MEDIA ADVISORY: Change in schedule for center dedication

The dedication of the Center for Adaptive Optics at UC Santa Cruz, with NSF Director Rita Colwell, has been postponed until June

The dedication of the Center for Adaptive Optics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been postponed until June to accommodate a change in the schedule of featured guest Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Colwell is unable to attend on April 26 as originally planned because she was summoned by the Bush administration to take part in a U.S. delegation to China.

The dedication of the Center for Adaptive Optics is now expected to take place on June 20 or 21. Colwell will take part in the dedication and give a speech on "Research Trends and Opportunities at NSF." More details about her visit and the dedication ceremony will be forthcoming.

The multi-institutional Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO), headquartered at UCSC, was established in 1999 as an NSF Science and Technology Center focused on the advancement and application of adaptive optics technology.

Adaptive optics (AO) is used in astronomy and vision science to correct the blurring of images caused when light travels through an unstable medium. For example, turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere limits how clearly astronomers can see stars and other objects with even the largest ground-based telescopes. Similarly, internal imperfections and fluids in the eye not only affect vision but also limit the ability of doctors to get a clear view of the retina to diagnose and correct retinal defects and disease. The center has 28 partner institutions.

A new CfAO headquarters building was recently completed on the UCSC campus. The 4,000-square-foot building on Science Hill provides offices and meeting space for faculty, visiting scientists, students, and administrators.