30-Day Notification of the Closing of the Mauna kea Informal Outreach Effort

October 22, 2021

In August 2020, the NSF, as the recipient of a proposal for design and planning of the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the owner of two astronomical facilities on Maunakea (i.e., the Gemini North telescope and the Very Long Baseline Array antenna), initiated an Informal Outreach Effort to engage with those who have a connection to Maunakea, including Native Hawaiians.  The purpose of this engagement has been to listen to and seek an understanding of the viewpoints regarding the proposed TMT project and the future of astronomy on Maunakea.  For more than a year, NSF has been receiving community input via e-mail and through “talk story” sessions (conducted via videoconferencing).  Since August 2020, NSF has conducted over 90 of these sessions with more than 150 individuals taking the opportunity to let their voices be heard.  In addition, NSF received approximately 120 written comments during the informal outreach effort.  NSF would like to thank all of those who have reached out to us to express their viewpoints.  These discussions have been both fruitful and informative to NSF in gaining a better understanding of the varying viewpoints regarding both TMT and the future of astronomy on Maunakea.


Any person who has a connection to Maunakea and who still wishes to share their views with NSF is encouraged to do so at their earliest convenience by contacting AST-MK@nsf.gov. NSF will officially close its Informal Outreach Effort on November 21, 2021, which is 30 days from the publication of this notification.  Thank you, again, to all who have shared their perspectives with NSF during this unique, informal, and valuable process.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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