Visiting Scientists

Visiting Scientists

Establishing a New Research Project or Program at PARI

The 200-acre PARI campus is well suited for a wide range of research projects in diverse scientific pursuits. We welcome inquiries. If you have a project in mind contact our Research Director, Ben Goldsmith, at or 828-862-5554.

PARI fills a special niche in observational astronomy by supporting long-term survey, monitoring and target of opportunity programs for visiting scientists. The programs may take advantage of existing infrastructure and instruments at PARI, or instruments may be added by researchers. Internet access is available across the 200-acre campus, so experiments may be controlled remotely.

Current research at PARI primarily involves astronomy and earth science but we are actively encouraging development of biology and environmental science research. Biology/environmental experiments can be placed in undisturbed forested areas and still have easy access to power and Internet. Basic habitat data is central to many important questions in biological and environment science areas. PARI offers a multitude of data sources from aquatic to terrestrial, flora to fauna and abiotic to biotic. Visiting scientists are free to use standard sampling techniques or novel/rising data collection paradigms to assess the many facets of PARI’s natural resources. By offering the opportunity to collect data from each of these key habitat components we can bolster the diversity of the data for research and for classroom applicability.

Visiting scientists may stay on the PARI campus. Visiting scientists may be individuals, postdoctoral researchers, or members of a consortium or observing campaign. Labs, offices and housing are available.

The formation of new consortia for the enhancement of their members’ research and education programs is encouraged. A consortium may be a theoretical astrophysics research group, an observational astronomy group, instrumentation engineers or other such groups. The telescopes at PARI may be used by consortium members for worldwide observing campaigns. Or, members may develop and support existing or new telescopes at PARI. Existing consortia are also invited to take advantage of the infrastructure and instruments on the PARI campus.

Astronomers at PARI are currently principal investigators on two research projects. One is the measurement and analysis of light curves of eclipsing binary stars using the PARI 0.4m optical telescope. The other is a project to classify up to one million stars on a collection of objective prism photographic plates in the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive. For this project, PARI astronomers have opened the research as a citizen science project called Stellar Classification Online – Public Exploration (SCOPE).