establishing a governance structure and defining member party rights, obligations and benefits.

“TMT is a unique project. Never before in history has something of this magnitude been developed collaboratively by people from these nations,” said Henry Yang, Chair of the TMT Collaborative Board.

As TMT approaches the beginning of construction in 2014, Board meetings have expanded with many guests from the partners attending and contributing to the development of the international partnership agreements. During the latest meeting in Beijing, over 50 Board members and guests were in attendance, the largest meeting to date.

“We are sitting very close to the 2008 Olympic site, and so I would like to end by saying astronomy is shared by the whole human kind, we truly have only ‘One World, One Universe, One Dream.’ I wish TMT success in the pursuit of our common dreams of unraveling of the mystery of the Universe,” Xu added.

TMT is a collaboration of the California Institute of Technology, University of California, the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, a consortium of Chinese institutions led by the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and institutions in India supported by the Department of Science and Technology of India. Major funding has been provided by the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation.

 

First Pacific Astronomy and Engineering Education Summit a Success on the Big Island

Hilo Hosted High School Students from China, Japan, India, Canada and the Big Island

The first Pacific Astronomy and Engineering Education Summit, sponsored by the Thirty Meter Telescope and the County of Hawaii, and hosted at the Imiloa Astronomy Center and the University of Hawaii at Hilo, brought together high school students and educators from China, Japan, India, Canada and the Big Island for four days of intense learning and interaction.

Kids Summit
Workshops included CCD Technology (Dr. JJ Armstrong, Institute for Astronomy), Adaptive Optics (Peter Michaud, Gemini Observatory), Polarization of Light (Dr. Saeko Hayashi, Subaru Telescope), Planetary Remote Sensing (Dr. Rob Wright, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology), The Sun (Dr. Paul Coleman, Institute for Astronomy), Light Spectroscopy (Dale Olive, Waiakea High School), Orientation to Mauna Kea (Stephanie Nagata, Office of Mauna Kea Management), and an Overview of the Hawaii Volcanoes (Janet Babb, USGS, Hawaii Volcanoes).

Team design briefs included Mars Robotics (Dale Olive and Tom Murphy, Waiakea High Robotics) and Asteroid Drilling (Christian Andersen, PISCES).  Keynote speakers included Dr. Ravinder Bhatia, Thirty Meter Telescope, Krystal Schlecter, UHH Astrophysics Club and Dr. Paul Coleman.  Lt Governor Shan Tsutsui welcomed the conference participants and Representatives Mark Nakashima, Cliff Tsuji and Richard Onishi presented House certificates to each participant.

Students presented science projects and shared a cultural presentation.  Field trips included sunset viewing and star gazing at Hale Pohaku and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Out of state school students were provided with an additional home stay experiences after the summit by Waiakea and Hilo High School families.

Big Island schools participating included: Hilo High School, Connections Public Charter School, Honokaa High School, and Waiakea High School.  Thirty Meter Telescope partner countries were represented by the Shri Ram School, Aravali, India; Shawnigan Lake School, British Columbia, Canada; the High School affiliated with Beihang University, Beijing, China; Ritsumeikan High School, Kyoto, Japan; and Senri High School, Osaka, Japan.

Connections Public Charter School student Clara Cellini said, “I think international conferences are very beneficial to students because we are put in new situations with new people.  Bringing people of different cultures together to focus on a single goal creates a sense of unity. Every student should have the opportunity to experience this.”

An educator shared, “The knowledge, resources, connections gained are priceless.  This is the optimum education environment. Students and teachers were provided with hands on problem solving activities and constructed new knowledge by collaboration.  The sharing of international minds is a powerful entity that many do not get to experience.  It results in, or fosters a global perspective.”

“There are many benefits to those who attended this event.  You get to meet different people and experience new things.  Your knowledge and imagination of the things that are possible is expanded.  Your confidence level is also given a boost.  Because you have to present a project, you also gain experience in presenting. You also get to go to new and different places.  It is a wonderful experience that everyone should have. I am so honored to have been given the opportunity,” said Waiakea High School student Olivia Murray.

Ritsumeikan High School Principal Hiroshi, Tanaka who first hosted the Japan Super Science Fair 10 years ago in Kyoto, after which the Hawaii summit is modeled, said “International cooperation is really necessary for young scientists. I believe participants broadened their horizons and constructed a global network.  I am most grateful to all who supported this Summit.”

For further information on the 2013 Pacific Astronomy and Engineering Education Summit, contact Art Kimura, Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, art@higp.hawaii.edu.

 

Free Astronomy in the Classroom Workshop Offered for Teachers All Middle and High School STEM Teachers Invited

What makes the Sun a star? What are the impacts of sunspots on Earth? What are the Earth’s defenses against the sun’s harmful rays? How can the Faulkes Telescope be used in educational programs? These are just a few of the many questions to be answered in a free Teacher Training and Astronomy in the Classroom Workshop slated for this Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 at Kealakehe High School’s Cafeteria and Science Lab (G-203).


“Studying the sun is a good beginning for science, technology, engineering and math education. Students feel comfortable because they are familiar with it. And Super M math is an exciting way to engage students in math. These workshops are designed to provide more resources to our dedicated Hawaii Island  teachers. Furthering STEM education will help our children be qualified for the next generation of 21st century jobs,” said Sandra Dawson, Thirty Meter Telescope Hawaii Community Relations Manager.

Faulkes Telescope Project Teacher Training
Friday, October 26 • 6-8 pm
Friday evening’s program will feature a Faulkes Telescope Teacher Training exercise and star gazing for the entire family. Middle School and High School teachers will be able to test drive the large, research-grade Faulkes Telescope and learn how to obtain and use it in their classroom. The evening program runs from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Kealakehe High School.
In addition, the Hale Pohaku Visitor Information Station (VIS) will bring telescopes and the community is invited to participate in stargazing with the VIS volunteers.

Teacher Training: Heliophysics in the Classroom
Saturday, October 27 • 8:30 am-3:30 pm
The term heliophysics was coined in the early 1980s to denote the physics of the entire Sun. The teacher training will focus on hands-on activities and demonstrations to be used for grade appropriate science courses answering the following questions. How does the Sun get its energy? What are sunspots? How do you count them? How does the Earth’s
magnetic field protect us from the sun’s radiation? What happens on the Sun to cause the hazardous solar storms?

The astronomy teachers workshops are funded through an existing NASA heliophysics education and public outreach grant for these heliophysics topics to be shared with secondary science and mathematics teachers on all the islands. Follow up with the participating teachers after the workshop is planned.

Teachers will also be provided training in the innovative SUPER-M program. SUPER-M is a project at the Department of Mathematics <http://www.math.hawaii.edu/>  of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and funded by a National Science Foundation <http://www.nsf.gov/> , Graduate STEM Fellows in K–12 Education program <http://www.gk12.org/> . SUPER-M creates partnerships between graduate mathematics students and K-12 teachers to design innovative, developmentally appropriate, and engaging activities for K-12 students.

Childcare and astronomy, and fun math activities for the teachers’ children will be available, as well as Gemini Observatory’s mobile planetarium. Continental breakfast and lunch will be served on Saturday.

These astronomy teacher workshop events are sponsored by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy and the Thirty Meter Telescope.

To reserve your spot contact Laura Aquino at 326-7820 or email: laquino@current-events.com.

Hawaii Island Economic Development Board Announces New Officers and Board of Directors

The Hawaii Island Economic Development Board (HIEDB) is pleased to announce its new 2012-13 Officers and Board of Directors.

Dr. Greg Chun (Kamehameha Schools) continues as Chair of the Board of Directors with James Takamine (Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union) serving as Vice Chair, Mike Kaleikini (Puna Geothermal Ventures/ORMAT) serving as Secretary and David Honma (First Hawaiian Bank) serving as Treasurer. Roberta Chu (Bank of Hawaii) is HIEDB’s Immediate Past Chair.

Members of the Board of Directors include LeeAnn Crabbe (Queen Liliuokalani Trust), Richard Ha (Hamakua Springs), Richard Henderson (RSM, Inc.) Jay Ignacio (HELCO), Marvin Min (The Gas Company), Barry Mizuno (BTM LLC.) Patricia Provalenko Price (PATDI Inc.), Dr. Mike Sayama (HMSA), Barry Taniguchi (KTA Super Stores) and Bill Walter (W.H. Shipman).

“I am honored to work with this dedicated and inspired group of people whose main mission is to promote Hawai’i Island as an “Island of Opportunity,” stated HIEDB Executive Director Jacqui Hoover. “These individuals devote countless volunteer hours to make Hawai’i Island a better place to live, work and learn.”

HIEDB’s island-wide initiatives focus on Place (infrastructure planning and natural resources including environment, agriculture, energy and historic sites), People (education, community engagement, workforce development, innovation and community health) and Products (agriculture, innovation industries and tourism).

Place-based strategic focus areas include Saddle Road Phase III Alignment, Invasive Species Control, Food Security, Fuel Self Sufficiency and Heritage Corridor Interpretive Plans.

People initiatives include Huiana Internship Mentor Program, Robotics and Project EAST, Kama’aina Come Home, University of Hawaii Hilo and Kona campuses, Tourism—Educate to Innovate, Astronomy (Thirty Meter Telescope) and Promotion of Life Sciences through PBARC and NELHA.

Product initiatives include EPA Recycling, Consume Local Campaign, Agri-Tourism and an Innovation Sector Data Base.

The Hawaii Island Economic Development Board was formed in a time of economic turmoil in late 1983 during the County of Hawaii administration of Mayor Herbert Matayoshi. Stephen K. Yamashiro was the Council Chair at the time. During the early formation months of its inception HIEDB pursued a grant from the State Department of Planning and Economic Development to assist them and the Chambers in building a support mechanism based on surveying existing business to more clearly define the existing business climate as an important component of any business retention and attraction program. HIEDB has grown from these early years to partner today with many Federal, State, County and private enterprises to promote sustainable growth and development of Hawai’i Island.

For more information call HIEDB at 808-935-2180.

Video – Understanding the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

Near the center of Pasadena, California, a team of scientists, engineers, and project specialists is busily planning and designing what eventually will become the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth. When completed later this decade, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will enable astronomers to study objects in our own solar system and stars throughout our Milky Way and its neighboring galaxies, and forming galaxies at the very edge of the observable Universe, near the beginning of time.

A 30-meter telescope, operating in wavelengths ranging from the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared, is an essential tool to address questions in astronomy ranging from understanding star and planet formation to unraveling the history of galaxies and the development of large-scale structure in the universe.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/YLaXkb_j9xU]

University of Arizona Awarded Millions to Shape Maui’s Advanced Technology Solar Telescope

Everyone on the Big Island has been so worried about the Thirty Meter Telescope project on top of Mauna Kea… I think a lot of folks have forgotten about the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope that is going to be built on Haleakala over on Maui.

Proposed site for the ATST

When finished, the 4.2m mirror will be the largest telescope mirror ever pointed at the sun. Polished into a highly complex, asymmetric shape, it will be the centerpiece of the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope in Hawaii, allowing researchers to study the sun in unprecedented detail.

The University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, or AURA, to polish the 4.2m primary mirror for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, or ATST.

When operational in Hawaii, the ATST will become the world’s largest solar telescope. This glass mirror will serve as the primary focusing element to create high-resolution images of the fine scale structure of the sun…

More here: UA Awarded Millions to Shape Telescope Mirror

International Colloquium on the Thirty Meter Telescope Going on Now

Media Release:

As part of the 4th International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging (ISPDI 2011), May 24-26, 2011 in Beijing, China, scientists and engineers from the US and China are meeting for a special colloquium on the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). The colloquium is a milestone in the TMT international partnership for development and operation of TMT.

Collaborators from both countries will consider a wide range of technical, engineering and science components in the TMT plan, including specific contributions to TMT that are anticipated to be provided by China.

“TMT will be a global asset in the quest for knowledge about our universe, and this colloquium will showcase Chinese interest in building and joining this remarkable capability,” said Gary Sanders, TMT Project Manager.

Technical topics for discussion include aspects of fabricating segmented mirrors, laser assisted guide star adaptive optics, high performance science instruments, and management of cross disciplinary research. The program includes presentations from members from both the US and China collaborating institutes, including:

  • Keynote: The Thirty Meter Telescope: Opening the Next Generation of Extremely Large Telescopes, Jerry Nelson (Project Scientist, TMT)
  • TMT Construction and Operations, Gary Sanders (Project Manager, TMT)
  • Optics for the Thirty Meter Telescope, Eric Williams (Telescope Optics Group Leader, TMT)
  • The Secondary and Tertiary mirrors for the Thirty Meter Telescope, Virginia Ford (Senior Opto-Mechanical Engineer)
  • The Progress of SMP on TMT Test Mirrors, Xinnan, Li (Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, CAS)
  • CIOMP Fabrication Plan for TMT Tertiary Mirror, Xuejun, Zhang/Ligong, Zheng (Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, CAS)
  • The Design Improvement of TMT Laser Guiding Star Facility, Kai, Wei (The Institute of Optics and Electronics, CAS)
  • The Prototype of TIPC Sodium Laser, Yong, Bo (Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, CAS)
  • Feasibility Studies for the MOBIE Acquisition, Guiding, and Wavefront Sensing (AGWFS) subsystem, Zhongwen, Hu (Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, CAS)

The colloquium is hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the Chinese Society of Astronautics – Optics and Mechanics committee.

Program sponsors come from a wide range of institutes and universities in China, including:

  • Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, CAS
  • The Institute of Optics and Electronics, CAS
  • Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics
  • CAS Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, CAS
  • Peking University
  • Tsinghua University
  • University of Science and Technology of China
  • Nanjing University
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University

For more information, please see the ISPDI 2011 website: http://www.ispdiconf.org/en/index.html

In December 2010, China officially joined as an international observer in the TMT project. The TMT project is an international partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy, joined by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Department of Science and Technology of India.

New Sketches of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Released

Media Release:

Following the successful conclusion of the Thirty Meter Telescope’s Environmental Impact Statement and Final Design Review of the observatory enclosure, TMT worked with acclaimed science animator and producer Dana Berry on a new, more accurate set of renderings of the observatory and its support building as they will appear on Mauna Kea.

Top View of TMT Complex

These renderings accurately portray the observatory with a reflective dome. This aluminized coating was selected to help the observatory maintain a constant temperature and to blend in with the surrounding environment. The dome will reflect the color of the local lava field during the warmer months and will appear white when snow covers the top of the mountain.

The new images also demonstrate how the support building and access road will utilize native rock and colors to better match the local environment.

Side View of TMT Complex

The telescope will be sited on the northern plateau of Mauna Kea at a location known as 13 North within Area E. This section of the mountain, which was identified as the preferred site for a next-generation optical observatory in the 2000 Mauna Kea Reserve Master Plan, is below the summit and its predominant geologic feature is a basalt lava flow. This particular rock has weathered to a reddish hue, which influenced the exterior appearance and color choices of the observatory.