Travel Info for the Undergraduate ALFALFA Workshop

Green Bank Observatory

June 13-17, 2016


There will be a bus from Washington Dulles (IAD) airport to Green Bank observatory on Monday, June 13. Departure time 3:30pm. Meet the group near the Hudson News on the second level (check-in/ticketing level) around 3:00pm. The bus will be parked at the far right end of this terminal as you exit the doors from the second level. It is a large white bus that has NRAO insignia and astronomical designs along it.

For those with a long wait in the airport, see the Dulles Dining Directory for food options. There is more variety inside the gates, so you may want to choose something before exiting to the terminal.

There will be one bus returning to Dulles on Friday, June 17, leaving about 6:30am.


If you are delayed, it is important that you call a contact person, so that we can determine whether the bus should or should not wait for you. If your group misses the bus, you will need to rent a car to drive to Green Bank. If the hour is late, you can spend a night near Dulles.

If you expect to be delayed, please call at least one contact person, preferably more than one. Contact phone numbers are provided on the email list and on the Google UAT Groups page


Everyone will be accommodated on the Green Bank Observatory grounds. Faculty will be accommodated one or two to a room in the residence hall and/or "chaperone" room at the bunkhouse. Students will be accommodated in the bunkhouse. The bunkhouse is dormitory-style. Towels and linens are provided, but please bring your own toiletries.

There is an internet connection in the Science Lab and a phone in the common area of the bunkhouse. To make phone calls, you will need a calling card. Faculty in residence hall rooms will have internet connections; the chaperone rooms have phones. Internet connections will be available in the meeting room (auditorium) as well as some smaller rooms onsite.

There is a refrigerator in the bunkhouse. Each faculty room in the residence hall has a refrigerator. A coffee maker is available in the lounge of the residence hall.



All meals will be provided at the Observatory cafeteria. The cafeteria, located in the residence hall, opens at 7:30am and closes after our dinners. The bunkhouse is next to the cafeteria. Vegetarian options will be available at each meal. Please let Becky know if you have food restrictions. The Starlight Cafe in the Science Center is open until 7:00pm (hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream). You may want to bring a few snack items of your own.


There will be ethernet connections available in the lecture room for laptops. We strongly encourage all participants to bring their laptops, especially if they are using a Mac or Linux operating system. Be aware that tablets/ipads that have no direct ethernet will be less useful. If you have a mac without an ethernet port, be sure to bring the appropriate thunderbolt cable. You might also bring an ethernet cable if you have it. Be sure to disable any wireless devices on laptops (why, students?).

If possible, install TOPCAT on your laptop before the workshop. Directions are provided at under "Obtaining TOPCAT" and on the UAT Groups Google site (ask Becky for access). See A Brief Introduction to TOPCAT, from our Scavenger Hunt #0.


The observatory is in a remote location, not in ready reach of pharmacies or supermarkets. PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING A SUPPLY OF ANY MEDICINES YOU NEED. It's a good idea to also be prepared with any over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin or allergy medications.

If you are susceptible to motion sickness, you may want to take any medication before the ride to the observatory.


You will not be able to use your cell phone at the Green Bank Observatory (why is that, students?!). Please disable your phone, as well as any other wireless devices (e.g., pagers, laptops). There are phones available around the facility. You can make long distance calls from these phones with a calling card, so you may want to purchase a calling card.

Please read this explanation of RFI policies


Temperatures at Green Bank in June usually range from 70-80 degrees. The buildings can be cool, so bring a sweater/sweatshirt with you to the meetings. Dress is casual.

Please bring closed-toe shoes (for example, sneakers) for the facility tours.


Please check out airline and TSA regulations. In particular, you are limited to the amount of liquid you can carry in your carry-on bag. This page provides full details.

Observatory Travel Website

You might like to look at the observatory information:
Site Map
Observatory page

Workshop Home Page

Last modified: Wed Jun 8 12:04:47 EDT 2016 by becky