Transfer complete!

So I’ve run all of the tests I can think of and this morning’s transfer of the site to a new machine seems to have finished with only one small side-effect: some e-mail clients for the @casca.ca domain addresses seem to think that the last week of e-mail reading didn’t happen and so you’ll have to, alas, reread some mail if this happens to you. Other than that everything seems to be just as it was before the move.

If you have any questions or concerns about the move feel free to contact me at webmaster at casca.ca.

Scheduled site maintenance morning of November 9th

Your friendly neighbourhood webmaster here.

Our ISP informs me that, at some random moment during the morning (EDT) of Wednesday, November 9th all of our stuff will be moved to a shiny new machine. This means some downtime as the new machine is at a new address (IP Address that is):

Schedule (all times EDT):

  • Around 5 pm on the 8th I will make a full backup of the site and back that up (encrypted) on one of my own systems separate from those of the ISP. Probably nothing will be lost in the transfer to the new machine but if it is everything up to that point can certainly be restored
  • Late on the night of the 8th I will set the site’s address to the new coördinates. This means that until the move is complete (perhaps just after midnight; perhaps around noon) attempts to reach the site or any of its facilities will fail.
  • When the transfer is complete the site should be reachable and everything as it was before the move. A post to that effect will be posted on the site, tagged CASCA In the news, so that you can tell that you’re seeing the newest version of the site and not some cached version of the old one.
  • If something does go wrong a mass mailing to the general membership will be made outlining the situation. Our mass mailing system is on a completely different system than the website and should not be affected by the move.

Other changes

  • If you have FTP access to the site note that the new address of the FTP servers will be http://mtlp1.greengeeks.net/
  • People who’ve been on the system for a long time may have the address http://mtl-pnode1.websitehostserver.net/ set as the address of the e-mail server they use with their @casca.ca e-mail address. This may not continue to work. The better address to use is mail.casca.ca.
  • If you wish to contact me to help with e-mail problems encountered after the move it is possible that I’m having the same problems so my regular address of webmaster at casca.ca may not work! CC such requests to witheringsnodgrass at gmail.com

Professor Christine Wilson wins Executive Award

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.” Professor Christine Wilson, of McMaster University, is the recipient of the 2022 Executive Award.

Dr Wilson’s exceptional commitment to the Canadian astronomy community was obvious early in her career. Following her return to Canada to take-up a faculty position at McMaster University in 1992, she immediately contributed to a number of key committees, including an NRC committee on a new national radio facility, and was appointed to a Directorship of CASCA in 1996. Over the following decades she would serve on multiple CASCA committees, including a Mid-Term review panel, often holding positions simultaneously, as well as the Vice Presidency in 2012-2014, and the Presidency 2014-16. Most recently, Professor Wilson has Chaired the CASCA Long Range Plan Community Recommendations Implementation Committee (LCRIC).

In the field of submm astronomy, her reputation for research excellence as well as widely acknowledged management skills lead to her taking on key leadership roles for Canadian science and software interests in the ALMA project. She served as Canadian Project Scientist for ALMA, 1999- 2011, Chair of the Canadian ALMA Science Steering Committee, 2001 – 2010, as well as on four other key ALMA committees and advisories. While there is no question ALMA was the product of a major team effort, her efforts were central in making ALMA the great success that it is, both from a Canadian and international collaboration perspective.

For three decades, Dr. Christine Wilson has been a role-model and committed ambassador for astronomy in Canada. In bestowing this Executive Award on behalf of the Canadian astronomical community, the CASCA Board recognizes her pivotal contributions to both our and the international professional community and extends our utmost thanks and appreciation.

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.

National Research Council Takes Major Step to Cement Canada’s International Leadership in Astronomy

Canada signs cooperation agreement with the SKA Observatory

November 29, 2021 (OTTAWA) – A new cooperation agreement signed today by the National Research Council (NRC) to continue Canada’s participation in the Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO) helps cement Canada’s international leadership in astronomy. One of the largest scientific projects in human history, SKAO will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope.

The Coalition for Canadian Astronomy welcomed the announcement and expressed its thanks to the NRC and to Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne for their leadership in securing the cooperation agreement.

“Canada’s astronomers are consistently ranked among the best in the world, and the research produced makes astronomy arguably Canada’s highest ranked science. Known for developing a number of breakthrough technologies in radio astronomy, Canada has been a partner in SKA since its inception, and today we are taking a step towards long-term participation in a project that will generate amazing discoveries for decades to come,” said Rob Thacker, President of the Canadian Astronomical Society and Coalition Co-Chair.

The SKA will be constructed over the next decade, with the earliest science operations beginning mid-way through construction. The international project will combine almost 200 dish-shaped radio telescopes together in South Africa, and connect over 100,000 low-frequency antennas in Australia. The SKA will also have data centres around the world, including one potentially in Canada. There are currently 16 partner countries in the project.

The SKA has been a top priority for Canadian astronomy for over two decades as it progressed through the conception and design phases. The project entered the construction phase on July 1 of this year.

“Canada’s continued leadership in astronomy is directly tied to access to the world’s most advanced facilities. Joining the SKAO is enormously important when it comes to our ability to attract and retain the top researchers and students in astronomy,” said Don Brooks, Executive Director of the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy and Coalition Co-Chair.

“Canadian industry has a long history of providing the skilled design, engineering, and manufacturing required for next-generation global astronomy facilities like the SKA, which leads to spinoffs across a range of industries. Today is not only a win for Canadian science, but also great news for the economy and the companies that will supply critical components of the project,” added Guy Nelson, President and CEO of Dynamic Technologies Group and Coalition Co-Chair.

The Coalition is hopeful this announcement will lead to Canada’s full and long-term participation in the SKA.

“The SKA will transform our understanding of the history, contents, extreme conditions, and prospects for life in the Universe,” said Kristine Spekkens, Canadian SKA Science Director and Professor at the Royal Military College and Queen’s. “The science that the SKA will enable is well-aligned with the expertise of Canadian astronomers, who will be at the forefront of many of its ground-breaking discoveries.”

The Coalition is firmly committed to SKA advancing goals around equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as nurturing the next generation of scientists and engineers.

“Scientific discoveries with the SKA will inspire a new generation of young Canadians to pursue careers in STEM fields. Guided by the 15 community recommendations in the Long-Range Plan for Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Coalition is working to increase participation and inclusion of communities that are under-represented in astronomy,” said Thacker.

About the Coalition for Canadian Astronomy
The Coalition is composed of:
• Academia: represented by the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA) and its 20 members;
• Professional astronomers: represented by the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA);
• Industry: represented by Canadian companies involved in major astronomy projects.

The Coalition is united behind the Long-Range Plan for Astronomy and Astrophysics (LRP), a decadal plan first launched in 2000 and renewed in 2010 and 2020, with a view to sustaining Canada’s international leadership in astronomy. The LRP process, backed by Coalition support, has created a legacy of success, with astronomy consistently ranked as Canada’s top science and Canadians at the forefront of this field globally.

Contact:
Duncan Rayner, 613-241-6000, ext 223
duncan@tsa.ca

Canadian Space Agency – Supplements to the NSERC PDF Program 2021 AO

As part of its commitment to support the development of the next generation of space professionals in Canada, the CSA will offer, through its “Supplements to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships Program (PDF) 2021” Announcement of Opportunity (AO), grants to postdoctoral researchers who have been awarded an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship under its Postdoctoral Fellowships Program. Postdoctoral researchers must be involved in a promising research project that is aligned with and that will contribute to the priorities outlined in the Space Strategy for Canada.

Summary of key information:

  • Total funding available (2021): $100,000
  • Number and value of the grants: Up to five (5) supplements in the amount of $20,000 each will be awarded.
  • Eligible recipients: Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, be a postdoctoral fellow and conduct a research project under the supervision and mentorship of a more senior researcher in a Canadian academic institution or another appropriate research institution in Canada, be awarded, and have accepted, an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship under the call for proposals 2021 of the NSERC’s PDF Program (see note in Section 3 of the AO).
  • Application deadline: January 7, 2022

The CSA invites postdoctoral researchers interested by this opportunity to apply for a grant supplement through the CSA AO.

You can access the “Supplements to the NSERC PDF Program” AO and obtain information on how to apply by clicking here.

Laurin, Denis (ASC/CSA)

Call for Proposals for GEMINI 2022A and SUBARU Exchange-time

The Gemini 2022A Call for Proposals has now been released, and Canadian specific information for Phase 1 can be found at:

https://nrc.canada.ca/index.php/en/research-development/products-services/technical-advisory-services/gemini-canadian-specific-information-phase-i

The deadline is: Friday October 1st, 2021, at 4pm (PDT)/ 7pm (EDT)

This semester Canada will have access to 188 hours on the North and 192 hours on the South. Please consider submitting programs with relaxed observing conditions, suitable for Band3, even if they will take longer to execute to get to the same S/N.

What’s New for 2022A:

  • PLEASE NOTE: Canada has now moved to a dual-anonymous review process (DARP) for proposals for this semester 2022A. Please follow the DARP guidelines to write an anonymous proposal (see the link in the Call above). This applies to all proposals even those not led by a Canadian, so please make sure to warn your PI.
  • The Priority Visitor mode and Classical mode will be offered for semester 2022A at Gemini-North, but not at Gemini-South. This may change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Users are encouraged to use the Remote Eavesdropping mode for all queue programs.

For semester 2022A (1 February 2022 to 31 July 2022) the full instrument suite available on Gemini-North is: GMOS-N, GNIRS, NIRI, NIFS, and Altair. The Visitor instruments offered on Gemini-North are: GRACES, ALOPEKE, POLISH-2 and MAROON-X.

And on Gemini-South: GMOS-S, Flamingos-2, GSAOI + GeMs; and the Visitor instruments Zorro and IGRINS.

A guaranteed minimum of 5 classical nights will be available on Subaru. The instruments available are: AO188 (but no LGS-AO), FOCAS, HDS, IRCS, and Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC). Many visitor instruments are also available, please see the call. You must request half nights or full nights, except for HSC now taking programs in queue mode.

Good luck!

Stéphanie Côté,
Canadian Gemini Office, NRC HAARC