CASCA/RASC Plaskett Medal Presented to Dr. Yasuhiro Hasegawa (March 3, 2013)

The J.S. Plaskett Medal is awarded annually by CASCA and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) to the Ph.D. graduate from a Canadian university who is judged to have submitted the most outstanding doctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysics during the preceding two calendar years. CASCA is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2013 J.S. Plaskett Medal is Dr. Yasuhiro Hasegawa.

Dr. Hasegawa completed his doctoral studies in 2012 at McMaster University. His thesis, entitled “Planet Traps in Protoplanetary Disk and the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems”, was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Ralph Pudritz. This work explores in detail — from both a theoretical and computational perspective — the possibility that inhomogeneous structure in protostellar accretion disks can create ‘planet traps’ where major planets are built up primarily through the capture of rapidly migrating planetary cores, followed by the accretion of dense gas.

CASCA extends its congratulations to Dr. Hasegawa, who is currently an East Asian Core Observatories Association (EACOA) Fellow at the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) in Taiwan.

Laura Ferrarese, President, on behalf of the CASCA Board
Patrick Cote, Chair, on behalf of CASCA’s Awards Committee

CFHT Announcement of Opportunity for new capabilities

The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation encourages members of the CFHT community to participate in the development of new capabilities for CFHT through this Announcement of Opportunity (AO). These new capabilities should be made available to the CFHT community on an accelerated timescale, in accord with the recent CFHT Board statement about the future of the Observatory:

Proposed new capabilities might exist in a variety of forms including upgrades to existing instruments, modest-scale new instruments, or major new instruments that are externally subsidized. In any case new capabilities must be built within the budget and schedule constraints outlined in the full text of the AO:

This opportunity is open to any member of the CFHT Partnership, including full and associate Partners. Interested proposers are asked to submit proposals for consideration by 23 August 2013 and are encouraged to participate in the CFHT Users’ Meeting 6-8 May 2013 ( when a special session will be organized for concepts to be vetted, initial community feedback heard, and potential collaborations across the CFHT Partnership further developed.

Any queries about the proposal process should be directed to the CFHT Executive Director, Doug Simons (

Western Conference on Science Education 2013: Call for Proposals

The positive buzz created by the inaugural 2011 Western Conference on Science Education has inspired us to “prepone” the planned 2014 Conference up to July 9 – 11 of 2013. We are excited to host the WCSE once again at Western University in London, Ontario.

Reconvening a national community of colleagues from across Science disciplines will sustain our momentum toward enhancing the practice and profile of post-secondary science education in Canada.  WCSE 2013 will be sparked by the provocative ideas of some of North America’s preeminent science educators and fueled by the inspiring work of teaching and research faculty, librarians and other science education professionals from colleges and universities across the country.

We welcome four dynamic Plenary speakers:

Dr. Susan Rundell Singer, (NSF Program Officer, Carleton College, Northfield MN)

Dr. Tony Bates, (Tony Bates Associates, Vancouver, BC)

Dr. Dietmar Kennepohl FCIC, (AVP Academic, Athabasca University, Athabasca AB)

Dr. Carolyn Eyles, (iSci Program Director, McMaster University, Hamilton ON)

As a provocative and unifying Conference theme, we invite participants to ask themselves how their work reconceives that old adage “Doing more with less”.  In what innovative ways are you and your students doing more Positive with less Negative?  Are your students doing more learning with less lecturing?  More research with less memorizing?  Is your practice more communal with less siloing?   You get the idea.

The WCSE 2013 Program will feature 40 min Presentations and 80 min Workshops in addition to Posters and Round Table/Panel Discussions of such topics as experiential learning, undergraduate research, tech-enabled learning etc.  New for 2013, we look forward to 14.0 min “Short and Tweet” sessions.

Submissions will be accepted until March 11, 2013.  Find Submission Guidelines and more information at:

To receive direct notification of future updates, subscribe to our Twitter feed @WestConf.

Or, send a message to with “Update Me” in the subject line.

Please help us to do more promotion with less spam by forwarding this announcement to interested colleagues.

We look forward to meeting with you again soon(er).

WCSE 2013 Organizing Committee

Dr. Alyssa Gilbert

Outreach Coordinator
Centre for Planetary Science & Exploration
The University of Western Ontario
Room 121, Western Science Centre
Ph: (519) 661-2111 ext. 88508
Fax: (519) 488-4721

Twitter: @CPSXNews

Reminder, deadline is Jan 15 – Rappel, date limite du 15 janvier CASCA awards nominations – Nominations pour les Prix et médailles de la CASCA

CASCA members are invited to submit their nominations for four awards
that will be bestowed in 2013:

1. *R.M. Petrie Prize Lecture*: The Petrie Lecture is “an invited discourse by an outstanding astrophysicist which is held at Annual Meetings of the Society in alternate years, in memory of the significant contributions to astrophysical research by the late
Robert M. Petrie.”
2. *Peter G. Martin Award*: Awarded to a CASCA member for Mid-Career Achievement by “a Canadian astronomer, or an astronomer working in Canada, within ten to twenty years of receipt of his or her PhD degree, to recognize significant contributions to astronomical research”
3. *J.S. Plasket Medal*: “Awarded to the Ph.D. graduate student from a Canadian university who is judged to have submitted the most outstanding doctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysics in the preceding two calendar years.”
4. *Qilak Award*: “Awarded to a Canadian resident, or a team of residents, who have made an outstanding contribution either to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy in Canada, or to informal astronomy education in Canada”.  [Selection to be made in consultation with the Education and Public Outreach Committee.]

For more information on these awards, including nomination requirements and a list of past recipients, please see:

Nominating letters and supporting materials should be submitted (electronically) to both the chair of the CASCA Awards Committee

and the CASCA business office

Any questions should be directed to the committee chair. In all cases, the deadline for submissions is *January 15, 2013*.

Patrick Cote, on behalf of the CASCA Awards Committee


Les membres de la CASCA sont invités à soumettre le nom de candidats pour les 4 prix suivants qui seront attribués en 2013:

1. La conférence R.M. Petrie: “La Conférence Petrie est prononcée tous les deux ans par un astrophysicien de mérite à l’occasion du congrès annuel de la Société. Elle commémore l’importante contribution de Robert M. Petrie à la recherche en astrophysique.”

2. Le prix Peter G. Martin: “Le prix Peter G. Martin pour contribution exceptionnelle de mi-carrière d’un membre de la CASCA est accordé à un astronome canadien ou un astronome travaillant au Canada. Le PhD du candidat doit avoir été décerné entre 10 et 20 ans avant la mise en candidature car le but est de reconnaître des contributions significatives à la recherche en astronomie.”

3. La médaille J.S. Plasket: “Le prix est attribué chaque année au diplômé de doctorat d’une université canadienne dont la thèse en astronomie ou astrophysique a été jugée la plus remarquable au cours des deux dernières années civiles.”

4. Le prix Qilak: “Le prix Qilak reconnaît des individus ou équipes résidant au Canada qui ont contribué de façon exceptionnelle soit à la compréhension et l’appréciation de l’astronomie au Canada, soit à l’éducation informelle en astronomie au Canada.” [La sélection sera faite en consultation avec le comité Education et Relations Publiques.]

Pour obtenir plus d’information, incluant les règlements et la liste des récipiendaires des années précédentes, veuillez consulter la page suivante:

Les lettres de nominations et le matériel demandé doivent être soumis (électroniquement) au président du comité Prix et Médailles et également au bureau de la Société:

Toute question peut être envoyée au président du comité. Dans tous les cas, la date limite des soumissions est le 15 janvier 2013.

Patrick Cote, de la part du comité des Prix et Médailles de la CASCA

CFHT UM 2013 – Calling all PIs – Early registration and abstract submission deadline is Jan 9

The CFHT will hold its triennial Users’ Meeting in Campbell River, Vancouver Island, Canada, on 6 – 8 May 2013.  The first announcement as well as other pertinent meeting information is included in the meeting’s website:

As a recent user of or proponent to CFHT, I would like to encourage you to attend this meeting to publicise the science results arising from your observations. As always, the CFHT UM provides an opportunity to reflect upon the scientific achievements of the CFHT community as well as to participate in shaping the future of CFHT.

I would like to draw your attention to the following important deadlines and I look forward to you joining us in May.

Regards, Jon Willis.

On behalf of the CFHT UM SOC.

Important deadlines:

Early Registration &  Abstract submission:  9 January

Registration / Hotel accommodations:  6 March

NSERC requesting feedback from the community regarding Discovery Grant funds

Recently, NSERC sponsored a study by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to re-assess the allocation of Discovery Grant funds among Evaluation Groups (EGs). As NSERC points out, “In the absence of the infusion of new funds, this is necessarily a zero-sum activity, with some EGs experiencing a reduced budget allocation and other groups receiving a budget increase.”

NSERC is now requesting feedback from the community on the CCA guidelines that will be used to re-distribute Discovery Grant funds among different disciplines. Feedback can be provided by either completing the online survey available at: (when asked, enter code 7243623)

or by emailing NSERC directly at

The deadline for submitting the feedback is January 11, 2013.

Additionally, CASCA will provide NSERC with a summary of collective feedback. For us to do so, please email any thoughts or suggestions you might have directly to  with a deadline of December 30, 2012.

Additional information can be gathered from the following documents/webpages:

Document containing background information on budget allocation for Discovery Grants:

Link to the NSERC Consultation page (including a link to the survey):

Link to the CCA report:

Best regards,
Laura Ferrarese, on behalf of the CASCA Board