PMO's mission includes a strong public education aspect. Programs for high-school students have not only include observation, but also analysis of data and preparation of a paper for publication. PMO has developed software that enables K-12 teachers to perform observations remotely and process the data for classroom use 
As well as public education, the observatory hosts professional projects such as research on white dwarf stars and examining the large-scale structure of galaxies.
A 0.4 m (16 in) Cassegrain reflector was the first telescope installed at the site in 1967.
A 0.38 m (15 in) Cassegrain reflector was used by Donnelly and Ebbinghausen before PMO was founded, and was later installed at the site. As of 2007 a project was under way, in collaboration with Portland State University, to replace the historic instrument with a remotely controlled 0.36 m (14 in) telescope for astronomical imaging.
^ abcEbbighausen, E. G.; Donnelly, R. J. (1968). "The Pine Mountain Observatory of the University of Oregon". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific80: 230. Bibcode:1968PASP...80..230E. doi:10.1086/128617.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Frey, Thomas; Bensel, Holly; Bensel, Robert; Muller, Fred; Gasik, Ryan; Ruppe, Monika; Johnson, Jolyon; Medley, Danyal (2009). "Visual Measurements of the Neglected Double Star ARY 52 at the Pine Mountain Observatory Summer Science Research Workshop 2009". Journal of Double Star Observations5: 212. Bibcode:2009JDSO....5..212F.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Bothun, G. D.; Kang, R. (2000). "The Pine Mountain Observatory Outreach Program". American Astronomical Society197: 1606. Bibcode:2000AAS...19712005B.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Kemp, James C.; Swedlund, John B.; Landstreet, J. D.; Angel, J. R. P. (1970). "Discovery of Circularly Polarized Light from a White Dwarf". Astrophysical Journal161: L77. Bibcode:1970ApJ...161L..77K. doi:10.1086/180574.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^White, P. M.; Bothun, G. (2003). "The Intrinsic Structure and Color of IC 342 from CCD Observations". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific115 (811): 1135. Bibcode:2003PASP..115.1135W. doi:10.1086/376973.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Kang, R. (1999). "Update on Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO), A Report to GNAT Summer 1998". Precision CCD Photometry189: 260. Bibcode:1999ASPC..189..260K.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)