GeminiFocus July 2017 | Page 4

We also revived classical observing with the Priority Visitor Observing mode that mitigates weather issues , and attracted more young researchers to visit us with the Bring- One , Get-One mode . Perhaps most importantly , we adopted a culture in which the science of our users drives the observatory operations ( and not the other way around , as is often seen at mature and / or introverted facilities ). Overall , Gemini has become a most valuable resource for our scientific community .
We are now very proud to see many happy faces among our users who deliver more science than ever .
So where to from here ?
New Leadership
I am extremely happy that Laura Ferrarese has accepted a one-year term as Interim Director of the Gemini Observatory . Starting on July 1st , she will serve in this position from Hilo , Hawai ‘ i , while AURA conducts an international search for a permanent Director . Most of you already know Laura as an internationally recognized researcher , or past president of the Canadian Astronomical Society ( CASCA ). She also has a long history with Gemini , most recently as Chair of the AURA Oversight Council for Gemini . Strong and committed , she is extremely well-qualified to lead Gemini during this critical period in which Gemini will be flowing into the National Science Foundation ’ s larger National Center for Optical-infrared Astronomy structure ( see Director ’ s Message , GeminiFocus , April 2017 ).
We have a lot of exciting initiatives underway at Gemini , and Laura will keep our vision clear !
Laura will be supported by the new Deputy Director , Henry Roe , who started in May , and who will be based in La Serena , Chile , beginning in late August . Henry joined us from the Lowell Observatory , though most of you will remember him as the first chair of Gemini ’ s , then newly formed , Science and Technology Advisory Committee from 2011 to 2014 . He comes with a deep understanding of Gemini and a wealth of experience in instrumentation and planetary science .
Laura and Henry have already started working with the current Gemini leadership team , so the transition should be seamless .
I will leave with a smile on my face — looking back at all of Gemini ’ s achievements over the last several years — and a tear in my eye — leaving such a wonderful and dedicated staff at the Gemini Observatory . I am stepping out happy and fulfilled , confident that Gemini will continue to serve its user community well . May Gemini long continue to honor its purpose : “‘ Exploring the Universe , Sharing its Wonders !”
Markus Kissler-Patig is the past Gemini Observatory Director .
2 GeminiFocus July 2017