Welcome Message from our Program Manager

This information should be distributed where appropriate

We are very happy that you will soon be coming to the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) and we want your stay to be a success. As you know, the telescope capabilities are changing almost daily and there are a lot of activities going on at the site. I would like to take this time to address some of the things that you need to know to make your visit a positive experience.

SAFETY: Safety is something we want to be aware of at all times. There are safety items associated with transportation and these will be discussed under the transportation heading. When you arrive at the site, we will want to give you a tour. Because the enclosure is large (16 stories tall), there will be some activities that you will need to be briefed on and some areas that it would be helpful for you to avoid. We will brief you about these activities and areas when you arrive. The telescope is over 850 tons and ten stories tall. Should there be a need for you to go to the telescope, please insure that an LBT employee is with you. We will present you with a book where we summarize all of the safety issues that you should be aware of. After you go through this book, please sign the form that states that you have read and understand our safety requirements.

OUTSIDE THE LBT ENCLOSURE: Many visitors to the LBT are unaware that the site sits in the middle of a protected area for an endangered species; the Mount Graham Refugiun Pass or commonly referred to as red squirrel. This area is called a refugium and is off-limits to all people visiting the sites. You will be required to have a "red squirrel pass" which will be issued after you read and sign a statement that you understand that you cannot disturb this area. What this means is that when you leave the building, even for a walk or jog, you must stay on the roads that service the telescope sites. We have had people disobey this requirement and get lost in the woods. The roads can also get very icy and there are places where the road is a steep grade making walking difficult.

TRANSPORTATION: For those of you that will be at the site during the winter months, we recommend that you make use of our limited transportation capabilities to the site. We do not have any kind of shuttle service between the airport and the telescope site. We have, however, large capacity vehicles leaving the Mount Graham International Base Camp (MGIO) at 6:am and 10am Monday through Thursday. With advanced notification, we can provide a 10am transportation vehicle to the site. This will allow you to rent an inexpensive vehicle at the airport which can be parked at the MGIO base camp. It will also ensure that you have an experienced driver, especially with our ice and snow. If you decide to drive up the mountain in a rented vehicle, please beware of the following: you must have a US Forest Service vehicle pass to drive up the mountain (this pass is issued at the base camp but only with 3 working days of pre-notification, you must have an MGIO portable radio and key (radio and key are issued with pass. Key is required to access telescope road and radio is needed to approach site), and you should always fill up your gas tank prior to driving up the mountain. It is much easier to park your vehicle at the base camp and go up the mountain with an LBT experienced driver.

FOOD: Always an important topic and here we have good and bad news. The good news is that you may have any food that you would like while you at the LBT site. The bad news is that you must buy it before you come up to the site and prepare the food your self. We are not funded or equipped to have a cafeteria setting where food is prepared for you. We will provide you a designated storage space for your food and all the utensils needed to cook a four course meal. We have most condiments and coffee is provided. If you are not into cooking, the frozen breakfasts, lunches, and dinners have improved over the years and this, plus your drinks and snacks, would make your buying quick and easy. We also have an outdoor propane grill but I warn you that on cold nights the grill can be miserable to deal with. SLEEPING: It is important that you provide us with your arrival and departure dates and the nights you will actually spend on the mountain. There are two important people to notify: Grisela Koeppen (520-626-5231)is our Department Administrative Assistant and Bonnie Ferguson (520-626-1466) who is our On-Site Administrative Assistant. The best way is to email both of them in one message and tell us your travel information (gkoeppen@as.arizona.edu) and bferguson@as.arizona.edu). What do these people have to do with sleeping? They will handle all of your needs once we know you are coming. They will take care of the permits, transportation and scheduling you a bedroom. Please info or "cc" John Waack and Jim Slagle on your requests. John is the Operations Manager( for the Site and Jim is the Asst. Director for LBT. This is our insurance to you that we want your observing run support to be there for you.

Finally, let me remind you that you do have a responsibility. Please keep us informed of your travel times, requirements, and any changes to your schedule. We are pretty flexible but we really want to make sure that your needs are met without problems.

Dr. Jim Slagle LBT Program Manager LBT Observatory University of Arizona 520-621-6506 (office) 520-349-4576 (cell)

-- DavidThompson - 03 Jan 2007
Topic revision: r1 - 03 Jan 2007, DavidThompson
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