LRP2020 Town Halls

Town halls for LRP2020 will be held in the fall as follows:
• Nov 1: Montreal QC
• Nov 12: Toronto ON
• Nov 26: Vancouver BC
• Nov 27: Victoria BC
• Nov 29: Edmonton AB
A town hall on space astronomy is planned for Oct 31 in Montreal, to be confirmed soon

2019 Plaskett Medal: Alexandra Tetarenko

CASCA is pleased to award the 2019 J. S. Plaskett medal to Dr. Alexandra Tetarenko from the University of Alberta. Dr. Tetarenko’s doctoral thesis is on the physics of relativistic jets in X-ray binaries, as revealed by radio, millimeter (mm), and sub-millimeter (sub-mm) observations. Dr. Tetarenko published six papers as a first author as part of her thesis, and was the second author on a recently accepted Nature paper. Dr. Tetarenko demonstrates exceptional skills both as an observer and in the physical interpretation of complex observational data, and has become a leading expert in mm/submm observations of black hole X-ray binaries. Currently a 2018 East Asian Observatory Fellow, Dr. Tetarenko continues to excel, recently publishing an investigation into Radio Frequency Timing Analysis of the Compact Jet in the Black Hole X-ray Binary Cygnus X-1.

CASCA is delighted to award Dr. Tetarenko the Plaskett Medal for her doctoral thesis.

2019 Richer Medal: Nicolas Cowan

CASCA is pleased to announce that Dr. Nicolas Cowan is the recipient of the 2019 Harvey B. Richer Gold Medal in recognition of significant and sustained early career research in astronomy. Dr. Cowan is an established leader in the field of exoplanets through his work on high precision infrared photometry, determining the energy balance in exoplanet atmospheres, and using exoplanets as `laboratories’ for planetary science. Dr. Cowan has 80 papers with a citation count of over 4700. In addition to this high level of scholarship, Dr. Cowan has an impressive record of supervision and training, having worked with 2 postdoctoral research scientists, 9 graduate students, and 36 undergraduate students.

CASCA is delighted to recognize Dr. Cowan’s scholarship with this award.

2019 Petrie Lecture: Gabriela Gonzalez

CASCA would like to recognize the scholarship of Dr. Gabriela Gonzalez.

Dr. Gonzalez is a professor of physics and astronomy at the Louisiana State University and has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) since 1997. Her group has been involved in noise-characterization and calibration of the LIGO detectors, as well as data analysis. Dr. Gonzalez was the spokesperson for the LSC from March 2011 until March 2017, and in that role oversaw the ground-breaking discovery of the first gravitational wave source with Advanced LIGO. She is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2017.

CASCA is honoured to have Dr. Gonzalez give the Petrie Prize lecture.

2019 Martin Award: Bryan Gaensler

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Bryan Gaensler from the University of Toronto as the recipient of the 2019 Peter Martin award for Mid-Career Achievement. Dr. Gaensler is the Director of the Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto, and has previously served as director of CAASTRO in Australia and International Project Scientist of the Square Kilometer Array. He is a world expert on polarimetry, pulsar wind nebulae and cosmic magnetism, and has produced more than 360 publications with 16000 citations. Since his arrival to Canada in 2015, Dr. Gaensler has played a highly active role in Canadian astronomy as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, head of the Canadian SKA consortium, Director of the Canadian Initiative for Radio Astronomy Data Analysis, and co-chair of Canadian astronomy’s next Long Range Plan.

CASCA is delighted to recognise Dr. Gaensler’s scholarship with this award.

2019 Qilak Award: Jan Cami

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Jan Cami from the University of Western Ontario as the recipient of the 2019 Qilak Award.

Dr. Cami obtained his PhD from the University of Amsterdam and has been the director and coordinator of Western’s historic Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory since 2010. His work in outreach spans both large public gatherings and hands-on exhibits within the Observatory. In addition to this work at the Observatory, Dr. Cami is the Associate Director of Western’s Centre for Planetary Science and eXploration (CPSX) and is Western’s main organizer for the Science Rendezvous festival. On the national level, Dr. Cami has served for 10 years on CASCA’s Education and Public Outreach Committee, during which time he supported the development of the online platform Discover the Universe. Dr. Cami’s enthusiasm for outreach and his ability to ask ‘how we can’ rather than the ‘if we can’ about any activity makes him an ideal Qilak recipient.

CASCA is delighted to recognise Dr. Cami’s efforts with this award.

LRP2020: Call for white papers

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the call for white papers for the Canadian Astronomy Long Range Plan for 2020-2030 (LRP2020). Due dates are as follows:
* Expressions of interest: UT 2300 on Apr 15th, 2019, via
* White papers: UT 2300 on Sep 30th, 2019 (instructions provided to those who submit EoIs)

LRP2020 will review the Canadian landscape for astronomy and astrophysics, and will produce a list of recommended priorities for the next decade. The resulting plan will serve as a single unified vision for the highest priority projects in astronomy in Canada over the period 2020 to 2030. See for details and terms of reference.

We now solicit white papers to inform the LRP2020 report. A white paper should be a self-contained description of a future opportunity for Canadian astronomy. A white paper will be most effective and useful if it concisely summarises an option that the LRP2020 panel should be considering for prioritisation.

White papers should adhere to the following guidelines:

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: An expression of interest (EoI) must be submitted in advance of a full white paper. An EoI submission requires a title, a contact person, a proposed list of co-authors (optional) and a 2000-character summary, and is submitted entirely via a web form (see below).

SCOPE OF EoIs AND WHITE PAPERS: Topics may include (but are not limited to):
* new facilities, experiments and missions
* proposed upgrades to current facilities, experiments and missions
* science programs, science topics and science themes
* instrument design and development
* laboratory astrophysics
* high-performance computing
* data analysis, data management and data storage
* outreach, education and teaching
* state of the profession
* training, careers, demographics and professional development
* equity, diversity and inclusion

AUTHORSHIP: Each EoI and white paper must have a designated contact person. Anonymous submissions will not be considered and all submitted EoIs and white papers will be made public via the LRP2020 web site. Confidential supplementary material (e.g., budgets, proprietary technical information) can be submitted separately to the LRP2020 panel; the relevance of this material  should be described in the public submission. There are no restrictions on the affiliations of co-authors, and no limit on the number of co-authors. Note that the number of co-authors will not necessarily be taken as an indication of the level of community interest.

FORMAT AND LENGTH: Submissions may be made in English or in French.

White papers must be submitted as PDF files, capped at a length of ten 8.5”x11” pages (including figures, tables, references and appendices), with a minimum of 11-point font and 2-cm margins. Submissions must be in PDF format, and should not exceed a file size of 30 MB. Submissions not meeting these requirements will not be considered.

White papers are not required to contain a specific set of sections or headings. Depending on the content, the following topics may be appropriate to include:
* connection or relevance to Canada
* timeline
* cost
* description of risk
* governance / membership structure
* justification for private submission of supplementary information

* EoIs: UT 2300 on Apr 15th, 2019, via
* White papers: UT 2300 on Sep 30th, 2019 (instructions provided to those who submit EoIs)

PUBLICATION: All submitted EoIs and white papers will be posted as public documents on the LRP2020 web page ( Teams wishing to submit supplementary confidential material will be able to indicate as such through the white paper submission process.

DISCUSSION AND QUESTIONS: We encourage open discussion on the coordination of EoIs and white papers using the LRP Slack workspace (see for links). Participants may use the existing topical channels, or to make new channels as appropriate. Questions about any aspect of the LRP2020 process can be posted on the #general channel on Slack, or sent by email to

Pauline Barmby and Bryan Gaensler
LRP2020 Co-Chairs, on behalf of the LRP2020 Panel

Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School 2019 from TRIUMF and McDonald Institute

Dear Colleagues,

The Graduate Instrumentation and Detector School (GRIDS2019) sponsored by TRIUMF and the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute (McDonald Institute, or MI) will take place at TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada from June 10-21, 2019.

Please pass this information (and the attached poster) on to graduate students who might be interested.

About the School:
GRIDS2019 ( is aimed at graduate students for whom particle and radiation detection plays an important role in their work, and who would like to gain hands-on experience with detectors and associated instrumentation technology. The goal of the school is to provide an introduction to practical aspects of detection principles and operations in nuclear, particle, and astroparticle physics as well as in nuclear medicine, such that participants achieve a working knowledge of the origin of data produced by commonly employed detector systems.

GRIDS will offer a diversified program from leading experts, combining plenary lectures with hands-on laboratory experience with typical detector and instrumentation technologies.

Participants will develop a basic understanding of the interactions of particles with matter that are relevant to radiation detection, and of the physical mechanisms for collecting energy deposited by radiation. Operational principles will be covered for commonly employed detectors suitable for measurements of energy, momentum, timing, and particle identification. Low background environments and radio-frequency and electronic techniques will be discussed. Participants will explore design and decision-making in the field of radiation detection with focus on the rationale, limitations, and breadth of detector applications and development.

Participants will also develop laboratory skills to operate commonly used equipment for radiation detection in a safe and effective manner, identify common problems associated with operating particle physics detectors, and work as a team to experiment using a detector assembly.

Confirmed plenary speakers:
Pierre-Andre Amaudruz (TRIUMF)
Aksel Hallin (UofA)
Nigel Hessey (TRIUMF)
Rafeal Lang (Purdue)
Alison Lister (UBC)
Kate Pachal (SFU)
Daniel Santos (Grenoble)
Silvia Scorza (SNOLAB)
Craig Woody (BNL)
Viktor Zacek (UofM)

Laboratory experiments will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Application and Registration Procedure:
The school will be accepting a limited number of participants. Applications along with letters of reference will be accepted via the GRIDS website.

Partial support will be available from MI and other agencies.

The application process is now open through the website Applications, including letters of reference, must be received by Friday, March 29th. Successful applicants will be notified the last week of April, and all applicants will be notified of their status by mid-May.

For further information:
Visit the school website at for more information, including travel and accommodations.

Additional questions can be forwarded to

Organizing Committee:
• Doug Bryman, UBC
• Ken Clark, MI/Queen’s/TRIUMF
• Philippe Di Stefano, Queen’s
• Pietro Giampa, TRIUMF (co-chair)
• Dana Giasson, TRIUMF
• Tony Noble, McDonald Institute (MI)/Queen’s (co-chair)
• Marcello Pavan, TRIUMF (co-chair)
• Marie-Cécile Piro, University of Alberta
• Wolfgang Rau, TRIUMF
• Fabrice Retiere, TRIUMF
• Mark Richardson, MI (co-chair)
• Alan Robinson, University of Montreal
• Aleksey Sher, TRIUMF
• Isabel Trigger, TRIUMF

AO4ELT6 Call for Papers

AO4ELT6 – Adaptive Optics for Extremely Large Telescope, 6th edition June 9 to June 14, 2019

It is a pleasure to invite you to submit your abstract to AO4ELT6. The conference will take place in Quebec City at the Quebec City Convention Center.
For this sixth edition, we expect more than 250 attendees from all over the world. This will be a unique opportunity to share your latest research, debate about the latest trends or challenges, and network with your colleagues.

To submit your 300 words abstract, please click on the following link:
To register for the conference, please click on the following link:

Important Dates
Deadline for abstract submission: January 25, 2019 Notification of acceptance: March 8, 2019 Deadline for final paper submission: September 15, 2019

For all general enquiries, please contact the AO4ELT6 Secretariat at<>

We look forward to seeing you at AO4ELT6.


Simon Thibault, AO4ELT6 chair
Jean-Pierre Véran, AO4ELT6 co-chair
Thierry Fusco, AO4ELT6 co-chair
Iciar Montilla, AO4ELT6 co-chair
Simone Esposito, AO4ELT6 co-chair