Robert B. Kerr, PhD, an astronomer and atmospheric scientist, has been appointed as director of the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The observatory is managed on behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF) by Cornell University's National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center. On Feb. 26 Kerr will assume the position held on an interim basis since Sept. 2006 by Timothy L. Hankins, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the New Mexico Institute of Technology. Kerr studies the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere and the atmospheres of planets and comets. Most recently, he was a program director in aeronomy at the NSF. He has held academic positions at Dartmouth College, the University of Michigan and Boston University. Early in his career he was on the technical staff at the Aerospace Corp. in Los Angeles, and later was the director of research and CEO at Scientific Solutions Inc. in North Chelmsford, Mass.