Hat Creek Observer Information

Before you arrive at Hat Creek

  1. Read the HCRO Use Guidelines.
  2. Inform  Susie Jorgensen  (tel: 530 335-2364) of your arrival and departure dates and times, so that she can reserve a dormitory room for you.
  3. Contact Sam Maxie (tel: 510 642-5275) to reserve a Jeep if you plan to travel from Berkeley to Hat Creek and need transportation.  Do this well in advance  (2 weeks or more) of your arrival in Berkeley.  If you do not reserve a Jeep, there will not be one for you. It is a long walk!   Once in Berkeley, Sam will need to see your valid driver's license before giving you the vehicle keys. Be sure to  read the rules on Jeep usage.
  4. Allow sufficient time to get to Hat Creek before the previous observer leaves.  It is about a 5 hour drive to the site from Berkeley.
  5. Here are directions to the UC Berkeley Campus and Hat Creek.
  6. Here is a map of the Hat Creek site.

What are your responsibilities as Observer at Hat Creek?

The observer's main responsibility is to keep the array operating safely and efficiently.
  1. To paraphrase Hippocrates, "Above all, do no harm."
  2. Keep the telescopes observing (subject to above caveats).
  3. Verify the data quality
    • Make sure each completed projected is run through the data quality manager, "q."
    • Assign a letter grade to the project based on its "q" output (and those of preceding tracks).
    • Return the project to the schedule if needed.
    • Make a log entry in the summary file giving the grade and describing the  observing conditions during the track (phase stability, weather, system temperatures).
  4. Respond to telescope alarms
    • The array is programmed to alert the observer with a loud and annoying alarm if certain critical conditions are not met.  You should deal with these immediately either by fixing the problem which triggered the alarm or bringing it to the attention of someone who can fix it.
    • The contacts for help are
      • Rick Forster  (on site)
      • Jim Wirth  (on site)
      • Mark Warnock
      • Mark Masters 
      • Susie Jorgensen
    Their home phone numbers are posted in the observer's room.
    You can call Rick at any time, but for the others avoid calling after 10 pm unless it is an emergency.
  5. The Main Lab building is to be locked each night prior to leaving.
  6. Abide by all posted rules, recommendations, and speed limits.
  7. Report anything unusual to observatory staff.
  8. When in doubt, ASK someone PRIOR to proceeding.

When you leave Hat Creek

  1. Let Rick know what time you are leaving.
  2. Make sure the observer after you is up to speed on current observations.
  3. Log out of any computers not at Hat Creek. (i.e. your home account and machine)
  4. Ask Susie if there is anything to be brought back to Berkeley (if that's where you are going).
  5. Strip your bed in the dorm and put your dirty sheets & towels in the laundry bin.
  6. Return the Jeep keys to Maureen Barnato.

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Please direct comments, criticisms, corrections and contributions to: teuben@astro.umd.edu.
Page last modified: Friday, 16-Apr-2004 10:57:12 EDT.