On behalf of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, I heartily endorse the Great Basin Observatory to be located at Nevada's Great Basin National Park, where the darkest and clearest night skies in the contiguous United States Provide a spectacular opportunity to study the Universe.
This Observatory's robotically-controlled, top quality telescope and accessory equipment will provide remote operational capabilities available across the state, nation, and world. It will inspire students of all ages, amateurs, and scientists a like to engage in distant observation, research, and broad collaborative projects world-wide.
This Observatory will make it possible for us in Nevada to expand our curricular offerings not only in astrophysics and astronomy but in other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines and natural resource preservation as well. It will greatly enhance and expand educational outreach programs for youth in K-12 classes, including those in Clark County, Nevada, where, as our Dean of the College of Sciences, Dr. Timothy Porter, has aptly said, "Dark skies here in Clark County are a thing of the past, so the telescope location within the National Park is a huge asset." The Observatory location will also draw more national park visitors where they can appreciate the value of dark night skies, intact Great Basin ecosystems, and natural resource preservation.
We congratulate the partners, including our sister institution, University of Nevada at Reno, that have conceived of and are now planning the Great Basin Observatory, and look forward to contributing to the project as well as benefitting from its anticipated success.
View the original letter here.