IfA Visitors Program
|In June, visitor Bill Bottke gave an exciting Frontiers of Astronomy
Community Lecture, "CSI Solar System: Using the Computer to Investigate
the Nature of Comets and Asteroids."
The Institute for Astronomy has a long history of professional visitors
coming for six months to a year as part of a self-financed sabbatical.
Recently, however, the IfA has established a formal Visitors Program to
provide partial support of academic visitors to the Institute. This enables
the IfA to bring in scientists from other parts of the world who might
not otherwise be able to afford an extended stay in Hawaii.
The benefits a visitor will provide to the IfA's research and teaching
programs are given the most weight when deciding whether to offer financial
support to a prospective visitor. In many cases, this includes the visitor
giving a series of lectures or a seminar in his or her area of special
Any IfA faculty member can submit a request for partial support of an
academic visitor. Requests reviewed favorably by the IfA Faculty Advisory
Committee are then forwarded to the Visitors Program Committee, which decides
the appropriate amount of financial support to offer, provided money is
Visitors may receive airfare, a per diem payment, or accommodations in "Astro
Hale," a two-bedroom apartment in the IfA faculty-housing complex
within walking distance of the IfA. As part of its contributions to the
UH NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), UH agreed to provide an apartment
for the Astrobiology Visitor Program. The IfA Visitor Program and NAI split
Astro Hale's costs, with IfA paying 75 percent and NAI, 25 percent, and
they share its use in approximately the same ratio.
A recent visitor supported by the program was William F. Bottke Jr., an
expert on asteroids from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
In addition to giving a Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture for the
general public, he gave a series of lectures aimed at astronomers and those
affiliated with NAI, the Center for Star and Planet Formation, and the
Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.
In June, Jean Surdej from Liège University in Belgium gave a series
of lectures about gravitational lensing. In mid-August, Luciano Iess arrived
from Rome for a three-week visit that included a series of seminars about
the Cassini mission to Saturn and the upcoming BepiColombo mission to Mercury.
Andrew Liddle (University of Sussex, UK) is here from September through
March to collaborate with IfA scientists and to give a graduate seminar,
Early Universe Physics.
Other visitors who will be giving lectures and seminars are Igor Karachentsev
from Russia's Special Astrophysical Observatory (mid-September through
October), Larry Widrow from Queen's University in Canada (January), and
Joan Najita and Arjun Dey from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory
in Tucson (January through April).