AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 168 Instrumentation and Telescopes for Small College Observatories
Special Session, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Royal Palm 4-6

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[168.03] Astronomical Research and Facilities at a Primarily Undergraduate State Institution

M. T. Carini, D. Barnaby (Western Kentucky University)

In 1999, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western Kentucky University undertook an ambitious refurbishment of our 0.6m telescope and observatory. Our goal was to take a manually operated system and turn it into a state of the art scientific instrument, which would operate in any one of three modes: manual, scripted or autonomous. We undertook this endeavor at a state institution whose primary focus is undergraduate education and which has little internal sources of funding for such a project. Using the refurbished system, we planned on establishing a research program which would engage undergraduate students. I will discuss our successes to date and the work that still remains.

This work has been funded in part by NASA grant NAG 58762, NSF/Kentucky EPSCoR, NASA/Kentucky EPSCoR, NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and the Applied Research and Technology Program at WKU.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.