Mission, Vision, and Values

Our mission is to advance the frontiers of astronomy and share our discoveries, inspiring the imagination of all.


To advance the frontiers of astronomy and share our discoveries, inspiring the imagination of all.


Our vision is a world in which all humankind is inspired and united by the pursuit of knowledge of the infinite variety and richness of the universe.

Core Values

Integrity: We, as individuals and as an organization, make promises carefully and keep them unequivocally.

Safety: We hold as paramount the safety and health of observatory personnel and equipment and that of our natural environment.

Respect: We respect all human beings and treat them with dignity. We respect the unique natural and cultural environment that is Hawai’i.

Discovery: We honor and nurture discovery – scientific, technical, and personal. Discovery lies at the very heart of our mission.

Service: We proudly serve each other, our community and those who use Keck Observatory, assuring that our telescopes and instruments are fully operational for every night’s observing.

Cultural Values

Communication: We listen effectively and speak thoughtfully and honestly. True communication begins with careful listening.

Teamwork: We honor and encourage teamwork both within the Observatory and the broad Keck Observatory community.

Education/Learning: We encourage broad-based life-long learning and professional development for every member of the Observatory staff.

Rewarding Work Environment: We strive that all who work here are enriched and inspired by what we have together accomplished. A challenged, educated, and appreciated staff will maximize the chances for breakthrough scientific discoveries.

Excellence: We carry out our mission with a commitment to excellence both in what we do and how we do it. We encourage and honor creativity, quality, and initiative by all who work here.

Community Involvement: We involve ourselves in positive, meaningful, and supportive interaction with our unique local community. We share the excitement of what we do and what we discover with all.

W. M. Keck Observatory Strategic Plan