Holi festival 2013. Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08.

Armandroff ’82 on his role as director of McDonald Observatory

[Taft Armandroff '82] By Caroline MacNeille '16

Astronomer Taft Armandroff '82 took over as director of McDonald Observatory in June. In this interview with Marfa Public Radio, he discusses his new role and the goals he has for the observatory. Namely, to sustain McDonald as a great research and public outreach institution.

Taft explores the convergence of "two of his passions, science and philosophy, and how the two have melded in his professional and personal life."

He comes to the McDonald Observatory from Hawaii, where he was director of the Keck Observatory, situated on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Prior to joining Keck Observatory in Hawaii in 2006, Armandorff worked for 19 years at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Ariz.

Armandroff graduated in 1982 from Wesleyan University, with a B.A. in Astronomy with High Honors. He went on to Yale University where he earned two masters degrees and PhD in astronomy.

He is a research astronomer who specializes in dwarf galaxies, stellar populations in our and nearby galaxies, and globular clusters, knowledge of which is key to understanding the evolution of the Universe.In a wide ranging discussion with Bubenik and Matalon, Armandroff talked about the intersection of two of his passions, science and philosophy, and how the two have melded in his professional and personal life.

Listen to the interview…

Image: c/o Lorne Matalon

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