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NSF 21-055

Dear Colleague Letter: Intent to support a Workshop to Explore Novel Ideas for Future Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Activities with the Arecibo Observatory

March 10, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is interested in exploring novel ideas for future scientific, educational, and cultural activities at the Arecibo Observatory following the collapse of the 305-meter telescope platform. In order to explore the broadest range of options possible, NSF will hold a workshop focused on finding actionable and innovative ways to support, broaden, and strengthen the radio science community across all of Puerto Rico and to create or enhance the opportunities for (1) science and (2) educational and cultural activities and public outreach at the Arecibo Observatory. Participants at universities, colleges, and non-academic educational or research organizations in Puerto Rico are particularly encouraged to contribute.

The goal of the workshop is to assemble a diverse, multidisciplinary group of researchers, engineers, and educational leaders who will develop ideas and provide input for expanding the breadth and depth of radio science in Puerto Rico, as well as facilitate the generation of innovative design ideas for the Arecibo Observatory for the short (1-3 years), medium (3-10 years), or long (10+ years) term. The broad theme of this activity is a multifaceted approach supporting any or all of the following: next generation science in astronomy, atmospheric and geospace sciences, planetary radar or related fields; inclusive educational and cultural programs; and robust radio science programs, including engineering, instrumentation and radio frequency interference (RFI) mitigation.

Further information regarding this workshop will be posted on the Arecibo News web page by March 12, 2021. Further information regarding this workshop, including detailed information about the format, timing and logistics as well as the application process, can be found at Potential participants will be invited to submit a brief outline of any initiatives they would like to bring to the discussion.

This notice does not constitute a solicitation; therefore, no award of any kind will result from participation in this workshop. However, a possible product of this workshop may be materials suitable for inclusion in subsequent Rapid Response Research (RAPID) or Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals (see Chapter II.E of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide).


Sean L. Jones
Assistant Director, Mathematical and Physical Sciences

William E. Easterling
Assistant Director, Geosciences