[ASA] A message from your new ESO Users Committee representative

Caroline Foster caroline.foster at sydney.edu.au
Fri Nov 3 14:38:21 AEDT 2017

Dear Australian astronomers,

Please forward this email to all interested parties within your institution.

I am writing in my new role as the selected representative for Australia on the European Southern Observatory Users Committee (ESO UC for short). This is a 3 years appointment during which I will act as the capillary link between ESO and Australian users of ESO facilities.

For those who don’t know me just yet, I am an ASTRO3D Fellow at the University of Sydney working on the SAMI Galaxy Survey. Before that, I was the International Telescopes Support Office (ITSO) Research Fellow for 4 years and an ESO Fellow between 2011-2013 after completing my PhD from Swinburne University in 2007-2011. I have experience observing with many of the major optical facilities around the world (ESO VLT, AAT, Keck, Subaru, Gemini and Magellan). I have had the privilege to interact with a large cross-section of the Australian astronomer community during my role as an ITSO fellow and my PhD years, and have a very good understanding of the diversity of scientific interests and expertise within the community. If I haven’t had the opportunity to meet you yet, please feel free to introduce yourselves also.

You can find more information about the role of the ESO UC and other ESO governing bodies at the following website:
In short, the ESO UC acts as a link between ESO and its users. In other words, for the next 3 years, if you have any comments, feedback or questions about ESO, I am here to help and/or forward those concerns to ESO. My role is not to provide technical support as ESO has very extensive and efficient user support channels for that already.

Importantly, the ESO UC is tasked with providing nominations for the ESO Observing Proposal Committee (OPC), which is responsible for telescope time allocation (more commonly known as a TAC here in OZ). The OPC is divided into "13 panels, each composed of 6 panel members. Each panel is chaired by an OPC member. Because of the different subscription rates of the four scientific categories (A: cosmology, B: galaxy structure and evolution, C: planets and star formation, D: stellar evolution), there are an unequal number of panels per category. Specifically, 3 panels in A, 2 in B, and 4 in C and D. This also implies that the amount of Panel members for each category is different (A: 18, B: 12, C: 24, D: 24). In total, 78 referees are needed in the OPC/Panel composition.” Furthermore, the “OPC Chair and the Panel members are required to serve for two semesters, while OPC members serve for four semesters” and “every semester there is a turnover of 25 to 35 OPC/Panel members”. More information on the OPC nomination procedure and requirements can be found here:

As you can imagine, it is essential for Australia to have adequate representation on the OPC. I note that theorists and "non-optical” astronomers are also welcome on the OPC. At this stage, I am looking for nominations from within our community. If you would like me to nominate someone or yourself, please let me know by email at your convenience. In the email, please be sure to include a short justification or a CV so I can assess suitability according to the criteria found in the above document/link. Also kindly include the OPC scientific category for which you are nominating and the nominee’s email address. It would be very good to ask the nominee for their availability/willingness prior to sending the email, but I will be sure to contact every nominee myself prior to proceeding.

There will be a possibility for self-nominations during the Northern Hemisphere Spring (Australian Fall). I will make sure to inform everyone when that time comes. For now, only members of the ESO UC can nominate.

Clear skies!

Regards, Caroline Foster

Dr Caroline Foster | ASTRO3D Fellow
The University of Sydney
Faculty of Science, Sydney Institute for Astrophysics

360B, A28 | The University of Sydney | NSW |
+61 286 276 411  | +61 430 453 532
caroline.foster at sydney.edu.au<mailto:caroline.foster at sydney.edu.au>  | www.carofoster.com<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/q0YwBQfvageYfq?domain=carofoster.com>

Office days: Monday, Tuesday (@AAO), Thursday, Friday

INSPIRED – the Campaign to support the University of Sydney

This email plus any attachments to it are confidential. Any unauthorised use is strictly prohibited.
If you receive this email in error, please delete it and any attachments.

Please think of our environment and only print this email if necessary.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.sydney.edu.au/pipermail/asa/attachments/20171103/1ca80499/attachment.html>

More information about the ASA mailing list