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Optical/IR TAC

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Optical/IR TAC Membership


Each member grades every proposal. Therefore, almost every proposal is read and graded by non-experts. It is essential that proposers present the scientific motivation for their proposal in language that astronomers outside their specific field can easily understand.

This year's TAC members, their institutional affiliation, and research areas are:

D. Zaritsky (Chair, non-voting) UA/SO galactic & extragalactic astronomy
E. Olszewski UA/SO stellar populations, local group
P. Massey NAU/Lowell massive stars, stellar populations
J. Patience ASU exoplanets
C. Bender UA/SO stellar atmospheres/exoplanets
V. Reddy UA/LPL space situational awareness
B. Frye UA/SO galaxy evolution, gravitational lensing
N. Smith UA/SO massive stars, supernovae and eruptive transients
R. Dong UA/SO exoplanet formation


Optical/IR TAC Procedures


Steward Observatory schedules its telescopes in semesters.

Before each meeting, TAC members read and grade every proposal except in cases of a conflict of interest. Telescope schedulers provide the TAC a list of available time (bright, gray, dark). For each telescope, proposals are then ranked according to their average grade. TAC members generally base their grades on overall scientific merit and feasibility and demonstrated productivity using Arizona facilities such as refereed publications, conference proceedings, and prompt analysis of data.

Where there are "close calls" the TAC gives preference to new faculty members, independent postdocs (e.g., Hubble or Jansky Fellows), and graduate students (2nd year projects and theses). The TAC meets approximately two weeks after the deadline for proposals. During its meetings, the TAC discusses these rankings as well as each individual proposal. Members may change their grades based on this discussion, and proposals may be re-ranked. The final rankings are provided to the schedulers who generate a preliminary schedule for all telescopes for approval by the Director. A final schedule is posted online about one month prior to the start of the next trimester.