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A Cosmic Vision: Griffith J. Griffith, Griffith Observatory, and the Power of Public Observing
February 13, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Griffith J. Griffith believed a person’s perspective could be transformed by looking at the night sky through a telescope. He conceived of a place for the public to have that opportunity and left money in his will to make it a reality. Griffith Observatory was the result of his vision and, after 85 years, is an icon of public astronomy (and Los Angeles). It is joined by a growing number of public observatories and amateur astronomy groups that share the wonders of the cosmos. Mark Pine is Deputy Director of Griffith Observatory, owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks. He is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the Observatory, which welcomes 1.6 million visitors per year. From 2000–2006, Mr. Pine served the Observatory as Deputy Executive Director of Friends Of The Observatory (FOTO), the Observatory’s non-profit support organization. He managed the design, development, content, and installation of the Observatory’s new $15-million exhibit program, a key element of the building’s $93-million renovation and expansion (2002–2006). Prior to his work at the Observatory, Pine served as Outreach Manager for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and worked at NASA Headquarters on the agency’s science programs. He received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1996. Pine holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Bachelor’s degrees in Mass Communications and Political Science from Miami University.