Subject: PLEASE READ THIS/possible schedule changes

From: elt@astro.Princeton.EDU

Submitted: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 17:41:33 -0400 (EDT)

Message number: 366 (previous: 365, next: 367 up: Index)

Anyone with observing time scheduled between now (7/24) and August 16
especially needs to read this.  Also, I would ask that institutional
schedulers take responsibility for tracking the situation described
below carefully and keeping your affected PIs and observers informed.

Karen Gloria underwent unexpected surgery this past week and is, I am
happy to report, recovering well at this time.  However, she will be
recuperating at home for a few weeks.

As many of you know, we were already operating with a reduced staff of
only two Observing Specialists following the departure of Camron Hastings
and pending the arrival of Lisa Wells, who is scheduled to arrive and
begin her training on 3 August.  Thus, 3.5m operations will be extremely
short handed in the days ahead, with only Russet McMillan available
among the regular 3.5m OSs.

We have devised a plan for keeping the scheduled telescope science
operations supported through the night of August 8 with the single
exception of the first half of the night on August 7 (sorry, UW05!).
This plan is based on Russet's willingness to work very long shifts
(many thanks to Russet!) and on help from Dan Long when the SDSS
project can spare his services (thanks to Dan too).

For August 9 and beyond, the situation will be re-evaluated during
the week of August 2, and the plan for the week of August 9 will be
announced sometime during that week.  At best, we will find a way to
proceed with no further schedule impact.  At worst, the start of the
major engineering shutdown planned for August 16 will be advanced by
7 days and all science operations for the week of August 9 will be
canceled.  Most likely it will be something between these extremes.

Finally, it is obvious that we are in a quite fragile state in terms
of staff support for observing for a while.  Thus, it is perfectly
possible that it will be necessary to make further schedule changes
and/or cancelations, perhaps at very short notice.

Ed Turner

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