In replying to the Wildcat letter on Mt. Graham from Mr. James Leonard (Sept. 13), an undeclared graduate student, might I first suggest logic as a possible program of study?
For example, Mr. Leonard attacks the move of the location for the third telescope based on previous squirrel studies, yet the same individuals who did these studies were the ones who requested the move. If these individuals were wrong to request the move, why then does Mr. Leonard quote their earlier studies?
Likewise, Mr. Leonard quotes the "famous" Lynds study, which lists Mt. Graham as the 38th best out of several potential sites. This study was an idea to PREDICT how sites would perform, based on mountain shapes. Graham was 38th, while Mt. Hopkins ranked 57th, and Kitt Peak ranked 59th. The latter two are world-class observatories, so Lynds idea was a nice try that did not pan out. SEAC, which at times has pushed Mt. Hopkins over Mt. Graham as the better site, faces a similar quandary, given that they frequently cite the Lynds study, which favors Mt. Graham.
My final comment, dealing with Mr. Leonard's parting shot "if the monitoring program is so good, why haven't they published academic papers," is simply to refer him to Dr. Paul Young's peer-reviewed article in the forthcoming Storm Over A Desert Mountain book from the UA Press.
Associate Professor, EEB
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