You can make a difference in the funding and future operation decisions for the Green Bank Observatory! The GBO is important to us for so many reasons. It was the first National Radio Observatory ever in the United States – established during the Space Race with Russia and around the time that Hidden Figure Katherine Johnson from White Sulphur Springs, WV was making her incredible mark on the Space program. It was the first Observatory to ever search for the answer to the question – Are we alone? It is an iconic symbol of West Virginia. It is a thriving economic success for the local community and West Virginia. It is essential to the success of all that makes a rural town a community. The Observatory has made incredible discoveries in the fields of astronomy, physics, and chemistry and is continuing to make important discoveries as I type this. And – it is the model for unique, challenging, and inspiring education programs and opportunities for students from Kindergarten to post-doctoral study to students young at heart.
For all of these reasons, and because all of us would like to make an impact on the decision about the future of the Green Bank Observatory, as promised, we have put together some resources to help you write a public comment to the NSF in support of restored full funding of the Green Bank Observatory. The publishing of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) last week in the Federal Register launched the open public comment period from November 8, 2017 to January 8, 2018. You can submit a written comment as described in the Guidance Document for Preparing a Public Comment linked below. You can also attend the Public Hearing the NSF is conducting at the Green Bank Observatory Science Center on Thursday, November 30th from 5:00 to 8:30 to voice your support. The Guidance Document discusses details about the funding options, writing a public comment and who to send it to, and contacting Congressional members to give them information such that they can give the NSF support to restore full funding. The link to the Draft EIS is still listed in this post. If you have any trouble accessing this Guidance Document or any of the other documents listed on this page, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This information is also available at our Facebook page. Also, don’t forget to visit the Green Bank Observatory’s Facebook page and their website at www.greenbankobservatory.org for more information.
Thank you all for your support and GO! Green Bank Observatory!
For those of you looking for the format of a public comment letter, you can find that here: Sample Public Comment Format
We’ve prepared some fact sheets from the information available on the GBO website to help you gather the facts you might need quickly. One is a short form listing major important points about the GBO. The other is more in-depth and is divided into specific topics, e.g. Science, Education, Community Impact, etc. Here is a link to a folder containing both fact sheets (for even more info, visit the Green Bank Observatory website): GBO Fact Sheets
This is a link to a folder on Google Docs that includes tables of contact information for the Senate and House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittees, the Senate Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee, and the House Research and Technology Subcommittee. These subcommittees have the most influence over the budget and the NSF so the members that sit on these would be good people to contact and let them know reasons why they should encourage the NSF to restore full funding to the Green Bank Observatory.
In addition, there are tables of contact information for the West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Massachusetts delegations. These are also important members of Congress to contact as many of the constituents from these states responded in favor of funding the Green Bank Observatory.
Here are links to the contact information for the West Virginia local State Senators and House of Delegates. The information includes email addresses for each member. Also provided is a link to email Governor Justice. These people are important allies for the Observatory and would be glad to hear your support.
West Virginia State Senate
West Virginia State House of Representatives
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice
You can become a member of the Green Bank Observatory or donate to them by following this link: Donate. It will take you straight to the Green Bank Observatory’s “Engage” page.
Remember, if you have any questions about the above information – or anything else – please contact us!