When I was president of my High School Astronomy Club, one of my favorite field trips that we would go on was to the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton outside of San Jose. We would always take the back roads from Livermore instead of driving up the steep side from San Jose. It would take longer, but it was a fun trip. Whether we were visiting exhibits or just setting up the school telescope on the side of the road, it is a place filled with great memories.
The other day I discovered that the University of California has challenged the Observatory to find alternative funding or face closure in 2017. Apparently, $1.5 million a year is a bit pricey and the UC would rather spend that money on the bigger observatories they are associated with in Hawaii. I think that having the UC support the Observatory is a no brainer and hopefully, they will see the error of there ways.
In the meantime, there is a great website where you can do a myriad of things to support the Lick Observatory: Donate money, join Friends of Lick Observatory, send letters to UC Leadership, or even send comments and ideas on how to help save the Observatory.
I’m still deciding what I am going to do, but I am leaning over joining Friends of.. I’ll let you know what I do!