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Preparation by non-UT Austin observers is essential

McDonald Observatory is not a "national facility" and does not provide the same level of service to visitors that such a facility provides. In particular, on-mountain training is not available and instrument manuals are not as polished as for the national centers. Therefore, new non-UT Austin observers must choose at least one of the following and indicate the choice in the proposal: 

     
1) Come 2 nights early, before your observing run, to learn the instrument; and/or 
     
2) Arrange for a qualified Texas observer to accompany you; and/or 
     
3) Collaborate with a qualified Texas observer; and/or 
     
4) Hire a qualified Texas graduate student for the run. 


It is crucial that the non-UT Austin PI makes arrangements (#2, #3, or #4) prior to submitting the proposal and explains the arrangements made in the proposal. 

Notification to the mountain staff of instrumentation and housing needs is required of all observers at least three weeks in advance of the observing run via an electronic Request for Services form. This form is appended to the UT Austin Request for Travel Authorization (for local observers via the RFS or RTA commands on the UT computer networks) and is available on the web site under resources - Official Travel

All observers, from whatever institution, are responsible for their own travel to McDonald Observatory and for their living expenses on the mountain. Accommodations are provided in the "Transients' Quarters", a small hotel and dining facility, on the mountain and within walking distance to the telescopes.