[7] Remarks by NSF Director Rita Colwell at NSF FY 2001 budget briefing.

[8] Testimony of NSF director before House Committee on Science Subcommittee on Research, September 6, 2001.

[9] Letter from GSA President to NSF Director, September 7, 2001.

[10] National Research Council. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001.

[11] EarthScope News Release, February 4, 2002.

[12] California Department of Education Federal Update, February 14, 2003.

[13] EarthScope News Release, February 20, 2003.

[14] EarthScope News Release, April 12, 2003.

[15] EarthScope News Release, November 26, 2003.

[16] EarthScope News Release, February 3, 2003.

[17] NSF OLPA Congressional Update, July 15, 2003.

[18] EarthScope past meetings available at <www.earthscope.org/news/past_mtgs.html>.

[19] EarthScope News Release, June 12, 2002.

[20] NSF Progam Solicitation for EarthScope: Science, Education and Related Activities for the USArray, San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) and Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), April 17, 2003.



The Gemini Observatory is a new generation of twin optical infrared telescopes that use innovative instruments and new observational and operational approaches. It consists of two 8.1-m telescopes that are sensitive to optical and infrared light. Gemini North sits atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii on a 2-acre site subleased from the University of Hawaii (UH) [1]. Gemini South is at Cerro Pachon in the Chilean Alps on land held by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) [2]. Together, the telescopes provide an unprecedented opportunity for studying the entire northern and southern sky. The project is an international collaboration of seven nations: the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina. NSF, which contributes 50 percent of the funding for Gemini, serves as the executive agency for the project. AURA serves as the project’s managing body. The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) acts as the gateway for US involvement in Gemini. See Table C-3 for a timeline of the major developments. Dedicated in 1999, Gemini North made news with its first data release, providing dramatic images of the galactic center. The project’s construction phase ended in January 2002 with the dedication of Gemini South.

Approval and Funding History

MREFC funding for construction began in FY 1995. Construction was initiated in FY 1991.

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