Dr. Paul Hardersen
Dr. Paul Hardersen is an Associate Professor in the Space Studies Department at the University of North Dakota. Dr. Hardersen is also the manager of the UND Observatory, although this is not a formally defined position at UND. Dr. Hardersen is responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, and operation of the observatory’s astronomical equipment, which includes four Internet controllable‐telescopes – three optical (one 10‐ and two 16‐inch aperture) and one radio (2.1‐meter‐diameter). The optical telescopes can conduct astrometric,
photometric, and visible‐wavelength spectroscopic research; the radio telescope conducts H I (i.e., neutral hydrogen) observations. All of the UND telescopes are a part of the Space Grant Internet Telescope Network (SGITN), which is a nascent national network of small, Internet‐controllable observatories that are available for research and education for college students. Please visit these web sites for more information:
http://sgitn.space.edu, http://observatory.space.edu. Renovation and construction at the UND Observatory has been underway since 2005with the investment of ~$200,000 from university departmental, college, alumnus, and private donations. Dr. Hardersen has almost single‐handedly built this facility, located~10 miles west of Grand Forks on university property, from a non‐functioning site to a site that is now offering a multi‐wavelength, multi‐telescope research capability that can support faculty and student research projects from anywhere in the world via their remote operation. The UND Observatory boasts a capability available at few universities – most notably among those that do not have an astronomy department (like UND) or a long record of research in the astronomical sciences. It should also be noted that this entire effort is beyond Dr. Hardersen’s required job description of teaching, research, and service. The UND Observatory will be fully operational by August 2010. Since 2005, the UND Observatory has been used by students enrolled in SpSt 425: Observational Astronomy. The facilities have also been used to partially support one M.S. thesis research project and three M.S. independent study research projects. Hardersen, P.S., 2008. North Dakota Space Grant Consortium: The latest and greatest in 2008. Western Regional Space Grant meeting, Jackson, Wyoming, September 25‐27, 2008. Hardersen, P.S., 2008. Annual meeting of the North Dakota NASA EPSCoR Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), Fargo, North Dakota, September 5, 2008. Hardersen, P.S., 2007. Annual meeting of the North Dakota NASA EPSCoR Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), Fargo, North Dakota, August 23, 2008.