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Joseph Receives NASA Medal

Robert Joseph displays medal.

Robert Joseph proudly displays his NASA Public Service medal.

NASA has awarded the NASA Public Service Medal to IfA astronomer Robert Joseph. The citation, signed by the NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, reads, "For outstanding leadership while serving as Director, Infrared Telescope Facility, enabling extraordinary planetary science research and exceptional contributions to the NASA Solar System Exploration mission."

Joseph served as the director of the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) for 11 years, making him the longest-serving director of this U.S. national observatory. He has been a faculty member at the Institute for Astronomy for 15 years and is currently the faculty chair. During Joseph's tenure as NASA IRTF director, the IRTF was awarded over $21 million in grants and contracts by NASA and the National Science Foundation for observatory operations, new focal plane instrumentation, enhancements of image quality, and facility renovation and modernization.

The NASA IRTF is the principal observatory in the United States that is dedicated to infrared studies of the solar system. It was established by NASA in 1979, and has been managed and operated by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy for the past 25 years. The observatory employs about 22 scientific, technical, and administrative staff, 17 of whom live on the Big Island.

See Why Use an Infrared Telescope?