GeminiFocus October 2017 | Page 3

Laura Ferrarese Director’s Message The Three Goals of a Year-long Vision Hello, Aloha, and Hola! I am delighted to address the Gemini community from my new role as the Observatory’s Interim Director. I will hold this position for the next year, while the search for a perma- nent Director moves forward. As I write this (beginning of September), I have been in Hilo, Hawai‘i, for almost two months, and it’s been an exciting time. I have enjoyed work- ing with the Gemini staff, whose drive, dedication, and talent were already well known to me from when I chaired the Observatory Oversight Council on behalf of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). As we speak, I am returning from a two-week visit to La Serena, Chile. During my stay, I spent time every night in the new Base Facility control room, witnessing first-hand the pride and enthusiasm with which the telescope operators and observers carefully queued up, executed, and inspected the data — each frame a new discovery. Meanwhile, the base facility in Hilo had been quiet for seven weeks during a scheduled shutdown at Gemini North (see page 18 of this issue). Nevertheless, activity on the mountain was fe- verish, as our day crew and engineers carried out very delicate repairs to the dome shut- ter mechanism. Those of you who have been on the summit of Maunakea are very well aware that at 4,200 meters even the most routine activities become challenging; you will no doubt share my amazement at what our day crew had accomplished in order to get Gemini North back on-sky, as planned, in late August. October 2017 GeminiFocus 1