From June 12 to 16, 2023, the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) held its annual meeting in Penticton, B.C., hosted by the University of British Columbia. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Broad Spectrum of Canadian Astronomy”. CASCA 2023 marks the first in-person edition of this conference since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many iREx members were in attendance and contributed to the conference’s activities through talks, posters, workshops, and town halls.
The conference kicked off with a Graduate Student Committee Workshop and Teachers’ Workshop which both took place on June 12. Heidi White and Nathalie Ouellette were facilitators during the Teachers’ Workshop at Okanagan College, where 24 local teachers had the opportunity to learn about current astronomy topics and try out educational activities they could adapt for their own classrooms. During the session on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), teachers got to build their own paper model of the JWST. The teachers also took part in an activity from the “Exoplanets in the Classroom” suite of resources.
Over the three days of the main conference, many iREx members gave great talks about their exciting research:
iREx Ph.D. student, Stefan Pelletier, was awarded the Best Student Talk as judged by the CASCA Board. Congratulations, Stefan!
Four iREx members created posters that could be viewed during several poster sessions throughout the conference:
René Doyon, Loïc Albert, and Nathalie Ouellette also led the JWST Townhall on June 15 to inform that Canadian astronomical community of the latest developments on the JWST Mission as well as resources available to the community to get support for future telescope time proposal submissions, data analysis, and results promotion.
To cap the conference, CASCA attendees were treated with a site visit of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory a short bus ride away from Penticton on June 16. There, they had the opportunity to see and learn more about many important radio telescopes, including the CHIME telescope.
Thank you to all CASCA participants, and especially to the CASCA 2023 Local and Scientific Organizing Committees for their fantastic work! iREx members hope to see you in Toronto in 2024 when CASCA will be jointly hosted by the University of Toronto and York University.