Mount Wilson Observatory is operated by the Mount Wilson Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation registered in California with offices on the Georgia State University campus in Atlanta. Our income derives primarily from site fees paid by the scientific projects here and some outreach activities. In normal years there are budget shortfalls that we cover out of a slowly diminishing reserve.
As a result of the Station Fire in the Angeles National Forest, we are going to be sorely pressed for resources to take care of cleanup and further preparation and mitigation activities. If you are interested in helping, we welcome your tax-deductible donation in any amount. Donations can be sent to: The Mount Wilson Institute, Fire Recovery Program, P.O. Box 1909, Atlanta, GA 30301-1909 or you may donate on line using the Amazon Simple Pay Donation system.
Among upcoming expenses will be the removal of a number of trees that appear to have succumbed to the backfire operation. In addition we need to install fire water lines to hydrants at the Monastery that were capped due to a major leak located in that vicinity. We want to install steel fire shutters on the night Monastery building. To assist fire fighters in future situations like this, we must install clearly marked road and directional signs as well as a "Knox box" at our electric gate to provide gate codes and maps to arriving fire crews. To protect our water source from power failure, we must run power underground that was installed on vulnerable poles some years ago. There are safety issues for our personnel and visitors that must be addressed including: emergency lighting in the 100-inch and 60-inch telescope buildings and particularly in the shelter-in-place area in the Hooker telescope dome; several self-contained breathing apparatus sets; oxygen bottles for emergencies including heart attack; and, several sets of Nomex fire suits for our core staff. Our actual needs list is many times larger than what I have indicated here and involves a good deal of labor that will have to be supplemented by contractors and temporary help.
Any assistance you can provide Mount Wilson Observatory at this remarkable time in its history will by deeply appreciated. The Observatory Director's fire blog continue to be posted at www.mtwilson.edu/fire.php.