2014 SARA Western Regional Conference - Bishop, California, USA on 22 and 23 March 2014

The 2014 SARA Western Regional Conference will be held at Bishop, California and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory on Saturday and Sunday, 22 and 23 March 2014. OVRO is operated by California Institute of Technology and is located about 11 airline miles southeast of Bishop (driving distance is closer to 20 miles).

From the OVRO website (http://www.ovro.caltech.edu/): “The Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) is one of the largest university-operated radio observatories in the world. Known by locals as 'The Big Ears', the observatory is located near Bishop, California, approximately 250 miles north of Los Angeles on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. For reference, its coordinates are 37:14:02N latitude, 118:16:56W longitude at 1222 meters above sea level. ... CARMA is the Northern Hemisphere's most powerful millimeter-wave radio astronomy observatory.” Coordinates for the CARMA – Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy – are 37°16'49.89" N, 118°08'29.58" W. Image below from http://www.ovro.caltech.edu/

Call for papers: Papers are welcome on subjects directly related to radio astronomy including hardware, software, education and tutorials, research strategies, observations and data collection and philosophy. If you wish to present a paper please email a letter of intent, including a proposed title and abstract to the conference coordinator at westernconference@radio-astronomy.org no later than 31 December 2013. Be sure to include your full name, affiliation, postal address, and email address, and indicate your willingness to attend the conference to present your paper. Submitters will receive an email response, typically within one week.

Presentations and proceedings: In addition to presentations by SARA members, we plan to have speakers from OVRO and we have arranged for Dr. Tony Phillips from Spaceweather.com to make a presentation (more details to follow). Papers and presentations on radio astronomy hardware, software, education, research strategies, philosophy, and observing efforts and methods are welcome. Formal proceedings will be published for this conference. If presenters want to submit a paper or a copy of their presentation, we will make them available to attendees on CD.

Basic schedule: Our first day will be spent at Owens Valley Radio Observatory with presentations by SARA members and supporters and OVRO staff followed by a CARMA tour in the nearby mountains. Our second day will be at a conference room in Bishop with presentations by SARA members and supporters.

Contact: Please contact conference coordinator Whit Reeve if you have any questions or if you would like to help with the conference: westernconference@radio-astronomy.org.

Getting there: Bishop and OVRO are located in a valley between the eastern Sierra Nevada and White Mountains. Because of the remote location we recommend conference participants make their travel plans and hotel and rental car reservations early. Possibilities are to fly into Los Angeles (LAX) or Las Vegas (LAS). If you decide to fly to Los Angeles, it is possible you can connect into the regional airport at Mammoth Lakes (MMH), 50 miles to the north of Bishop. The airline traveling into Mammoth is Alaska Airlines/Horizon, which has marketing agreements with a number of airlines including American Airlines. An Alaska/Horizon or American flight into LAX and a connecting flight into Mammoth would not require a terminal change to make the connection. From Mammoth, cars can be rented at the airport. Another possibility is to fly into Los Angeles or Las Vegas and then enjoy a scenic drive to Owens Valley, roughly 260 miles from LAX and 160 miles from LAS.

Directions from Bishop to OVRO: To drive from Bishop to OVRO, you need to drive through the city of Big Pine. Directions may be found on the OVRO website (see website link above). At the top of web page, click on Information and then on Directions in lower-left.

Registration: Registration for the 2014 Western Regional Conference is just US$55.00. This includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Payment can be made through PayPal, www.paypal.com by sending payment to treasurer@radio-astronomy.org. Please include in comments that the payment is for the 2014 Western Regional Conference. You also can mail a check payable to SARA, 2189 Redwood Ave, Washington, IA  52353, USA. Please include an e-mail address so a confirmation can be sent to you when we receive your payment.

Hotel reservations: Contact the Creekside Inn in Bishop for reservations. We could not reserve rooms because they required up-front payment. To get the best rate and reserve your desired room type, we recommend contacting the hotel as soon as possible. Current rates (as of 26 July 2013) are: King Mountain View: $109.99, King Creekside with Balcony: $119.99, King Creekside with Patio: $129.99. Call Creekside Inn at +1 800-273-3550 or make reservations at http://www.bishopcreeksideinn.com. In case your plans change at the last minute, Creekside Inn has a 24 hour cancellation policy.


Saturday night dinner: We will make a group dinner reservation at a local restaurant for Saturday night.

Additional Information: Additional details will be published online at www.radio-astronomy.org and in the SARA journal, Radio Astronomy, as we get closer to the conference date.