Please click a topic below for FAQs related to that topic and answers to those questions.

Workshop Funding

Q: If I require funding to participate in the workshop, how do I apply?

A: To apply for funding, fill out the workshop application and near the end, indicate the funding you have available to use.  The more funding you have available, the higher priority your application will be given if necessary.

Q: If I receive funding, where will the funding come from?

A: TIO can provide funding for a limited number of participants’ lodging & meals.  Funding for roundtrip airfare to and from California, USA (either San Francisco SFO or San Jose SJC) is very limited and may come from a variety of sources.  Contact your country/institution-specific liaison for more information and help.

University of California applicants may be eligible to receive travel funding through the University of California Observatories.

Q: Will TMT be able to cover the U.S. Visa fee?

A: Unfortunately, we are unable to cover the U.S. Visa fee, but we do not want this to prevent you from participating.  Please contact us if this is a problem.

Passport & U.S. Visa

Q: Do I need a passport to participate in the workshop?

A: You need a valid passport (recommended expiration date valid >6 months from workshop) if you are coming from a country other than the United States of America.

Q: Do I need a U.S. Visa to participate in the workshop?

A: Please see the U.S. Department of State website for the most comprehensive and up-to-date information.  If you are a citizen of Canada or Japan, you should not need a Visa to enter the U.S. for this workshop.  Citizens of China and India will need to apply for a U.S. Visa.  Please do this as soon as you have been accepted and have confirmed participation in the workshop as it can take up to 6 weeks to acquire the visa.

Q: If applying for a U.S. Visa, what type should I get?

A: It is recommended to apply for a B1/B2 (Business/Tourism) combined or B1 (Business) visa (usually valid for up to 10 years), which will help facilitate future visits to the U.S. as well. This visa is for conferences, workshops, etc.

Q: The Visa application asks for a point of contact in the U.S., who should I list?

A: Please use the following contact information:  
Diana Bisel
Thirty Meter Telescope
111 Nowelo Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Phone: 808 319-2220
Fax: 808 319-2223

Q: The Visa application asks if I am traveling alone or with a group, what should I say?

A: You may put down that you are traveling with a group, and you can list the name of the group as “TMT International Observatory Workshop.”

Q: Will TMT be able to cover the U.S. Visa fee?

A: Unfortunately, we are unable to cover the U.S. Visa fee, but we do not want this to prevent you from participating.  Please contact us if this is a problem.

Workshop Arrival and Departure

Q: How do I get to Santa Cruz and UCSC?

A: You should plan to arrive and depart from either San Francisco International Airport (SFO) or Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC).

A preliminary list of shuttle and taxi options from SFO or SJC to Santa Cruz can be found here: .  Please stay tuned for additional details on ground transport.  

We may help coordinate shared shuttle rides for participants who are arriving or departing each airport at similar times. 


Q: When should I plan to arrive and depart so that I am present for the entire workshop?

A: You should plan to arrive no later than the evening of Monday, August 21, and depart no earlier than the morning of Wednesday, August 30, after the workshop has concluded.  Days will be full of activities and participants are expected to attend the entire workshop or else forfeit their participation.

Workshop Organization & Goals

Q: Why is ISEE running the workshop?

A: The Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators (ISEE) has been training graduate students and postdocs, and has partnered with telescopes for more than 15 years. ISEE is also located at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), which is the headquarters of UC Observatories, and the center for the UC participation in TMT.  ISEE is developing a new program for TMT, which will be designed to engage the full international partnership in TMT science and technology development. This workshop will pilot some components of the envisioned program, and engage the targeted audience in designing a program that is optimal for all of the partners.

What to Bring

This is a suggested list but is not comprehensive. If you have further questions, please contact Diana and Austin.

  • Appropriate clothes for workshop participation: pants/slacks/skirts and collared shirts/blouses or dresses; shoes

  • Laptop

  • Summer in Santa Cruz is dry but can vary in temperature, with warm days (~27C / 80F) and cold nights (~10C / 50F).  For maximum comfort, pack warm-weather clothes plus additional layers (sweater, jacket, stockings/leggings).  Sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended for Lick Observatory and other outdoor activities.

  • Phone and/or camera

  • Poster of work if you want to share it (we will schedule a poster session)

  • Casual clothes for times outside of workshop

  • Money for meals during travel to/from Santa Cruz and the off-day on Saturday, August 26.  During workshop days at UCSC, all meals will be provided as part of the workshop lodging costs. 

What to Expect
  • The workshop, as you can see from the agenda, is very packed all day. We will have some session breaks, but plan to be engaged and involved in sessions all day. Participation is expected at all sessions.

  • Summer weather in Santa Cruz features a wide range of temperatures (10-30C / 50-80F).  Please bring appropriate layers.

Onsite Printing

You can have your Poster printed in Santa Cruz, at the local FedEx print shop:

  • Maximum Poster size: Maximum size 120 cm (48 in) vertical x 120 cm (48 in) horizontal.
  • Be sure to select ‘pick up’ at the Santa Cruz location: 712 Front Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060
  • Approximate cost: $87 USD for a 36 inches by 48 inches size poster.
  • Deadline to submit your print order: 8/21/2017 to be picked up by 8/24/2017
  • Be sure to indicate Nicole Mattacola ( will be picking up the poster on your behalf (if you do not have your own transportation).
  • Let Nicole know if you have submitted a print order.