Press Release

National Science Foundation Invites Media to Apply for Reporting Opportunity in Chile

By SpaceRef Editor
November 12, 2012
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National Science Foundation Invites Media to Apply for Reporting Opportunity in Chile

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting written requests from professional journalists to participate in a media expedition to Chile in mid-December 2012, around the First Year of ALMA Science conference that will take place in Puerto Varas, Chile, from December 12-15. Journalists will visit NSF-supported observatories, visit with researchers on-site, and gain a wider understanding of NSF scientific investments in Chile. Selected journalists will travel for approximately one week.

Established as one of the best locations in the world for siting large telescopes and making discoveries about our universe, NSF has partnered with the Chilean government and researchers in the development and operation of a succession of forefront astronomical observatories. These astronomy research sites and projects are potential components of the media expedition:

– The 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics depended on critical observations made from the Blanco 4m telescope of Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO).

– Gemini-South, part of the international Gemini Observatory and the proposed site for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) are also near CTIO, not far from La Serena, Chile.

– Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), located in the Altiplano of northern Chile, is the world’s most sensitive, highest resolution, millimeter and sub-millimeter-wavelength telescope. The array provides a testing ground for theories of star birth and stellar evolution, galaxy formation and evolution, and the evolution of the universe itself. It makes possible a search for planets around hundreds of nearby stars. ALMA will be dedicated in March 2013. The First Year of ALMA Science conference will take place in Puerto Varas, Chile, from December 12-15.

How to apply:
Applicants must submit a written expression of interest in participating in the program, the equivalent of no more than two printed pages, detailing the outlet(s) in which the reporting will appear and a description of the audiences for those outlets. Priority will be given to U.S. journalists.

A panel consisting of science and logistics staff from NSF programs and NSF public affairs will review all proposals and select finalists. The panel will look for proposals that indicate an understanding of the nature and challenges of NSF’s scientific enterprise in Chile as well as the desire and ability to communicate that understanding to the public.

Application Deadline: Friday, November 16, 2012

Application: Applications that indicate solid working knowledge of NSF and its science goals and the ability to communicate the research being undertaken to a wide audience stand the best chance of selection.

NSF can provide access to researchers who are scheduled to be in the field during the deployment period to assist reporters in obtaining information about the science they may expect to see while in Chile.

Freelancers are eligible for consideration but must supply with their letter of application evidence of a firm commitment, on their employer’s letterhead, from the prospective employer to publish or air their work.

Expenses: Reporters selected for the media visit, or their employers, pay for commercial flights and lodging while in-country. NSF will furnish ground transportation and on-site lodging if commercial lodging is not available.

Where to Send Applications: Contact NSF public affairs by phone or by email as soon as possible to express interest. Send the proposal letter to:

National Science Foundation
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1245
Arlington, VA 22230
Attn: Dana Topousis, +1 703-292-7750,

SpaceRef staff editor.