In alternate years, the CASCA Board has the honour to bestow the Executive Award for Outstanding Service “to an individual who has made sustained contributions in service that have strengthened the Canadian astronomical community and enhanced its impact regionally, nationally and/or internationally.” Professor Christine Wilson, of McMaster University, is the recipient of the 2022 Executive Award.
Dr Wilson’s exceptional commitment to the Canadian astronomy community was obvious early in her career. Following her return to Canada to take-up a faculty position at McMaster University in 1992, she immediately contributed to a number of key committees, including an NRC committee on a new national radio facility, and was appointed to a Directorship of CASCA in 1996. Over the following decades she would serve on multiple CASCA committees, including a Mid-Term review panel, often holding positions simultaneously, as well as the Vice Presidency in 2012-2014, and the Presidency 2014-16. Most recently, Professor Wilson has Chaired the CASCA Long Range Plan Community Recommendations Implementation Committee (LCRIC).
In the field of submm astronomy, her reputation for research excellence as well as widely acknowledged management skills lead to her taking on key leadership roles for Canadian science and software interests in the ALMA project. She served as Canadian Project Scientist for ALMA, 1999- 2011, Chair of the Canadian ALMA Science Steering Committee, 2001 – 2010, as well as on four other key ALMA committees and advisories. While there is no question ALMA was the product of a major team effort, her efforts were central in making ALMA the great success that it is, both from a Canadian and international collaboration perspective.
For three decades, Dr. Christine Wilson has been a role-model and committed ambassador for astronomy in Canada. In bestowing this Executive Award on behalf of the Canadian astronomical community, the CASCA Board recognizes her pivotal contributions to both our and the international professional community and extends our utmost thanks and appreciation.