Yesterday, February 28th, marked my last day as an employee of the Joint Astronomy Centre. Come today I've been officially terminated from my position there and become an official employee of the East Asian Observatory. It's somewhat of an historic occasion; it marks only the second time a world-class observatory has been transferred from one owner to another.
The first was UKIRT back in October, but that involved only five staff members and transfer to two organizations that have both been around for a while (the University of Arizona and Lockheed-Martin). This time there are over thirty of us involved, being transferred to a new organization formally created just last year.
As you might imagine, transferring operations from an organization with over thirty years of history to one with just a few months' worth is a tricky process. We've dealt with all kinds of transfer-related issues in the last few months, and will undoubtedly have more that pop up Monday morning, but the tenacity that led us to stick with the telescope instead of finding different jobs will no doubt see us through. Exciting times, to be sure!
Next week I'm taking part in the Journey through the Universe program again, where I'll being visiting classrooms in Hilo and giving a talk about astronomy. The project I picked this year is quite visually impressive, and I've got some pictures of a test run I did so expect to see those up here pretty soon. A hui hou!