2023 Qilak Award: Wilfred Buck

CASCA and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada are pleased to announce that Wilfred Buck is the recipient of the 2023 Qilak Award for Astronomy Communications, Public Education and Outreach. This award recognizes outstanding outreach efforts over a career, in particular the incredible impact Mr. Buck has had sharing Indigenous knowledge of the sky with both Indigenous peoples around the world and the Canadian public. Wilfred Buck is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and a well-known Indigenous star lore expert. He worked for over a decade as a Science Facilitator at the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre and has researched and consulted with elders for over 15 years to learn more about the astronomical knowledge of Cree, Ojibway, and Lakota peoples. He is highly regarded internationally for his efforts in communicating this knowledge with educators and researchers, having shared his expertise for museum exhibits and films, panel discussions, and in many public lectures. For nearly two decades, Wilfred Buck has been using portable planetariums to teach First Nations students about the stars (“atchakosuk” in Cree) visible in the night sky. He is the author of two books exploring the night sky from an Indigenous perspective. His third book and autobiography “I Have Lived Four Lives” outlines a heart-stirring journey from an impoverished upbringing to pursuing a career in teaching and speaks to discovery and healing for Indigenous youth. He was recognized in 2018 by the Canadian Teachers Federation with its Outstanding Indigenous Educator Award and is the subject of an upcoming National Film Board sponsored documentary, “Wilfred Buck.”

CASCA and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada are delighted to recognize Wilfred Buck’s efforts with this award.

This announcement is being made separately to the other CASCA awards communicated earlier this week to coördinate a simultaneous announcement with RASC.

Final CASCA AGM Announcement

This is the third and final general announcement of the 2023 Canadian Astronomical Society Annual General Meeting, The Broad Spectrum of Canadian Astronomy.

The meeting will be held in Penticton, BC, on the unceded territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people, at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Centre. It will be co-hosted by The University of British Columbia and the National Research Council.

The deadline for booking rooms at hotels at the discounted conference rate is April 30: https://casca2023.ok.ubc.ca/en/travel/

Registration for the CASCA AGM is now open. The regular registration deadline and poster abstract deadline is May 31: https://casca2023.ok.ubc.ca/registration
Late registration will remain possible after May 31 at a higher price, but tickets for the welcome reception, banquet, and lunches may not be available.

The preliminary block schedule for the meeting is now available on our web site: The list of contributed talks will be available within a day or two.

Alex Hill and Roland Kothes
Local Organizing Committee Co-Chairs
Tim Robishaw and Jennifer West
Scientific Organizing Committee Co-Chairs

ALMA Observing Tool Bug-Fix Patch

An issue has been discovered in the Cycle 10 ALMA Observing Tool (OT) that affects the estimated Atacama Compact Array (ACA) integration times for some 4×4-bit ACA observations (7-m and TP). The issue occurs when the Bandwidth used for Sensitivity in the “Control and Performance” section is set to anything other than RepWindowEffectiveChannelWidth or FinestEffectiveChannelWidth. This is a result of an error in the implementation of the 4×4-bit spectral mode for improved sensitivity (that is offered in Cycle 10 on the 12-m Array only), which causes the integration times for 4×4-bit ACA observations calculated by the OT to be erroneously too short unless the above bandwith for sensitivity options are selected. We have fixed this problem and a patched version of the Cycle 10 OT is now available on the Science Portal at https://almascience.nrao.edu/proposing/observing-tool. All PIs of projects that include ACA observations should download the updated OT version and submit or resubmit their proposals using this version. The correct version can be identified by checking for the words “Patch 1” in the title bar at the top of the OT window.

We regret any inconvenience or impact experienced by our ALMA users due to this issue. If you have any questions, or have comments or concerns, please contact your local ALMA Regional Centre via the ALMA Helpdesk at https://help.almascience.org/.

Kaylie S. Green, 1990-2023

The Department of Physics and Astronomy, Western University, is devastated to report that Astronomy PhD candidate Kaylie S. Green passed away in London, Ontario on March 31, 2023, at the age of 32.

Kaylie was born in Regina and attended the University of Calgary (BSc, 2012) and University of Alberta (MSc, 2014). At Calgary she worked with Prof. D. Leahy, co-authoring two papers on supernova remnants; her Master’s research at the University of Alberta was supervised by Erik Rosolowsky. After spending several years working in industry, Kaylie joined Western’s Astronomy PhD program in 2019 to work with Prof. Sarah Gallagher on quasars. She received the Department’s Wehlau Memorial Award in 2022. Her PhD degree will be awarded posthumously at Western’s Spring Convocation in 2023.

Kaylie was a friend, colleague and mentor to many in the Western Physics and Astronomy community. She was a talented and persistent scientist working to bring new insights to our understanding of windy quasars.  She brought a keen mind, a cheerful disposition, and a sense of professionalism to everything she did.  She was particularly passionate about astronomy outreach and loved sharing that passion with others. The entire Department will miss her greatly.

To share condolences with Kaylie’s family and view her obituary: https://calgaryherald.remembering.ca/obituary/kaylie-green-1087410209/