The Turbulent Birth of the Lick Observatory

With drama equal to any fiction, this article explores the story of how a major research institution came into being at the top of a mountain at the end of the 19th Century.

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About Rick Novy

Rick Novy makes his home in a suburb of that great metropolitan desert region of Arizona known as Phoenix. He grew up in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater with a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics (double major).

He moved to California and lived in the Bay Area for a decade, during which he earned a masters of science in engineering at San Jose State University. In 1999 he moved to Arizona (it’s a wry heat).

Rick spent 14 years as an engineer in the semiconductor industry. He is currently adjunct faculty in the mathematics department at a local community college.

Rick has more interests than he has time to devote. He is a fish keeper suffering from MTS (multiple tank syndrome). One tank features difficult to find purebred Endler’s Livebearers, a species he keeps because it is nearly extinct in the wild from habitat destruction and is being crossbred with guppies by shortsighted breeders and pet shops to the extent that uncrossed Endlers are nearly impossible to find.

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