New Page Charges in AAS Journals

As most of you are aware, AAS journals (ApJ, ApJL, ApJS, AJ, etc) switched to Open Access at the start of this year. Several of you have expressed concern to the AAS publications committee that the new resulting page charges are quite high and cannot be easily covered by a typical NSERC Discovery grant.

This was raised during this week’s meeting of the publications committee in Pasadena. Amongst a wide ranging discussion, the main message we’ve been asked to convey back to the CASCA community is that the AAS journals have a substantial budget for full or partial waivers of publication charges, and that it is quite reasonable for a Canadian astronomer to request such waivers given our funding landscape.

You are given the option to request a full or partial waiver during the manuscript submission process. Your request will be confidential to the editor-in-chief, and will not affect how your paper is handled by the associate editor or referee. You are welcomed and encouraged to request a waiver if you cannot easily meet the cost of publication.

If you have any questions or concerns about AAS publication charges or anything else about AAS journals, please reach out to Bryan Gaensler (contact information below) and he will make sure that any concerns you raise are brought to the attention of the publications committee.

Bryan Gaensler

Requisition 16600 / Research Officer, Adaptive Optics Developer

Job Category: Research Officer, Adaptive Optics Developer
City: Victoria
Organizational unit: Herzberg, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Classification: Research Officer (RO)
Tenure: Term
Duration: 3 years
Linguistic Profile: English

Research Officer, Adaptive Optics Developer – NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL of CANADA (NRC)
Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory
5071 West Saanich Road
Victoria, BC V9E 2E7
Fax: 613-991-1125
Telephone: 613-990-1286
E-mail enquiries:

For more information on NRC Herzberg, see: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre – National Research Council Canada

For more information on the staff and their research interests, see: Intro – Herzberg Astrophysics (

Desired starting date: As soon as possible

The National Research Council of Canada’s Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (NRC-HAA), is seeking a scientist or engineer with strong interests in the development of next generation Adaptive Optics (AO) systems to support the development of optical instrumentation at the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA). HAA has a rare combination of staff involved in astronomy research, instrumentation design and development, engineering, data science and observatory support. The chosen candidate will be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.

HAA is a leading developer of instrumentation for Canada’s current and future ground- and space-based telescopes from optical through to radio wavelengths (e.g., CFHT, Gemini, TMT, ALMA, SKA). Its multi-disciplinary team includes project managers, optical, electrical, mechanical and systems engineers and technicians, signal processing experts and astronomers. Current major activities include participation in the development of optical/NIR spectrographs for Gemini including GHOST and GIRMOS, adaptive optics systems for multiple instruments on Gemini, the TMT and ELT, as well as multiple projects at radio wavelengths including correlator upgrades and central signal processing architectures for the SKA and ALMA. Alongside these facility projects, HAA maintains an active portfolio of small scale R&D activities, including the development of test benches and on-sky demonstrators on local telescopes, that provide a means for showcasing new technologies and methodologies aimed at advancing astronomical research.

The AO Developer will be someone who provides scientific and/or technical support and leadership to AO projects. They will be a member of the AO Team and will report to the AO Team Leader. The AO Team, which is part of the HAA Astronomy Technology Directorate (ATD), provides direct support to various on-going instrumentation projects and is also engaged in an ambitious R&D program that aims at developing cutting-edge technologies and methods for the next generation of AO systems that will support the long-range plans of the Canadian astronomical community.

Major facility AO instrument projects currently supported by the AO Team include TMT Narrow Field near-InfraRed AO System (NFIRAOS), The Gemini InfraRed Multi-Object Spectrograph (GIRMOS), the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) 2.0, and the GPI Calibration Unit (CAL) 2.0. The AO Team also supports the ATD Software Team in their effort to design and develop the Herzberg Extensible Adaptive optics Real-time Toolkit (HEART), a real-time control (RTC) software toolbox that can be easily adapted to control any AO instruments. HEART is slated to be deployed on the AO instruments mentioned above. It is also expected to equip the European Large Telescope (ELT) HIgh REsolution Spectrograph (HIRES) and the ELT Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics RelaY (MAORY).

Our AO R&D program aims at achieving technological breakthrough that will enable Canadian astronomers’ vision for new AO-assisted observational programs and that will significantly increase the scientific productivity of ground-based observatories. Our current AO R&D program focuses on key AO elements, including wavefront sensors (WFSs), deformable mirrors (DMs) and control. Current activities include technological developments such as advanced high-speed, low-noise NIR detectors and low-voltage deformable mirrors; developing novel WFSs such as non-linear wavefront sensors and novel algorithms, such as machine-learning based AO control. The technological readiness level of these developments are systematically increased by demonstrating them in the lab and on sky whenever possible. Our R&D program is supported by state-of-the-art modeling tools, two laboratories, one dedicated to general AO (AO Lab) and one dedicated to high-contrast imaging (New Earth Lab), and a local 1.2 m telescope with a Coudé room able to host on-sky experiments. The AO Team maintains extensive collaborations with partners from the international AO communities.

The AO Developer plays a leadership role in these cutting-edge science & technology projects. They work with enthusiastic, highly-invested colleagues from within the NRC and around the globe, all while representing Canada in high-profile international projects to build the biggest and most advanced scientific instruments in the world.

The AO Developer provides AO expertise at many levels, from inventing new concepts and leading their validations through R&D projects to commissioning multi-million dollar AO instruments at leading international observatories. Regular activities include improving AO modeling and simulation tools, providing technical guidance and critical analysis for designing new AO systems, providing leadership to AO projects, as well as supporting the fabrication, integration, testing and commissioning of AO instruments. The AO Developer usually works as part of highly multi-disciplinary teams that often comprises many skill levels, from under-graduate university students to senior engineers and scientists. They are encouraged to present their work in international workshops and conferences; publish their work in leading scientific journals; and develop collaborations within NRC, with Canadian universities and industries and with international partners

The initial appointment is of three (3) years duration. This is considered a term staff scientist position with all the associated benefits, including paid maternity and parental leave, vacation, accruable pension contributions and others. In addition to a highly competitive salary, the successful applicant will receive support for publications, observing and conference travel.

For more information on this job opportunity and to submit your application, visit our website at: Adaptive Optics Developer (

NRC is an equal opportunity employer.
Applications should be made by 25 May 2022 via the process described at the URL provided.
Application Deadline: 25 May 2022

Current Status of Position: Accepting Applicants

Dr. JJ Kavelaars: 2022 Dunlap Award for Innovation in Astronomical Research Tools

CASCA is pleased to announce that Dr. JJ Kavelaars is the winner of the 2022 Dunlap Award.  This award recognizes his leadership at the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre.  Over the past five years in which Dr. Kavelaars has been head of the CADC, it has provided public access to its largest number of telescope archival datasets, expanded a key initiative to bring high-performance distributed cloud computing services to Canadian astronomers via the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR), and laid the groundwork for new archives and processing environments for the upcoming JWST, Vera C. Rubin Observatory, and the Square Kilometre Array.  He received his PhD from Queen’s University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at McMaster University.  He is now a Senior Research Officer at NRC-Herzberg in Victoria as well as an adjunct professor at UVic, where in addition to leading the CADC, he continues to make groundbreaking discoveries in the Kuiper Belt using ground and space-based telescopes as well as being a part of the New Horizons Mission team.

Dr. Anthony Moffat: 2022 Carlyle S. Beals Award for Outstanding Research

CASCA is pleased to announce that Dr. Anthony Moffat is the winner of the 2022 Beals Award.  This is in recognition of decades of cutting-edge research on topics relating to massive stars, including Wolf-Rayet stars, stellar pulsations, rotation, magnetic fields, clumping, binaries, clusters, and surveys.  Many of us have used a Moffat profile: that was his work! He received his doctorates in astronomy from Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum in Germany, and has been a professor at Université de Montréal ever since, and hasn’t slowed his research output since taking emeritus status.  He has trained generations of scientists who are still working in Canada and internationally. He remains very active in research on massive stars and astronomy projects like the BRITE constellation.

Dr. Deborah Good: 2022 J. S. Plaskett Medal for Most Outstanding PhD Thesis

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Deborah Good as the recipient of the 2022 J.S. Plaskett Medal for the most outstanding doctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysics. Dr. Good received her PhD in 2021 under the supervision of Dr. Ingrid Stairs at UBC, and she is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Connecticut and the Flatiron Center for Computational Astrophysics.  Her thesis, “Timing Pulsars and Detecting Radio Transients with CHIME,” includes groundbreaking work on the first few months of pulsar and fast radio burst detections with CHIME. To complete this research, she led efforts within the CHIME team to calibrate instruments, write software, verify events, and is on the cutting edge of trying to discover whether or not all Fast Radio Bursts are repeating events. She also collected pulsar data, discovered many new pulsars, and adapted the NANOGrav pipeline to work for CHIME data, laying the groundwork for data processing that will be needed in the next couple of years.

We would also like to recognize the exceptional theses of all the finalists: Dr. Connor Bottrell, Dr. Ryan Chown, Dr. Adam Gonzalez, and Dr. Émilie Parent

Dr. Karun Thanjavur: Winner of the 2022 Qilak Award for Astronomy Communications, Public Education and Outreach

CASCA is pleased to announce that Dr. Karun Thanjavur is the winner of the 2022 Qilak Award, recognizing his outstanding outreach work for a diverse group of beneficiaries, specifically leading efforts to connect Indigenous communities around the province with the University of Victoria. His projects within the last few years include multiple programs bringing Indigenous students to the university for astronomy classes, labs, and telescope observing sessions, and leading the organization of several activities at CASCA 2018 that connected local Indigenous knowledge-keepers with CASCA members. In addition to these Indigenous-focused programs, he also regularly appears in the media and extensively organizes public outreach with UVic’s on-campus observatory. The 2017 solar eclipse event was wildly successful with ~1500 attendees.  As well as mentoring students of many different ages and backgrounds, he acquires observing time on DAO’s Plaskett telescope every quarter specifically for training and mentoring undergraduates. Dr. Thanjavur earned his PhD from UVic and has held positions ranging from marine engineering, to teaching robotics and combustion engineering, to instrument scientist and resident astronomer at CFHT, and is currently a Senior Lab Instructor at UVic.

Call for abstracts — Interdisciplinary Origin of Life Meeting for Early Career Researchers

Dear Colleagues –

The Origin of Life Early Career Network (OoLEN) is pleased to announce that this year’s Interdisciplinary Origin of Life Meeting for Early Career Researchers (IOoL2022) will take place on August 3-5 at the University of Montreal, Canada. All expenses except travel (with possible exceptions) will be covered!

OoLEN brings together early-career scientists from multiple research areas to strengthen and accelerate the scientific output in origin of life research. Since its inception in 2018, OoLEN has grown into a global network of over a hundred members with a six-fold mission: Inclusion, Post-disciplinarity, Exchange, Communication, Community and Quality.

OoLEN’s biannual meeting, the IOoL conference, is a prime opportunity for early-career researchers to present their work on origin of life in a relaxed setting, to exchange ideas across different disciplines relevant to understanding the origin and nature of living systems, and to stimulate discussions and ideas to help guide the future of research on these topics. The IOoL meeting further provides an opportunity for early career researchers to connect with each other and immerse themselves in the community outside their own labs. A previous meeting has resulted in OoLEN’s first community paper.

Researchers interested in submitting an abstract are welcome to join the network through (please mention your intention to participate in IOoL2022 when joining the network) and then send an email to with subject line “Abstract for IOoL2022” containing a single .pdf file with the following information: name, affiliation, title, abstract (max. 250 words, in english), while also specifying if travel support is needed. Submissions will be considered both for oral presentations and poster sessions. The abstract deadline is April 22nd.

You are encouraged to visit OoLEN’s website at for more information, and don’t hesitate to contact OoLEN or me directly for any further questions.

Name: Alexandre Champagne-Ruel
Email address:
Affiliation: Université de Montréal

NRC: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Science Development for the CASTOR Mission

Deadline: March 25, 2022

The National Research Council of Canada’s Herzberg Astronomy and  Astrophysics Research Centre (NRC-HAA), is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow who will join the CASTOR science team and contribute to updating the mission’s science goals, instrument modes, performance  specifications, data flows, survey strategies and observing schedule.

CASTOR is a proposed wide-field, 1m-aperture space telescope that will perform imaging, spectroscopy and precision photometry at ultraviolet  and blue-optical wavelengths. The mission was recently identified as Canada’s top priority in space astronomy in the 2020 Long Range Plan for Canadian Astronomy, and is the subject of multiple, ongoing scientific and technical studies by the Canadian Space Agency, NRC,  academia and industry. CASTOR’s science goals are diverse, and include  the solar system, exoplanets, galaxy and stellar evolution, time  domain astronomy, and cosmology. We therefore welcome applications from individuals having research experience in any of these fields.

A Ph.D. in Astronomy or a related discipline is required, as is a demonstrated record of research excellence in any of the fields to be addressed by the CASTOR mission. Experience in ultraviolet/optical  space astronomy, wide-field surveys, and space operations would be  considered assets but are not strictly required.  During the  appointment, the researcher will also have the opportunity to exploit  astronomical facilities administered by NRC-HAA and contribute to  forefront research projects conducted using those facilities.

The initial appointment is of two years duration. Although the hiring is at the postdoctoral level, this is considered a term staff  scientist position with all the associated benefits, including paid maternity and parental leave, vacation, accruable pension  contributions and others. In addition to a highly competitive salary, the successful applicant will receive support for publications, observing and conference travel.

To be eligible, applicants must have acquired their Ph.D. within the last three years, or expect to obtain their degree before taking up the position. For more information on this job opportunity and to submit your application, visit our website at: Postdoctoral  Fellowship, Science Development for the CASTOR Mission (

Application Requirements
In order to be considered for the program please include the following in your application, please note that you will need to attach the required documents as per the list below when submitting your application. Failure to do so will result in your application being excluded from searches.
•    Resume
•    Statement of Interest in the project (maximum one page in length)
•    PhD Transcript – an electronic copy is sufficient, it does not have  to be an official version.
•    List of Publications
•    Three (3) letters of reference to be submitted directly to

NRC is an equal opportunity employer.

Pour plus d’informations sur cette offre d’emploi et pour soumettre  votre candidature, visitez notre site web à l’adresse suivante :  Stagiaires de recherche postdoctorale, Développement scientifique de  la mission CASTOR (

Related URLs:

For more information on the CASTOR mission, see:

For more information on the staff and their research interests, see:

Registration & Abstract Submission: 13th Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Users’ Meeting

Registration remains open and abstract submission is now open for the 13th Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Users’ Meeting to be held remotely with limited in-person participation at the Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, May 9-11, 2022.

Meeting sessions will cover the following topics:

  • The future of CFHT and Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE)
  • CFHT’s current operating instruments and future plans
  • LP and PI science at CFHT
  • CFHT Communications and Outreach

Deadline for abstract submission : March 15 2022

Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support

City: Penticton
Organizational Unit: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
Classification: TO-4
Tenure: Continuing
Language Requirements: English

On October 6, 2021, the Government of Canada announced the launch of a mandatory vaccination policy across the federal public service.

The Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination for the National Research Council requires you to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that you attest to your vaccination status prior to the date of your appointment unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act. You can find more specific information on the collection and use of your personal information when you submit your attestation.

The NRC Advantage
Great Minds. One Goal. Canada’s Success.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada’s largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.

We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you. Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.

At NRC, we know diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, an open and inclusive work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system.

NRC welcomes all qualified applicants and encourages candidates to self-declare as members of the following designated employment equity groups: women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.

Please advise of any accommodation measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. They are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially.

Our Inclusive Work Environment
Your work environment and tools will enable you to collaborate with your colleagues across Canada and the globe. We are committed to ensuring that each staff member promptly receives the accommodation they need to do their job and we understand the importance of work/life balance.

NRC employees enjoy a wide range of benefits that include comprehensive medical and dental, pension and insurance plans as well as annual vacation time and other leave. The NRC also offers learning and development opportunities. For more information, please visit our web site .

Your Challenge
Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada’s largest research and technology organization.

We are looking for an Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support to support our Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA). The Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.

We are looking for an Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support to join a world-class team of scientists, engineers, and technologists in the development of new instrumentation for radio astronomy and support of existing facilities operated by NRC and its international partners at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO). DRAO is Canada’s National Facility for radio astronomy, operated by the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA).

The total staff complement of HAA is about 200 people, of whom 40 work at DRAO, comprising NRC employees and visiting workers from partner institutions. DRAO staff operate world-class radio telescopes on site, develop and build leading-edge radio telescope equipment and other facilities for international radio astronomy projects, and carry out scientific and engineering research. DRAO’s radio telescopes are currently the 7-element Synthesis Telescope (an array of 9-m antennas), the 26-m single antenna John A. Galt Telescope, two instruments dedicated to Solar flux monitoring (a redundant pair of 2-m narrow-band antennas plus a 4-m wide-band antenna), and the DVA2, a 15-m antenna employing a single-piece molded composite reflector that has achieved unprecedented surface precision. All are in the process of major upgrades, including the modernization of the Solar flux monitors and the Synthesis Telescope, the latter employing an entirely new digital backend and a novel approach to clocking/timing. DRAO is also home to the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), operated by a UBC-led consortium of Canadian universities.

The Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support will proactively provide technical expertise in the operation, maintenance, and improvement of the DRAO telescopes, which are complex assemblages of custom analog, digital, and radio-frequency systems, operating with highly precise timing and sensitivity in order to capture faint cosmic radio emissions. Identifying and diagnosing faults, and repairing and/or modifying this equipment is a key responsibility of the position. The position also involves site-wide monitoring and mitigation of radio frequency interference (RFI), an essential element in maintaining an environment in which the radio telescopes can detect these emissions.

In addition, the Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support, working with NRC and its partners, will assist with the development and construction of new radio astronomy instrumentation, ranging from adding new receivers to existing telescopes, to deploying cutting-edge new radio experiments, to commissioning unique radio telescopes. Major initiatives underway currently include the deployment of new wide-band receivers on DVA2, the Galt Telescope, and the Synthesis Telescope; experimentation with wide-band RFI detectors; the construction of a 4-m spinning antenna for the UBC-led Canadian Galactic Emission Mapper (CGEM); and the construction of the Canadian Hydrogen Observatory and Radio-transient Detector (CHORD), a large project in collaboration with McGill University, the University of Toronto, the University of Calgary, and the Perimeter Institute, which will build and deploy a 512-element array of 6-m antennas at DRAO over the next four years.

DRAO lies in a rural environment 24 km south of Penticton, BC, the nearest major centre, which has a population of 33,000, and 84 km south of Kelowna, BC, a city of 180,000. The site has one large building complex, occupied by laboratories and offices, as well as telescope buildings, fabrication shops, garages, equipment buildings, and storage buildings.

Screening Criteria
**As an employer who values diversity in its workforce, we encourage candidates to self-identify as members of the following designated groups: women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities. Priority may be given to candidates who self-identify.

Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:

Diploma from a 2400-hour Electronics Engineering Technology Program. An equivalent combination of education and relevant experience may be considered.

For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency

• *Recent experience in the design, fabrication, and testing of analog and digital radio-frequency circuits and systems in a team environment;
• Recent experience in the operation, maintenance, and trouble-shooting of complex electronic systems in a team environment; and
• Recent experience working with suppliers and vendors in the procurement of electronic components and supplies.

*Recent refers to experience acquired within the past 5 years.

Condition of Employment
Reliability Status

All employees of the National Research Council are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and attest to their vaccination status unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Language Requirements

Information on language requirements and self-assessment tests

Assessment Criteria
Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Technical Competencies
• Strong abilities in communications principles, and analog and digital radio frequency electronics and devices;
• Strong abilities in trouble-shooting techniques to test and diagnose faults to the component level in complex electronic systems;
• Strong abilities in fabrication techniques used for electronic circuits and devices and their housings, including soldering, and use of common machine-shop tools such as drills, drill presses, saws, and sheet-metal brakes and benders;
• Strong abilities in operating specialized software for computer-aided design of mechanical and electronic components, such as Solidworks;
• Strong abilities in operating laboratory instruments, including oscilloscopes, network analysers, and spectrum analysers, and interfacing them to computers for making complex measurements; and
• Technical documentation skills with the ability to write clearly and concisely.

The following competencies will be considered assets:

• Abilities using electronic motor drives and control systems;
• Abilities using modern computer languages such as C, C++, Java, or Python;
• Abilities using real-time programming and/or operating systems; and
• Knowledge of test procedures for evaluating radio frequency interference.

Behavioural Competencies
• Research Technician/Technologist – Creative thinking (Level 3)
• Research Technician/Technologist – Results orientation (Level 3)
• Research Technician/Technologist – Communication (Level 2)
• Research Technician/Technologist – Initiative (Level 3)
• Research Technician/Technologist – Teamwork (Level 2)
• NRC-Wide – Valuing people (Level 1)
• Technology extension – Conceptual and analytical ability (Level 3)

Competency Profile(s)
For this position, the NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profiles: Research Technician/Technologist; Technology Extension; NRC-Wide

View all competency profiles

Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC’s directives.

From $73,744 to $94,839 per annum.

NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of competitive benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.

• A pre-qualified list may be established for similar positions for a one year period.
• Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
• The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
• We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (15534) to:
Telephone: 438-455-5335
Closing Date: 31 January 2022 – 23:59 Eastern Time