Great Basin National Park Foundation, working with Great Basin National Park and Great Basin Observatory scientists, has released science teaching materials specially designed for the COVID-19 learning environment. Six new lessons for 5th-grade students teach about stars, our solar system, gravity, national parks, and light pollution. The resources contain on and off-screen activities, all of which can be done in a classroom or home environment and afford social distancing.

Starfest is the annual astronomy research conference of the Great Basin Observatory(GBO). Speakers range from high school students to college undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, staff, and distinguished keynote speakers. This year's symposium was hosted by Concordia University in Irvine, one of the four partner universities that maintain and operate the GBO in conjunction with Great Basin National Park and the Great Basin National Park Foundation. Learn more about each presenter and their talk in the STARFEST Program PDF below.


The Summer Research Institute is a 38-year old tradition in the Chemical Physics Laboratory at Concordia University. "I was not about to abandon that tradition because of COVID-19", remarked the leader of the institute, Professor John Kenney. This summer the institute pivoted to be online and used the remote, robotic GBO for an astronomical research component.

High School students Alexa Brammer and  Jessica Padron-Loredo published a scientific paper using GBO data with their science teacher Charmain Brammer and mentor Dr.

Over 30 people attended Starfest 2 in Cedar City, Utah on October 26 & 27. Starfest celebrates the research stemming from the Great Basin Observatory (GBO) and allows our four university partners (Concordia University Irvine; CUI, Southern Utah University; SUU, University of Nevada Reno; UNR and Western Nevada College; WNC) to build a collegial community of practice. Research presentations included work done on double stars, exoplanet transits, eShel spectogragh development, and ideas for using the GBO with undergraduate students.

The Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative highlighted the GBO in October 2019. Read the full guest spotlight here.

Click on the pdf to learn what Reach for the Stars accomplished in 2018!

Read the latest news from Great Basin National Park Foundation and Great Basin Observatory.

GBO open to the night sky

The first ever GBO Starfest will be held at the University of Nevada, Reno on October 13 & 14, 2018. Researchers will gain a better understanding of how to operate GBO technology and strategize research projects for the coming year.

Please click on the photo for the complete agenda.

Great Basin Observatory (GBO) Starfest I – 2018 Symposium  

Reno, Nevada

Hosted By: University of Nevada, Reno

Fall 2018


The Great Basin National Park Foundation celebrated two successful years of GBO operation with events at Great Basin National Park in August. Five hundred people had contact with Foundation staff and volunteers during three events, which included a Star Train ride, GBO scientist Astronomy Talk, and GBO birthday cake!