2020 Qilak Award: Julie Bolduc-Duval

CASCA is pleased to announce Ms. Julie Bolduc-Duval as the recipient of the 2020 Qilak Award. Ms. Bolduc-Duval serves as the Executive Director of Discover the Universe, a Canadian astronomy training program. For over a decade, Ms. Bolduc-Duval has developed Discover the Universe into an oustandingly effective program for training educators in astronomy. The program has reached thousands of educators from elementary school through university via both in-person workshops and online seminars. Importantly, training is offered in both French and English, thus reaching a bilingual community worldwide (including, for example, participants from Europe and Africa). With trained educators now able to effectively disseminate astronomy material, Discover the Universe’s impact has a multiplicative effect on the community, thanks to the outstanding work of Ms. Bolduc-Duval.

CASCA is delighted to recognize Ms. Bolduc-Duval’s efforts with this award.

2020 Dunlap Award: René Doyon

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. René Doyon as the recipient of the 2020 Dunlap Award for Innovation in Astronomical Research Tools. Dr. Doyon obtained his PhD from Imperial College London. He is currently a Professor of Physics at the University of Montreal, the Director of the Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes, and the Director of the Mont Mégantic Observatory. Among his many honours and awards are the 2009 NSERC John C. Polanyi Award, the 2009 CASCA Peter G. Martin Prize, the 2010 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the 2011 Medal of Honour of the National Assembly of Quebec, and a 2018 Killam Research Fellowship. Dr. Doyon has a long track record of providing both the Canadian and the international astronomical communities with access to first-class research tools. These include instruments on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (SPectropolarimètre InfraROUge, SPIRou; Wide-field InfraRed Camera, WIRCam; Kilo-InfraRed imager, KIR), in Chile (Near-Infrared Planet Searcher, NIRPS, on the La Silla 3.6m; Gemini Planet Imager, GPI, on the Gemini 8m; Caméra PAnoramique Proche-InfraRouge, CPAPIR, on the CTIO 1.5m), and at the Observatoire du Mont Mégantic (MONtreal Infrared CAmera, MONICA; CPAPIR; Spectrographe Imageur de MONtreal, SIMON). Dr. Doyon also leads the flagship Canadian contribution to the James Webb Space Telescope, the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS)

CASCA is delighted to recognize Dr. Doyon’s efforts with this award.

2020 Beals Award: Howard Yee

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Howard K. C. Yee as the recipient of the 2020 Beals Award. Dr. Yee obtained his PhD from the California Institute of Technology, and is currently a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and previously held a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Observational Cosmology. For almost three decades, Dr. Yee has been a leader of optical/infrared collaborations in Canada and internationally. He spearheaded the Canadian Network for Observational Cosmology Surveys, and with his students, pioneered the Cluster Red-Sequence algorithm for galaxy cluster identification that has revolutionized the use of galaxy clusters as cosmological probes. Dr. Yee has additionally served in multiple leadership positions in the community, serving on various boards, steering committees, and time-allocation committees for the Canada France Hawaii Telescope and the Gemini Observatory, and has provided much of the early leadership for the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics Institute in Taiwan.

CASCA is delighted to recognize Dr. Yee’s efforts with this award.

2020 Plaskett Medal: Simon Blouin

CASCA is pleased to announce Dr. Simon Blouin as the recipient of the 2020 J. S. Plaskett Medal for the most outstanding doctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysics. Dr. Blouin received his PhD thesis in 2019 under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Dufour, and is currently a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His thesis, titled “Modeling of high-density effects at the photosphere of cool white dwarf stars”, resolves a longstanding problem in the theory of white dwarf atmospheres, which could not reproduce the emergent flux from cool helium-rich white dwarfs, casting doubt on the foundations of the theory and reliability of its predictions, with implications for the study of galactic stellar populations using white dwarf dating. Dr. Blouin re-worked these atmospheric calculations from first principles, using a variety of techniques, extending the validity of atmospheric models and successfully accounting for cool white dwarf observations, thereby filling a crucial need in the community.

CASCA is delighted to recognize Dr. Blouin’s efforts with this award.