Summer Workshop 1

What You Might Want to Know!

ESS Passport Professional Development
The Green Bank Observatory

About the site:  
The Green Bank Observatory is a national research center located in a remote part of Pocahontas County, WV.   Taking advantage of the surrounding mountains which act as a shield and its location in the “radio quiet zone”, the observatory is unique in its ability to observe in the radio frequency with limited interference. The Green Bank Observatory  hosts researchers in radio astronomy from various institutions within the US and from around the world.  Green Bank is now home to the largest steerable radio telescope in the world: the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, aka the GBT.  A walk around Green Bank gives you insights into the history of radio astronomy, a relatively young science. Education’s area of particular interest is the 40-foot and 20 meter radio telescopes which are dedicated to K-12 and undergraduate radio astronomy research.

What you will be doing:
You will be part of a cohort of teachers participating in three directed study modules: astronomy, geology, and climate/meteorology. The days you spend in each of these modules will expose you to content, NxGen standards, relevant activities, and pedagogy.   Each day will begin with a session dealing with the three dimensions of NGSS and “unpacking” the WV Next Generation of Science Standards.  A considerable amount of collaboration will take place so that you will develop a network of peer support statewide.  Evenings will be spent working on projects.

When to arrive: 
Please plan to arrive 3:00pm on Sunday, June 17th to get ready for the 4:00pm start of the workshop.  Upon arrival at the Observatory please go to the Residence Hall (first building on the right; see the site map) where you will receive a packet including information about your housing.  Room or house assignments can be found in the wooden rack on the left wall as you enter the lobby of the residence hall.

Information on driving to the Green Bank Observatory is available on our web site Green Bank   Please follow these directions as they have been optimized using the best current information on road conditions.  Driving directions given by GPS receivers and routing software (e.g. MapQuest) are notoriously unreliable within 50 miles of the Observatory. At no time should you leave the paved road.

Where you will be staying:
The ESS Passport grant provides accommodations on the Observatory grounds in the Residence Hall or Observatory housing.  You will be sharing a room with one roommate.  Rooms in the residence hall have two beds, a bathroom, blanket, pillow, linens, towels, a telephone, and a computer port with Ethernet cable.   There is no daily maid service but they will change out the linen and towels at the end of the week.  There are laundry facilities available.  We tend to gather in the residence hall’s historic lounge (the place where the Drake Equation was drafted) in the evenings to socialize.

Where you will be eating:
The grant pays for both your room and board so all of your meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be provided in the observatory dining hall which is attached to the Residence Hall.  Mid-day and evening snacks are also provided so you will not starve!  By filling out the online questionnaire we will make every effort to accommodate dietary restrictions.

Communicating with Family and Friends:
The Green Bank Observatory is located in the National Radio Quiet Zone.  As such there is no cell phone service in the area or Wi-Fi on the site.  Wired internet access is available in all housing, and we have a computer lab as well.  If you have a Mac computer or IPAD and you wish to connect to the internet, please bring an Ethernet adapter.  All rooms are equipped with phones. You can call long distance using a phone card.  We sell these in our gift shop, or just visit a Dollar General Store to pick one up.  For emergencies, give your family and friends this phone number: 304-456-2150.  It will be answered by a person seven days a week, from 9AM – 6 PM.  We will be sure to get messages to you.  After hours we can check voice mail.

What to bring:

1. Dress is very casual (yes, jeans/shorts are appropriate). You will be walking between buildings and Green Bank is higher in elevation so a light jacket for the evenings might be good.  Definitely bring running or comfortable walking shoes.  A raincoat/umbrella may come in handy if you don’t like the occasional rain shower.  There is a pool on site so a swim suit is optional.  We will be taking a geology field trip so bring closed-toed shoes or boots, hat, and long pants.
2. You will need to bring toiletry items (shampoo, contact solutions etc) and any prescription medicine you require. 
3. You should bring a calculator and flashlight. An alarm clock might also be useful.

Optional: Film camera, binoculars. You should be aware that radio emissions from common devices such as cell phones, digital cameras, portable computers, fitbits and other appliances can be detrimental to the on-going observations with the GBT. There are some restrictions on the use of such devices on the Green Bank Observatory property. See Green Bank

A laptop computer is convenient for working in your room which has wired internet access (remember iPads do not have Ethernet ports).  There are computers available in the Science Center and will be available for your use.  You must disconnect all wireless capabilities in your laptop and cell phone to minimize RFI.   

Bank Access:
There is a bank directly across the road from the Green Bank Observatory which will cash checks. An ATM machine is available 24/7 in our Science Center.

Tentative Workshop Schedule


Emergency contact information:

Daytime emergencies:  Science center.  (304) 456-2150. Someone will answer between 9:00 and 6:00.
Night Time Emergencies:  You will have access to phones in your rooms.

Any Questions about your stay in Green Bank?
Feel free to contact Sue Ann Heatherly (The Green Bank Observatory) sheather@The Green Bank OR (304) 456-2209.