Who We Are

TMT is a non-profit collaboration between the University of California, the California Institute of Technology, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the countries of Canada, India, and Japan. Sited at Maunakea, the TMT would solidify the position of Hawaii as a World leader in research in astronomy and astrophysics.

A History of Engagement

  • 10+ years of community discussions on Hawaii Island and throughout the state.
  • A design based on community input and a keen understanding of the natural and cultural history of Maunakea and of the concerns over the past management of the mountain.
  • Consultation and collaboration with the Hawaiian community to address a range of cultural, environmental, educational and economic issues.

A Model of Sustainable Astronomy

  • TMT will be located 500 feet below the summit.
  • TMT’s site has no archaeological shrines or features, no endangered plants, no endangered insects and no burials.
  • TMT is not visible from any of the places that people consider the most sacred on the mountain.
  • TMT will use a special reflective aluminum-like coating to reflect the ambient environment and reduce the visibility of the structure.
  • TMT will be visible from just 14 percent of Hawaii Island.
  • TMT will not impact the aquifer.
  • TMT will leave no waste on the mountain.
  • TMT is highly energy efficient and will receive its electricity from the electrical grid.
  • TMT will not prevent traditional and customary native Hawaiian practices.
  • TMT will be accessible to everyone on Maunakea.
  • TMT will pay $1 million in annual lease rent; 80 percent will go to the Office of Maunakea Management for stewardship of the mountain and 20 percent will go to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
  • TMT will make an annual contribution of $1 million to The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund to better prepare Hawaii Island students to master STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and to become the workforce for higher paying science and technology jobs.
  • TMT will form and sustain a $1 million a year Workforce Pipeline Program that will lead to a highly qualified pool of local workers.

Why People Support Us

TMT is supported by people of all ethnic groups, including native Hawaiians.

Their reasons include:

  • TMT’s commitment to better the future for Hawaii Island’s children through the THINK Fund and Workforce Pipeline Program.
  • TMT’s commitment to a new paradigm of astronomy on Maunakea, founded on integrating culture, science, sustainability and education.
  • TMT went through a lengthy process that was approved by the Court and by the State.
  • TMT has the legal right to begin construction on Maunakea.

How Hawaii Benefits from TMT

Here are just some of the ways TMT positively impacts the Hawaii community:

  • Young People’s Education – TMT is committed to contributing to the future of Hawaii’s children through its THINK Fund and Workforce Pipeline Program.
  • Economy – TMT will bring several hundred million dollars in construction revenue for Hawaii-based companies. The project will also create 300 union construction jobs.
  • Long-Term Jobs on Hawaii Island – once completed, TMT will expend about $40 million annually in observatory operations and employ about 140 employees. Our commitment is to fill these positions with as many Hawaii residents as possible.
  • Maunakea Stewardship – TMT has committed to a lease rent of $1 million annually, with $800,000 going to support stewardship of the mountain’s resources by the Office of Maunakea Management.
  • Native Hawaiian Programs – Twenty percent of TMT’s annual lease rent will go to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for the benefit of the native Hawaiian population it serves.
  • Scientific Research and Discoveries – TMT will add to the best astronomical research in the world that is happening on Maunakea, cementing Hawaii’s reputation as the international leader in astronomical science. The University of Hawaii’s nationally recognized Institute for Astronomy will also benefit from the important infrastructure TMT will provide to enhance students’ learning by studying the universe.

For these and more facts about TMT on Maunakea, visit the Get The Facts page.

Latest Status

Update regarding TMT on Maunakea

On Thursday, December 19, 2019, Hawaii Governor David Ige announced that the state will reduce its law enforcement personnel on Maunakea.  Hawaii County Mayor Kim also announced that county police will withdraw from Maunakea. The Mauna Kea Access Road is now partially open to everyone, including hikers, hunters, visitors, cultural practitioners, astronomers, commercial tour operators and stargazers.

TMT is committed to finding a peaceful way forward on Maunakea for all. Said TMT VP for External Affairs Gordon Squires, “We are sensitive to the ongoing struggles of indigenous populations around the world, and we will continue to support conversations around TMT and the larger issues for which it has become a flashpoint. We are participating in private conversations with community leaders, but these conversations will take time.”

See also:

Hawaii News Now:
“As state withdraws law enforcement from Mauna Kea, protesters say they won’t follow”
Read More >>

Pacific Business News:
“Gov. Ige: TMT protesters have until Dec. 26 to leave camp at Mauna Kea”
Read More >>

University of Hawaii:
“UH President Lassner on latest Maunakea developments”
Read More >>

Get the Facts

EDUCATION

TMT worked with the community to develop programs that will prepare Hawaii Island students for future STEM jobs.

ENVIRONMENT

TMT is committed to a model of sustainable astronomy; one that respects the unique environment of Maunakea.

CULTURE

Great care was taken to identify the best location for TMT out of respect for Maunakea’s rich history and the spiritual beliefs of native Hawaiian culture.

ECONOMY

Astronomy directly supports about 1,000 jobs in Hawaii and has a total economic impact of $167.86 million statewide.

SCIENCE

Given its advanced technology, TMT will enable scientific discoveries that we cannot even begin to anticipate today.

Community Supporting TMT

We Asked, You Answered

A statewide scientific public opinion poll was conducted in October 2015 by Ward Research, Inc., an independent research firm based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ward Research quota sampled for key demographic characteristics (e.g. age, ethnicity, gender, and island of residence). The demographics of the sample match the demographics of the community based on Census data. The margin of error is +/- 4%. Download: full poll results here.

 Yes/Agree   No/Disagree

Do you agree or disagree that there should be a way for science and Hawaiian culture to co-exist on Maunakea?

88%
10%

Do you support moving ahead with construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea?

62%
29%

Do you agree or disagree that TMT has followed a lengthy approval process, including permitting, community meetings and environmental impact statements, so work should proceed?

75%
22%

Latest News

Update regarding TMT on Maunakea

On Thursday, December 19, 2019, Hawaii Governor David Ige announced that the state will reduce its law enforcement personnel on Maunakea.  Hawaii County Mayor Kim

Misaligned Stars

The Politic recently wrote about the TMT conflict “It benefits everybody—the observatories, the local community—when we hire local,” Laychak explained, cautioning, “with that being said, there