Carnegie Science | Spring 2019 13 After four decades in New York City, Sigrid Burton and Max Brennan decided it was time to return to Sigrid’s hometown of Pasadena. Sigrid, a visual artist, and Max, recently retired from fabricating one-of-a kind architectural elements, knew Erica Clark, the Observatories’ Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, who invited them to attend a “Lunch with an Astronomer” program in February 2016. At the lunch, Observatories director John Mulchaey enchanted Sigrid and Max with his boundless enthusiasm, as did the speaker that day, then-postdoctoral fellow Ben Shappee. The couple was hooked—not just on the science but also on the peerless historical contributions behind Carnegie astronomy. “Since that first lunch with an astronomer, we’ve been total fans,” Sigrid said. From then on, Sigrid and Max have attended Observatories events, supported the Observatories’ annual fund, hosted a kick-off event to launch the 2016 Carnegie Astronomy Lecture Series, and, most recently, established an endowment—The Atacama Fund—to support Observatories postdocs. Unlike many research establishments, where postdocs work in a hierarchy, Carnegie postdocs work alongside senior scientists collaborating and contributing equally, while being mentored. They are the core workforce and participate fully in the Observatories’ intellectual life, with complete access to the scientific resources at the Pasadena campus and, importantly, at the telescopes at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatories in Chile. The fund was named for the Atacama Desert where Las Campanas resides. Recently, Sigrid and Max asked John how they could best support the Observatories and, without hesitation, he proposed they support postdocs. “Listening to the postdocs is like a tonic,” Max remarked. “It is all data driven and a complete sea change from the daily barrage of news. We are big believers in an educated populace. We have been very fortunate and want to invest in young, bright people to rise up and not have to worry about support to help build their scientific careers.” The couple hopes that their seed funding to establish the Atacama Fund will attract others to contribute to the endowment. “It’s a commitment to the future, helping to ensure a future for great discoveries in astronomy,” Sigrid said. To support postdocs at the Observatories through the Atacama Fund see https://  Sigrid Burton and Max Brennan Establish Endowment for Observatories Postdocs Sigrid Burton (left) and Max Brennan (right) established the Atacama Endowment for Postdoctoral Research in Astronomy in 2018 to support the Carnegie Observatories postdoctoral researchers. This photo was taken in Botswana. Image courtesy Max Brennan