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Claire Max named director of UC Observatories

02 September 2015

Claire Max, Director, University of California ObservatoriesSPIE Fellow Claire Max has been named Director of the University of California (UC) Observatories, a multi-campus research unit that serves eight campuses.

Max is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, and has been interim director of the observatories since June 2014. She was appointed by UC President Janet Napolitano to a five-year term extending through 30 June 2020.

She previously worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and in 2001 joined the faculty at UC Santa Cruz, where she co-founded and led the Center for Adaptive Optics. Max is best known for her contributions to laser guide star adaptive optics, a technology that removes the blurring effects of turbulence in Earth's atmosphere, noted the University of Santa Cruz Newscenter press release regarding the appointment.

Adaptive optics has applications in vision science -- imaging the living human retina -- as well as in astronomy.

Max is a long-time partcipant and conference chair in the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference.