In alternate years, the CASCA Board has the honour to bestow the Executive Award for Outstanding Service “to an individual who has made sustained contributions in service that have strengthened the Canadian astronomical community and enhanced its impact regionally, nationally and/or internationally.” Dr. Greg Fahlman, of NRC Herzberg, is the recipient of the 2018 Executive Award.
Among his numerous accomplishments in research and service, Dr Fahlman is arguably most well known as the leader of the National Research Council Herzberg, Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre. During his time in this capacity, which is now 15 years, he has both developed and bolstered what is Canada’s defacto national laboratory for astronomy. His leadership has contributed both to the development of Canadian astronomy while also helping establish and strengthen our international partnerships. At the same time, his vision and execution have been immensely important to not only the day-to-day operations of our field, but also to its detailed planning process, as facilitated through the “Long Range Plan” for Canadian astronomy. His commitment to ensuring strong ties between NRC Herzberg and the university research community has provided a platform for the entire field in support of the execution of the two LRPs.
Prior to taking on the leadership of NRC Herzberg, Dr Fahlman was the Executive Director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and during this time CFHT laid the foundations for some of its most widely cited research to-date. He also continues on in advising capacity for CFHT as a Board Member, leveraging both his operational knowledge of the NRC as well as providing advice to help CFHT further build its international connections as it prepares to evolve towards a new facility.
His vast experience of facility operation and development played a pivotal role in Canada moving forward with the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) as well as the Square Kilometer Array, both projects singled out as top priorities in LRP2010. With Canadian researchers have being central to the development of the TMT project shortly after the development of the first Long Range Plan (LRP2000), Dr Fahlman’s contributions at the administrative level helped chart the path forward to eventual funding in 2015. As the TMT project moves forward Dr Fahlman continues to play a pivotal role on the Board of the TMT Observatory, while at the same time representing Canada’s interest in the SKA on its Board of Directors.
A graduate of the University of Toronto in 1970, Dr Fahlman began his faculty career at the University of British Columbia in 1971. His work would cover many different fields in astronomy, from magnetic fields in stars through to stellar clusters. To date, he has authored or co-authored more than 200 papers that have been cited more than 5,600 times by researchers worldwide and most recently is known for his research on the Milky Way’s star clusters, both young and old.
For almost five decades, Dr. Fahlman has been a driving force and steadfast supporter of astronomy both in Canada and beyond. In bestowing the Executive award the CASCA Board both applauds and recognizes Dr Fahlman’s exceptional accomplishments and contributions.