Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Keith Raybould, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's chief operating officer, is headed south next month to begin a new job overseeing construction of the largest terrestrial telescope ever built.
Raybould has led MBARI's physical operations and expansion plans, which include demolishing the building that houses Phil's Fish Market & Eatery in order to build new research facilities.
He will begin work for the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization in Pasadena - an international consortium including the Carnegie Institution of Science, Harvard University and Texas A&M - in early December.
GMTO plans to build an observatory housing a 25-meter telescope for visible-light and infrared astronomy, according to MBARI spokesman Kim Fulton-Bennett. The telescope, which GMTO aims to complete by 2019, is destined for Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. It's expected to produce images 10 times sharper than the famous Hubble Telescope.
It's not the first time big prospects have lured MBARI officials out of Moss Landing: President Obama tapped former MBARI CEO Marcia McNutt to lead the U.S. Geological Survey in June 2009. She made national news last summer, when she took a tough regulatory stance on the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Until she returns to MBARI, Interim CEO Chris Scholin is leading the institute.