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

Professeur Christine Wilson remporte le Prix Exécutif 2022

Tous les deux ans, le conseil d’administration de la CASCA a l’honneur de décerner le prix exécutif pour service exceptionnel « à une personne qui a contribué de façon soutenue à renforcer la communauté astronomique canadienne et à accroître son impact au niveau régional, national et/ou international ». La professeure Christine Wilson, de l’Université McMaster, est la récipiendaire du prix exécutif 2022.

L’engagement exceptionnel de Dre Wilson envers la communauté astronomique canadienne a été évident dès le début de sa carrière. Après son retour au Canada pour occuper un poste de professeure à l’Université McMaster en 1992, elle a immédiatement contribué à plusieurs comités clés, y compris un comité du CNRC sur une nouvelle installation radio nationale, et a été nommée à un poste de directrice de la CASCA en 1996. Au cours des décennies suivantes, elle a siégé à de nombreux comités de la CASCA, dont un comité d’examen à mi-parcours, occupant souvent des postes simultanément, ainsi que la vice-présidence en 2012-2014 et la présidence en 2014-2016. Plus récemment, le professeure Wilson a présidé le comité de mise en œuvre des recommandations communautaires du plan à long terme de la CASCA (LCRIC).

Dans le domaine de l’astronomie submm, sa réputation d’excellence en recherche ainsi que ses compétences en gestion largement reconnues l’ont amenée à assumer des rôles de leadership clés pour les intérêts scientifiques et logiciels canadiens dans le projet ALMA. Elle a été scientifique canadienne du projet ALMA de 1999 à 2011, présidente du comité directeur scientifique canadien de l’ALMA de 2001 à 2010, ainsi que membre de quatre autres comités et conseils clés de l’ALMA. S’il ne fait aucun doute que ALMA est le fruit d’un important travail d’équipe, ses efforts ont été essentiels pour faire de ALMA le grand succès qu’il est, tant du point de vue de la collaboration canadienne qu’internationale.

Pendant trois décennies, le Dre Christine Wilson a été un modèle et une ambassadrice engagée de l’astronomie au Canada. En lui décernant ce prix au nom de la communauté astronomique canadienne, le conseil d’administration de la CASCA reconnaît sa contribution essentielle à la communauté professionnelle canadienne et internationale, et lui adresse ses plus sincères remerciements.

President’s Message

By / par Chris Wilson (CASCA Acting President)
(Cassiopeia – Summer / été 2022)

I would like to start this President’s report by welcoming the new members of the CASCA Board: Adam Muzzin as Vice President, Rob Cockcroft as Secretary, and Renee Hlozek and Karun Thanjavur as new Directors. Lewis Knee has been acclaimed to a second term as CASCA Treasurer, while Laura Parker and Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo are continuing in their third year as Directors. Thanks to all of you for being willing to serve! Thank you also to the outgoing Board members: Judith Irwin (Secretary), Ivana Damjanov (Director), and Etienne Artigau (Director). A special thank you to Erik Rosolowsky (Acting Vice-President) and Rob Thacker (Acting President) for stepping up to serve in these important CASCA roles last summer.

As those of you who attended the CASCA Business Meeting in May will know, I have agreed to step in to serve as CASCA Acting President for 2022-2023. Like Rob Thacker this past year, I am in this position under Bylaw 9.1, and will not be continuing in this position beyond the 2023 AGM. Thus, in 2023 we will look to elect a new President, as well as two new Directors. More information about the elections, including how to nominate someone or be nominated yourself, will be circulated later this year.

As I have been in the Acting President position for just over a month, this message will provide a short update on a few key areas. I plan to provide a more extensive discussion in my fall message, once I have had more time to review what the CASCA Board has on its “to do” list.

Coalition activities continue to focus on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), where things appear to be progressing well. The SKA is now one year into construction of SKA Phase 1 and continues to evolve rapidly. Canada’s scientists and engineers are participating in SKA through March 2023 via a co-operation agreement between NRC and the SKAO. To continue our leading role in SKA construction deliverables such as the SKA1-mid correlator will require the Canadian government to commit to construction and operations funding quite soon. Please refer to the excellent article by Kristine Spekkens for more information on the SKA.

Another important initiative that is gaining significant momentum is CASTOR, a Canadian-led optical-UV space telescope and the highest priority in space astronomy in the 2020 Long Range Plan (LRP2020). The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) held a virtual Canadian Space Exploration Workshop June 14-16, 2022, which I am sure many of you attended. The workshop provided an opportunity to discuss ideas for Canadian space exploration over the next 30 years and will serve as input to CSA’s planning process.

The LRP Community Recommendations Implementation Committee (LCRIC) has continued their hard work over the past three months. They hosted a well-attended webinar on “Including Indigenous voices in astronomy education” at the end of March. They have drafted a very important policy paper on land and consent (LRP2020 Recommendation #1) as it relates to new astronomical facilities that has been circulated to the community and was presented and discussed in a special session at the CASCA AGM. Sharon Morsink has taken over as chair of LCRIC for 2022-23 and I look forward to working closely with her and the rest of the LCRIC as they work to move the societal recommendations from LRP2020 forward.

I hope everyone has a healthy and productive summer,

Chris

Report from the LCRIC

By / par Sharon Morsink (LCRIC chair)
(Cassiopeia – Summer / été 2022)

The Long Range Plan Community Recommendations Implementation Committee (LCRIC) has been meeting weekly from March – May this spring and is now taking a summer recess. We thank Chris Wilson (LCRIC Chair June 2021 – May 2022) and LCRIC members Shantanu Basu, Michael Reid, Etienne Artigau, and Hilding Neilson for their work on this committee over the last year. Brenda Matthews, Laurie Rousseau-Nepton, and Sharon Morsink (LCRIC Chair June 2022 – May M023) will be continuing to work on this committee over the next year along with new LCRIC members.

In the months since the vernal equinox, LCRIC has written and released to the CASCA community a document on Land and Consent, in response to Recommendation #1 of the Long Range Plan (LRP2020). We thank the CASCA members who gave us thoughtful comments and feedback at the CASCA AGM or privately. We will release a final revision of this document in Autumn 2022 and look forward to working with the CASCA Board on issues related to Land and Consent in astronomy.

We have made excellent progress on developing terms for the creation of an Indigenous Engagement Committee, in response to Recommendation #46 of LRP2020. We are interested in consulting with the new President’s Indigenous Advisory Circle to get their input before presenting plans for a new committee to the CASCA Board.

On March 31, 2022, we hosted a webinar titled « Including Indigenous Voices in Astronomy Education ». This webinar included panelists Jason Bazylack (Professor of Engineering at University of Toronto), Samantha Lawler (Assistant Professor of Physics at University of Regina), Ismael Moumen (Researcher at Universite Laval/CFHT), and Laurie Rousseau-Nepton (Resident Astronomer at CFHT). The panelists discussed their work on bringing Indigenous perspectives to their classrooms, outreach with Indigenous communities, and facilitating an inclusive environment. We hope that the CASCA community who were able to attend this webinar found it educational!

Over the last 3 months, we have met with the Sustainability Committee and the Graduate Student Committee to discuss their concerns and LRP2020 recommendations related to these specific committees. In the coming months, we plan to meet again with the Postdoc, Equity and Inclusivity, and Education and Public Outreach Committees to discuss progress on LRP2020 recommendations.

Over the next few months, we will be carefully examining progress on the LRP2020 recommendations in collaboration with the Ground-based Astronomy Committee, the Joint Committee on Space Astronomy, and the CASCA Board to make sure that all recommendations receive attention, and that we have a detailed plan and timeline for acting on the LRP2020 recommendations.

The LCRIC recognizes that transparency and consultation are very important as our community moves forward to implement the recommendations of the LRP. We will be seeking input from a diversity of perspectives, recognizing that astronomy and astronomers exist in a broader societal context. We welcome feedback and comments at any time, via email to the LCRIC chair. Communications will be kept confidential if requested.

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 Médaille J. S. Plaskett pour la thèse de doctorat la plus remarquable

La CASCA a le plaisir d’annoncer que Dr Deborah Good est la lauréate de la médaille J.S. Plaskett 2022, qui récompense la thèse de doctorat la plus remarquable en astronomie ou en astrophysique. Dr Good a obtenu son doctorat en 2021 sous la direction de Dr Ingrid Stairs à l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique et elle est maintenant boursière postdoctorale à l’Université du Connecticut et au Flatiron Center for Computational Astrophysics. Sa thèse, « Timing Pulsars and Detecting Radio Transients with CHIME », comprend un travail novateur sur les premiers mois de détection de pulsars et de sursauts radio rapides avec CHIME. Pour mener à bien cette recherche, elle a mené des efforts au sein de l’équipe CHIME pour calibrer les instruments, développer des logiciels d’analyse, vérifier les détections, et elle est à la fine pointe de la recherche pour tenter de découvrir si oui ou non tous les sursauts radio rapides sont des événements récurrents. Elle a également recueilli des données sur les pulsars, découvert de nombreux nouveaux pulsars et adapté l’algorithme de réductions de données NANOGrav pour qu’il fonctionne avec les données CHIME, posant ainsi les bases du traitement des données qui sera nécessaire dans les prochaines années.

Nous tenons également à reconnaître les thèses exceptionnelles de tous les finalistes : Dr Connor Bottrell, Dr Ryan Chown, Dr Adam Gonzalez, et Dr Émilie Parent.

Dr Karun Thanjavur: Prix Qilak 2022 pour la communication en astronomie, l’éducation du public et la sensibilisation

La CASCA a le plaisir d’annoncer que le Dr Karun Thanjavur est le lauréat du prix Qilak 2022, qui récompense son travail exceptionnel de sensibilisation auprès d’un groupe diversifié, en particulier ses efforts pour mettre en relation les communautés autochtones de la province avec l’Université de Victoria. Parmi les projets qu’il a menés au cours des dernières années, citons de nombreux programmes permettant à des étudiants autochtones de suivre des cours d’astronomie, des laboratoires et des séances d’observation à l’observatoire de l’université. Il a également dirigé l’organisation de plusieurs activités lors de la CASCA 2018, qui ont permis de mettre en relation des gardiens du savoir autochtones locaux avec des membres de la CASCA. En plus de ces programmes axés sur les relations avec les autochtones, il apparaît régulièrement dans les médias et organise de nombreuses activités de sensibilisation du public avec l’observatoire de l’Université de Victoria. L’événement de l’éclipse solaire 2017 a connu un succès retentissant avec ~1500 participants. En plus d’encadrer des étudiants d’âges et de milieux très différents, il obtient chaque trimestre du temps d’observation sur le télescope Plaskett de l’Observatoire Fédéral d’Astrophysique, spécifiquement pour former et encadrer des étudiants de premier cycle. Dr Thanjavur a obtenu son doctorat à l’Université de Victoria et a occupé des postes allant de l’ingénierie maritime à l’enseignement de la robotique et de l’ingénierie de la combustion, en passant par l’instrumentation et un poste d’astronome résident au Télescope Canada-France-Hawaï. Il est actuellement instructeur principal de laboratoire à l’Université de Victoria.

Report from the LCRIC

By / par Chris Wilson (LCRIC chair)
(Cassiopeia – Spring / printemps 2022)

The Long Range Plan Community Recommendations Implementation Committee (LCRIC) has continued to meet weekly over the past 3 months. Our primary focus has been on developing draft documents for LRP2020 Recommendation #1 (on Land and Consent) and Recommendation #46 (on an Indigenous Engagement Committee), as well as organizing the second in our series of webinars. We are also beginning to work on an LCRIC-focused session for the 2022 CASCA AGM.

Building on our work at the end of 2021, the LCRIC has held significant internal discussions around LRP2020 Recommendation #1, which focuses on issues of land and consent. We have produced a short document that we have passed along to the CASCA Board for their consideration and feedback.

The LCRIC has also had sustained discussions around LRP Recommendation #46, which envisages establishing a new CASCA committee, an Indigenous Engagement Committee. Among the items we are discussing is the scope of this committee, how it should interact with other existing CASCA committees, what types of persons would be appropriate and useful members of this committee, and how to fund the committee’s activities. We aim to develop a draft document with some ideas that we will share with the CASCA Board in the next 3 months.

We have also been working to organize our second webinar, titled “Including Indigenous Voices in Astronomy Education”. This webinar is now scheduled for 4-5:30 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, March 31, 2022 and will be held via zoom. The goal of this webinar is to share with CASCA members ideas and actions that they can use to support Indigenous knowledges, include Indigenist methods, and to be inclusive of Indigenous students in their classes. Panelists include: Jason Bazylack, Samantha Lawler, Ismael Moumen, and Laurie Rousseau-Nepton. There will be time for audience members to ask questions of the panelists. All participants are expected to follow the event’s Code of Conduct and pre-registration is required. An announcement of this webinar was circulated on the CASCA email exploder in mid-March.

Looking ahead, over the next 3 months, LCRIC is planning to meet with the Sustainability Committee and the Graduate Student Committee to discuss LRP2020 recommendations in their areas of interest. Finally, we will continue our initial work on an implementation timeline for the LRP2020 societal recommendations, with a focus on goals over the next 1 to 3 years.

The LCRIC recognizes that transparency and consultation are very important as our community moves forward to implement the recommendations of the LRP. We will be seeking input from a diversity of perspectives, recognizing that astronomy and astronomers exist with a broader societal context. We welcome feedback and comments at any time, via the Public Discussion page or by email to one of the LCRIC members. Communications will be kept confidential if requested.