2015 Qilak Award for Astronomy Communications, Public Education and Outreach

CASCA is pleased to announce Mr. Paul Delaney from York University as the recipient of the 2015 Qilak award.

Mr. Delaney was an active member of the Canberra Astronomical Society in his native Australia before obtaining his MSc in Astronomy at the University of Victoria in 1981. He became the Observatory Coordinator at York University in 1986, where he has also been the Director of the Division of Natural Science since 2002.

For Mr. Delaney’s infectious enthusiasm and tireless advocacy for astronomical outreach has spanned several decades. Charged with ensuring access for York physics students in his role as observatory coordinator, Mr. Delaney went one step further and built a thriving public outreach program that welcomes over 5,000 visitors to the observatory annually and a weekly YorkUniverse global radio audience of 30,000. Mr. Delaney’s face and name are also ubiquitous on Canadian media when there is a major sky event, with near-weekly appearances with major news outlets. Mr. Delaney has been an active member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) throughout his long career, and is currently the second vice-president of the RASC Toronto Centre. Mr. Delaney has received several awards for his sustained and enthusiastic service promoting astronomy, including the 2010 Sandford Fleming Medal, a Top-10 lecturer in TV Ontario’s 2005 “Best Lecture” competition, and both Faculty of Science and University-wide teaching awards at York.

Please join CASCA in thanking Mr. Delaney for his selfless dedication to improving public understanding and appreciation of science and astronomy.

2015 Plaskett Medal

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Anne Archibald as the 2015 recipient of the J.S. Plaskett Medal.

Dr. Archibald completed her doctoral studies at McGill University in 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Vicki Kaspi. Her thesis, entitled “The End of Accretion: The X-ray Binary/Millisecond Pulsar Transition Object PSR  J1023+0038”, reports the discovery and detailed study of an eclipsing binary radio pulsar. Using several different telescopes at a variety of wavelengths, Dr. Archibald established the transitional nature of the system from low-mass X-ray binary to millisecond radio pulsar, the first such object discovered and a key “missing link” in our understanding of neutron star binary evolution.

Dr. Archibald is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), where she is continuing her pulsar research and working on the LOFAR radio telescope.

CASCA congratulates Dr. Archibald on the receipt of the 2015 J.S. Plaskett  medal.

Tenure Track Position in Physics

Tenure Track Position in Physics 
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, has a population of more than 1,300 students and emphasizes innovative approaches to teaching and learning, research and engagement. Experiential learning, impactful research and strong community relationships are the hallmarks of Grenfell’s profile.
The Division of Science at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland invites applications for a tenure track position in Physics beginning August 1, 2016.
GRSC-2016-002, Physics: Duties will include teaching, research, and service to the university. A Ph.D. in physics or astronomy and demonstrated excellence in teaching is required. Experience with the operation and maintenance of a research-grade telescope and instrumentation is highly desirable. Experience in science promotion and outreach is an asset. The candidate should have research interests and the ability to teach a range of courses in the areas of Astronomy and Subatomic Physics, in support of a B.Sc. with a major and a minor in Physics, and within an interdisciplinary degree program in General Science.
Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2016. 
A letter of application, a curriculum vitae, teaching dossier (including evidence of teaching effectiveness and a sample course outline), and the names of three references should be sent to: The Acting Associate Vice-President (Grenfell Campus) Academic, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, NL, A2H 6P9. Telephone 709-639-6526; Fax 709-637-6218 or email associatevpoffice@grenfell.mun.ca
All appointments are subject to budgetary approval. Salary will reflect qualifications and experience in accordance with the Collective Agreement governing faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. Memorial University is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from qualified women and men, visible minorities, Aboriginal people and persons with disabilities. 


Faculty Vacancy Brandon University

Faculty Vacancy
Applications are invited for a Sessional Instructor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Brandon University. Applications are solicited from all fields of Physics and Astronomy. A minimum of the M.Sc. degree is required for this position, with preference given to those with an earned Ph.D. or doctoral candidates.
Brandon University is a predominantly undergraduate institution, and while department members are all active researchers, the focus is on successful and innovative teaching of our students, who thrive in the small-class and personalized learning environment that Brandon University provides. A successful track record of teaching will therefore be an important consideration. The Department offers 3 year, 4-year, and 4-year Honours undergraduate degree programs in Physics.
The sessional position will likely include instruction of the department’s high-enrollment introductory calculus-based Physics courses Foundations of Physics I and II (74:161 from Sept-Dec. 2016 and 74:162, Jan-April 2017 respectively). As well, the position will involve teaching some of the upper year Physics courses. The actual assignment of courses will be partly determined based on the abilities of the successful candidate. The workload assignment for this position is for the maximum allowable 12 credit-hours of instruction, for which the total remuneration will be $26,114. There is a possibility that a second candidate could be chosen for 6 credit-hours of instruction, for which the total remuneration will be $11,870.
For more information on this position and Brandon University please see http://www.brandonu.ca or contact the Department Chair, Dr. Todd Fugleberg (fuglebergt@brandonu.ca).
Applications should be sent via e-mail in a single pdf file of reasonable size, and include letter of application, vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, citizenship status, as well as the names and e-mail addresses of three references.
Please address applications to:
Dr. Todd Fugleberg
Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Brandon University
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
Deadline for Applications: May 31, 2016
We thank all applicants for their interest in applying for this position and advise that only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Short listed candidates will be expected to provide copies of credentials at time of interview. 
Brandon University hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply including women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of the University. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. 

CASCA Executive Award

CASCA is pleased to announce that Dr. Ralph Pudritz, from McMaster University, is the 2016 recipient of the CASCA Executive Award.

In 1998 Dr. Pudritz was appointed the chair of the original Long Range Planning panel, the outcome of which was the highly influential LRP2000 report (“The Origins of Structure in the Universe”). Prior to this report, individual leaders and panels in various sub-disciplines had succeeded in developing Canadian involvement in a range of facilities and institutes, but LRP2000 was the first long-range plan that the Canadian astronomical community itself generated through a process of broad consultation, debate, and, ultimately, consensus. Dr. Pudritz drove this process forward with vision and energy. LRP2000 not only succeeded in cementing Canadian involvement in ALMA, TMT and the SKA (remarkable in the face of the very challenging funding climate), it also succeeded in transforming the process by which our community communicates our aspirations to the federal and provincial governments and other funding partners. The LRP2000 report became the model for future decadal plans that
have succeeded in developing a unified vision for Canadian astrophysics, and this success is in no small measurable attributable to the efforts of Ralph Pudritz and to his colleagues on the LRP2000 panel. Dr. Pudritz has subsequently gone on to develop the Origins Institute at McMaster University, a visionary research and teaching institute with a multidisciplinary focus on biology, mathematics, physics and astrophysics. This is another achievement well worthy of recognition by the Executive Award.

The Board of Directors of CASCA congratulates Dr. Pudritz on his distinguished career of scientific achievement, thanks him for his outstanding record of service to the community, and is honoured to award him the 2016 CASCA Executive Award.

2016 J. S. Plaskett Medal

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Jonathan Gagné as the 2016 recipient of the J.S. Plaskett Medal.

Dr. Gagné completed his doctoral studies at l’Université de Montréal under the supervision of Dr. David Lafrenière and Dr. René Doyon. His thesis, entitled “La recherche de naines brunes et étoiles de faible masse dans les associations cinématiques jeunes du voisinage solaire”, identifies and characterizes new substellar mass objects that belong to nearby young associations of stars. Dr. Gagné developed a powerful new algorithm to select highly probable substellar objects in young associations that is now widely used by the community. He also carried out an all-sky survey to identify, follow-up and characterize actual candidates, more than doubling the number of confirmed brown dwarfs.
Dr. Gagné is now widely recognized as a leading figure in the study of nearby young substellar objects.

Dr. Gagné is currently a Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science, where he will work to identify and characterize young brown dwarfs with only a few times the mass of Jupiter.

CASCA congratulates Dr. Gagné on the receipt of the 2016 J.S. Plaskett Medal.

Dunlap Award for Innovation in Astronomical Research Tools

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Peter Stetson, from NRC-Herzberg, as the 2016 recipient of the Dunlap Award.

Dr. Stetson obtained his Ph.D. in Astronomy at Yale in 1979. After a short research fellowship at Yale he took a Carnegie Fellowship at the Mount Wilson and Las Campanas Observatories, subsequently moving to the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) of NRC-Herzberg in 1983.
Dr. Stetson has been the principal research officer at DAO since 2003.
He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006, and was awarded the George van Biesbroeck Prize of the American Astronomical Society in 2008.

To address the problem of measuring the properties of stars in digital images from the earliest CCDs, Dr. Stetson developed and released the DAOPHOT program in 1986. He has single-handedly maintained, improved, and supported it since then. Countless investigators have used DAOPHOT; the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project to measure the size of the Universe and the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of dark energy are but two transformational scientific results that exploit its photometry. Dr. Stetson’s more recent spectral line measurement code, DAOSPEC, has been adopted by many of the world’s largest optical facilities. Additionally, Dr. Stetson’s carefully calibrated, freely available photometric standard star catalog now exceeds 114,000 objects, and underpins the majority of photometric observations carried out today. Dr. Stetson has also long served as an image structure expert for senior National Research Council engineers, impacting the design of instruments for the nex
t generation of large facilities such as the Thirty Meter Telescope.

CASCA congratulates Dr. Stetson on the receipt of the 2016 Dunlap Award.

Qilak Award

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Jaymie Matthews, from the University of British Columbia, as the 2016 recipient of the Qilak Award for Astronomy Communications, Public Education and Outreach.

After obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1987, Dr. Matthews held positions at Western and l’Université de Montréal before moving to the University of British Columbia as a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in 1988. He obtained tenure at UBC in 2000, and has been a full professor there since 2008.

Dr. Matthews’ dedication and boundless enthusiasm for communicating with the public about astronomy are illustrated by the dozens of outreach activities in which he participates annually, ranging from public presentations, to radio interviews, to campus tours, to TV show consultations. Beyond his legendary teaching reputation at UBC, he has given courses aimed at younger children as well as special lectures in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the First Nations Summer Science Programme, and the Canadian Association of Physics (CAP) undergraduate lecture series, among many others. In recognition of these efforts, Dr. Matthews received the CAP Education Medal in 2002, was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2006, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Please join CASCA in thanking Dr. Matthews for his selfless dedication to improving public understanding and appreciation of science and astronomy.

2016 Beals Award

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Chris Pritchet, from the University of Victoria, as the 2016 recipient of the Carlyle S. Beals Award.

Dr. Pritchet obtained his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Toronto in 1975. After holding positions at the University of British Columbia, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the University of Calgary, Dr. Pritchet has been on faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Victoria since 1982. He was Department Chair from 1995-1998, and the chair of the 2010-2020 Long Range Plan Committee for Canadian Astronomy. Dr. Pritchet is currently an associate fellow of the CIfAR Cosmology and Gravity program as well as the principal investigator of CANFAR, which coordinates astronomical computing resources across Canada.

Dr. Pritchet’s research in observational cosmology combines the best available technology with sophisticated analysis techniques. His discovery, along with Sidney van den Bergh, of RR Lyrae variable stars in the Andromeda galaxy is recognized as a vital contribution to fixing distance scales in the Local Group. He is a leader of the Supernova Legacy Survey that has provided precise measurements of dark matter and dark energy in the Universe, and he initiated the close galaxy pair study in the Canadian Network for Observational Cosmology redshift survey. He has also produced important results on galaxy mass profiles, globular cluster distributions, and stellar populations of galaxies in the local universe. Dr. Pritchet has mentored over three dozen graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and has also made important contributions to astronomy education and outreach as a Galileo lecturer of the International Year of Astronomy and the initiator and primary organizer of Vict
oria’s Café Scientifique.

CASCA congratulates Dr. Pritchet on a distinguished career of scientific achievement and community service.