Brief Biography

Dr. Otarola is a civil engineer with a specialty in geography, having completed his undergraduate studies at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile from 1982 to 1989. He also received a diploma in computer sciences from the Universidad Católica del Norte in Chile.

Dr. Otarola earned a Master of Science in atmospheric sciences in 2006, with a research focus on the modeling of liquid water’s relative permittivity at microwave frequencies. He received his Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences with a minor in planetary sciences in 2008, with a research focus on the effects of turbulence on microwave signal propagation in an absorbing atmosphere.

Throughout his professional career, Dr. Otarola has been a staff member at the European Southern Observatory, Caltech/Thirty-Meter Telescope International Observatory, and has recently returned to the European Southern Observatory as an atmosphere scientist.

Dr. Otarola has participated in worldwide site testing studies to identify the best locations for astronomical projects, such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and the Thirty-Meter Telescope Project. He conducts active research on atmospheric properties of potential astronomical observatory sites, as well as physical modeling and instrumental monitoring of atmospheric parameters relevant to astronomy.

In addition to his research, Dr. Otarola has focused on initiatives related to preserving the natural brightness of the night sky. He is a member of the Chilean Astronomy Society’s Light Pollution Working Group and the Chilean Low-Earth Orbits Satellite Group, where he contributes his research on the increasing number of low-Earth orbit satellite trails affecting astronomical science images.

Dr. Otarola is a member of various professional societies, including the International Astronomical Union, the American Astronomical Society, the Sociedad Chilena de Astronomía (SOCHIAS), the American Meteorological Society, and the American Geophysical Union.