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Congressman Evan Jenkins

Representing the 3rd District of West Virginia


June 7, 2017
Press Release
Questions National Science Foundation Director France Cordova

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) asked National Science Foundation Director France Cordova Wednesday about potential partnerships with other agencies for the Green Bank Observatory.

As the NSF considers the future of the Green Bank Observatory and its telescope, Rep. Jenkins asked what steps the agency is taking to help support this scientific and educational resource.

“One potential partnership has turned up recently for Green Bank with the national security community. I don’t want to say too much about it because it’s very new – within the last couple of weeks, few weeks – but those have been very long and now sustained discourses with that community over their potential interest in that. And so, we’re always hopeful that that will produce something of significance here and we will keep you informed,” Director Cordova said.

Rep. Jenkins urged her to keep looking for and developing partners to use the existing resources available at the Green Bank Observatory.

“We think there are touch points with not only with those interests but others, NASA. There’s just unique opportunities and capacities, and what I think we are trying to do is obviously not only to continue to work with the relevance for fulfilling those core NSF missions and functions that you’ve outlined, your direction, but also with other federal entities and agencies and programs,” Rep. Jenkins said.

Director Cordova appeared before the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee to testify on the agency’s fiscal year 2018 budget.

Please click here to watch the questioning from Wednesday’s hearing.

The National Science Foundation is conducting an environmental impact statement for the Green Bank Observatory and held a public scoping hearing in October on the future of the observatory. Rep. Jenkins testified at that public scoping hearing at Green Bank, along with a number of community members.

The NSF will be considering five possible actions:

  1. Continued NSF investment for science-focused operations.
  2. Collaboration with interested parties for science- and education-focused operations with reduced NSF-funded scope.
  3. Collaboration with interested parties for operation as a technology and education park.
  4. Mothballing of facilities (suspension of operations in a manner such that operations could resume efficiently at some future date).
  5. Deconstruction and site restoration.