The 2016 winners of the David J. Van Blerkom Research Scholarship Award are Jonah Chaban and Kendall Sullivan.
Professor Alexandra Pope and Professor Daniela Calzetti were appointed to serve on the new NASA Science and Technology Definition Teams (STDTs) for the Far Infrared Surveyor and the Large UV/Optical/Near-infrared Telescope Mission Concept Studies, respectively. Over the coming years the STDTs will play a central role in preparing compelling and executable mission concepts for consideration by the 2020 Decadal Survey.
Kevin Harrington has been selected as one of 10 graduating UMass seniors for the 21st Century Leaders Award and will be honored during the graduation week. In addition to his extensive and successful research work, Kevin has been an active leader in many different organizations on and off campus, including teaching drumming in the African House, leading meditation sessions, actively participating in international peace leadership organizations, and peer mentoring. That is on top of being a double major in astronomy and psychology/neurosciences. Please join me in congratulating Kevin for his well deserved recognition. -- Professor Min Yun
Located in the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona is Kitt Peaqk National Observatory, where four UMass astronomy students traveled over winter break to map galaxies in the dark desert skies.
Professor Gopal Narayanan and Ron Grosslein, UMass Astronomy Department Research Engineer, were interviewed by a reporter from the Northampton Daily Hampshire Gazette newspaper in 2015 regarding their efforts on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).
Astronomy major Patrick Drew was recently notified that he is the recipient of the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award for his poster presentation at the American Astronomical Society, held in Kissimmee, Florids January 4-8, 2016.
Astronomy Department graduate student Allison Kirkpatrick was recently named as a top three pick in the AAS brochure advertising the AAS science journals.
Professor Daniela Calzetti is the recipient of the 2016 Tage Erlander Visiting Professorship from the Swedish Research Council. The Professorship is awarded annually to an internationally prominent researcher in the areas of natural and engineering sciences.
In connection with the Professorship, Professor Calzetti will be spending six months during the Spring and Summer of 2016 at the University of Stockholm (Sweden).
The official text of the award can be found at: http://www.vr.se/inenglish/researchfunding/fundinggranted/visitingprofes...
Details of the Tage Erlander Visiting Professorship can be found at: http://www.vr.se/inenglish/researchfunding/ourgrants2015/visitingprofess...
Kaci Naughton, a freshman astronomy major on the Astrophysics BS track, is awarded the Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (PURF) for 2015. She will be mentored by Kevin Harrington, who is a senior astronomy major and a member of the Commonwealth Honors College with an extensive research experience in the department.
William Irvine, Professor Emeritus in Astronomy , has been elected to a second 3 year term on the Steering Committee of Division F of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Division F , "Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy", has some 1700 members whose research is supported by 3 Commissions --- "Meteors, Meteorites, and Interplanetary Dust"; "Exoplanets and the Solar System"; and “Astrobiology”. Professor Irvine is a Past President of the Astrobiology Commission.
The International Astronomical Union was founded in 1919 with the mission of promoting and safeguarding the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its more than 11,000 individual members from 73 countries are professional astronomers from all over the world at the Ph.D. level and beyond. The scientific and educational activities of the IAU are organized by its 9 scientific Divisions and through its specialized Commissions and Working Groups. The long-term policy of the IAU is defined by the triennial General Assembly and implemented by the Executive Committee. The American Astronomical Society and UMass’ Department of Astronomy are sending Professor Irvine to participate in this year’s General Assembly in Honolulu.
Dennis Overbye's latest video, currently on the front page of the New York Times online, features videos by Professor James Lowenthal (Smith College/FCAD Professor) from the LMT/GTM, which is an important part of the new Event Horizon Telescope project.
The Astronomy Department is proud to announce the recent graduation of 11 Astronomy majors. Commencement was held on Friday, May 8, 2015, and a Senior Celebration was held by CNS, as well as the departments of Physics and Astronomy, on Saturday, May 9, 2015. The graduating seniors are Michael Buckley, Sean Fidler, Christian Haughwout, Joseph Howlett, Nathan Kimmitt, Rebekah Kovach, Stephen Mahala, Michael Molinsky, Alex Schwartz and Tazeem Siddiqui and Katherine Sisson. In addition, Ryan Horton will graduate in Summer 2015 when he returns from his year abroad at Heidelberg University.