GeminiFocus October 2017 | Page 4

A Year-long Vision Now, you might be wondering what I am hoping to achieve in one year: after all, Gem- ini is blessed with a very strong and compe- tent team, and this is hardly a fort that needs to be held. I am hoping to contribute to three main areas: implementing the National Cen- ter for Optical-infrared Astronomy (NCOA; a name that is still tentative), setting the Ob- servatory on the path defined by the Gemini Board’s Strategic Vision, and strengthening Gemini’s partnership. First, most of you have heard of NCOA — a vision to combine operations of the cur- rent Gemini and National Optical Astron- omy Observatory facilities with the future operations of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, and integrate them into a single matrixed structure. NCOA has been recom- mended by several independent reports, in- cluding the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey Report “New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophys- ics,” the 2010 National Science Foundation/ Division of Astronomical Sciences Portfo- lio Review Report “Advancing Astronomy in the Coming Decade: Opportunities and Challenges,” and the 2015 NRC study report “Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System.” Driven by a coherent scientific strategic vision, NCOA will be greater than the sum of its parts. It will facilitate collaborations and partner- ships and, critically, will provide oppor- tunities for innovation that are presently beyond the scope and capacity of the indi- vidual centers. While the potential benefits of such an inte- gration are tremendous, the challenges are also significant. That’s why my second goal is to ensure that, under NCOA, Gemini con- tinues to develop the scientific vision that has recently been articulated by the Gemini Board (you can find it here ). In the next sev- eral months, it will be a privilege for me to 2 GeminiFocus work with Henry Roe and John Blakeslee (our new Deputy Director and Chief Scien- tist, respectively) to turn the Board’s vision into reality. My third goal is to ensure that NCOA remains true to the needs of Gemini’s partners. In my mind, international partnership is Gemini’s main strength. With their diverse communi- ties, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and the US each enrich Gemini’s scientific atmosphere, open new opportunities for scientific and technical collaborations, and align Gemini with the global nature of modern astrono- my. In the near future, I am looking forward to the possibility that Korea (currently a lim- ited-term collaborator) might become part of the Gemini family, and I am excited about new collaborative oppor