Subject: Remote Observing and Training Policies

From: elt@astro.Princeton.EDU

Submitted: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 22:47:09 -0500 (EST)

Message number: 219 (previous: 218, next: 220 up: Index)

There are two separate, but sometimes related, APO 3.5m policies which
often cause confusion.  I attempt to state them clearly below for future

1) Remote observations using the 3.5m may only be made with the active
   participation of at least one person "certified" for remote observing.
   Such certification requires that the person spend at least three nights
   on-site at APO familiarizing themselves with the physical facilities,
   operational practises, personnel and so forth of the Observatory.  A
   list of certified remote observers is maintained by APO.  (Note that it
   is not required that a person spend three full nights *observing* on-site
   to be certified.  Although some on-site observing is clearly desirable,
   none is actually required since weather and other factors may make it
   impossible.  Rather, the idea is to be thoroughly familiar with the
   Observatory based on personal experience.)

2) Observatory staff cannot provide training in use of the telescope and
   its instruments to students; such instruction is the responsibility of
   the appropriate faculty or research staff supervisors of the student.
   With advanced approval of Observatory management, such training may
   sometimes be provided by senior students with extensive APO observing
   experience.  As time permits, Observatory staff will endeavor to provide
   reasonable levels of assistance to PhD level astronomers familiarizing
   themselves with the telescope and instruments, but it is generally
   presumed that such users have significant prior experience in observational
   astronomy.  Entirely inexperienced observers should seek the assistance
   of collaborators or colleagues.  (This policy derives in part from the
   "lean" style of operations at APO and the small size of the staff and
   in part from the fact that student instruction is the responsibility of
   supervising faculty members.)

As with all policies, extraordinary circumstances might sometimes justify
exceptions.  Please contact the Director and/or the Site Operations Manager
to discuss possible exceptions, if necessary.

Ed Turner
APO APO APO APO APO  Apache Point Observatory 3.5m  APO APO APO
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