Board Response to Resignations of CASCA President and Vice-President

Dear Members,

By now I expect you have read the resignation statement of our President, Sara Ellison, and the Vice-President Samar Safi-Harb.

This is a heavy blow for our Society. I’m sure you all join me in an expression of heartfelt thanks to both Sara and Samar for their service to the Society and community over the last 15 months. I know that choosing to resign was exceptionally difficult for both of them, and I ask everyone to be respectful and empathic of their choice.

I am sure many of you have questions about the precise reasons for their resignations beyond the general outline provided by Sara and Samar. Unfortunately, the primary issue is a confidential one which, at least at present, the Board cannot discuss in detail. I respectfully request that members refrain from making any assumptions or engaging in speculation. The Board asks for your patience until we are in a better position to communicate the next steps for the Society.

The Board convened on August 3rd and following a discussion of the resignations, the Board asked if I would be prepared to be interim President until the next AGM under bylaw 9.1, and I have agreed to do so.

My first action has been to begin the search to find an interim Vice-President. The Board agreed on a list of individuals with prior Board experience that could assume the role quickly. Again, I’m sure you would all join me in providing sincere thanks to Erik Rosolowsky for agreeing to step-in. Thank you, Erik!

I promise to update the membership as soon as possible, but I want to caution that I am out of the office from the 4th to the 12th.

I want to end with an acknowledgment that the volunteer work done in the name of the Society is incredibly valued by the community at large. The volunteer work of the President and Vice President, in particular, has been generous to the point of self-sacrifice. Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Rob Thacker (Acting) President on behalf of the Board

Resignations of CASCA President and Vice President

Dear CASCA colleagues:

It is with sincere regret that we announce our resignation from the CASCA Board.

As President and Vice-President, we felt truly privileged and honoured to serve our Society and its mission, and we thank you for giving us the opportunity to be part of this journey.

The Board’s dedication and service to the community is truly immeasurable, and our appreciation for the Board’s incredible service to the community has only exponentially intensified this past year. It’s been a pleasure to work with every single member of the Board.

Our guiding core values are empathy, kindness, integrity, enthusiasm and inclusion of diverse perspectives. Given recent events around the latest AGM and how it unfolded, we both observed and personally went through negative experiences from outside the Board that are in conflict with our values. Upon deep and careful reflection, we came to realize that these values would be more effective and beneficial to activities outside of our CASCA leadership role.

The decision to step down has been an incredibly difficult and painful one for us to reach. So we convey this news to you with a very heavy heart, kindly asking for your understanding.

Thank you for putting your trust in us. We remain dedicated members of CASCA. We will do our best to assist the Board during the transition. We look forward to continuing to work with many of you, our fellow astronomy colleagues, on the science and society matters that make us tick.

Sincerely,

Sara Ellison and Samar Safi-Harb

FAST 2021 AO

The objective of the Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is to support the research projects of Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions that will contribute to the development of new scientific knowledge and space technologies, while making it possible for students to acquire hands-on experience in space-like missions.

Summary of key information

• Expected budget for this AO: $5.28 million
• Eligible recipients: Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions
• Type of transfer payments: grants
• Maximum amount per grant (three funding categories)
o Category A: $300,000
o Category B: $100,000
o Category C: $40,000
• Maximum duration of a project per grant:
o Category A and B: up to 3 years
o Category C: up to 1 year
• Estimated project start date: March 2022 onwards
• Application deadline: October 15, 2021

You can access the FAST 2021 AO by clicking here:
https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/funding-programs/funding-opportunities/ao/2021-fast.asp

For questions, contact asc.stedia-dstemu.csa@canada.ca

Virtual Gemini Science Meeting 2021

Gemini will be hosting a Virtual Science Meeting August 23-26 2021. It will be a combination of invited talks, observatory updates, hands-on training sessions and plenty of time for discussions, including chat rooms and possibility for one-on-one meetings with speakers. There will be a special focus on upcoming instrumentation. This meeting is meant to bridge the gap between the last Gemini Science meeting in 2018 and the next in-person meeting planned for August 2022 in Seoul Korea.

The meeting is free but you do need to register to receive the connection information. Registration will close August 15.

https://noirlab.edu/science/resources/meetings/gsm2021/registration

Join us for this Virtual meeting, coming soon on a screen near you!

For further information: Gemini team