From the Board of Visitors Executive Committee
Marfa Public Radio Starts Series Focusing on West Texas Astronomy
In January 2013, Marfa Public Radio (KRTS) and its sister station, West Texas Public Radio (KXWT, in Odessa) started broadcasting an original monthly series highlighting astronomy in West Texas, focusing on interviews with astronomers from McDonald Observatory. The new series wil can be heard live on the last Monday of each month, and will be available as podcasts
Dr. Anita Cochran, the Assistant Director of McDonald Observatory, was the first astronomer interviewed. The program ran on January 28 on both KRTS and KXWT. Future installments will air on the last Monday of each month on both stations (at 10 a.m. on KRTS and at 2 p.m. on KXWT).
You can read more about the series at:
You can stream Anita Cochran’s interview online at:
An interview with Dr. Matthew Shetrone, a Senior Research Scientist with McDonald Observatory and Resident Astronomer at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, airs on Monday, February 25. In the interview, Shetrone (who holds a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from The University of California at Santa Cruz and an undergraduate degree in astronomy from UT Austin) discusses his research and running the night-to-night observations at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, where he collects data for himself and other astronomers.
Rachel Osier Lindley, Marfa Public Radio’s News Director, is working with McDonald Observatory Director David Lambert on future interview possibilities, both for University of Texas astronomers and for observers coming to the observatory from other institutions.
Connections among Marfa Public Radio, McDonald Observatory, and the Board of Visitors are deep. BoV member Eugene Sepulveda is the station’s Board President and CEO, and BoV member David Chappell serves on the station’s board, along with McDonald Observatory Research Scientist Steve Odewahn. Ann Adkins, a member of the Board of Visitors, is the station’s Business Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. The station won national acclaim in 2011 for its coverage of the Rock House Fire; that coverage later won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
Lindley says that KRTS will package the astronomy series for national distribution via the Public Radio Exchange.