Around the time of our last RECON campaign event, I had the opportunity to make a four-day road trip through our Southern Oregon and Northern California RECON sites. The map provided here highlights stops along the way. I landed at the Bend-Redmond Airport on Sunday, January 17. That evening, team members from Redmond, Bend, Sisters, Gilchrist, Sun River, and even White Swan all met at the Oregon Observatory. Despite the fact that it was snowing outside, it was a very productive opportunity to reconnect and talk through issues regarding RECON equipment and procedures, including our new procedure to take sky flats and dark field videos during future events.
The next day, I headed to Paisley, where I was joined by team members from Christmas Valley, Paisley, Lakeview, and Klamath Falls. Again, clouds kept us from practicing for Tuesday’s event, but it was useful for everyone to ask questions about equipment and alignment procedures.
Tuesday morning, I presented to middle school science students in Lakeview, and then I headed down to Fall River and Burney, California. That night, during the event involving 03WL7, the skies cleared around sunset allowing for a successful observation session with new team members from Burney. Sadly, most of the rest of the Western United States was clouded out that evening, and only four of our 55 telescopes sites had clear skies!
After presenting to students in Burney on Wednesday morning, I stopped in on team members in Tulelake and Chiloquin. Marc and I had not made it to Chiloquin during our recruitment trips during Fall 2014, so it was great to visit this community.
Wednesday evening, I met with three team members in Klamath Falls The next day, I headed up to Gilchrist, the home of the Grizzlies, where I met with students that morning. This was the final RECON site that I had not yet had a chance to visit. In meeting with the students there, we had a great time discussing the RECON project and ways that students could be involved.
I wanted to thank the roughly 50 team members from 13 RECON communities who came out to meet with me during this trip. I am truly honored to work with such a great group of dedicated, flexible, and fun individuals!