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Board Documents
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Mission and Governance
The Canadian Astronomical Society was founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1983 as a society of professional astronomers. The society is devoted to the promotion and advancement of knowledge of the universe through research and education. Membership is open to persons with a professional involvement with these goals in astronomy and the related sciences. The main activities of the Society are its annual scientific meetings, the planning and realization of scientific projects, the support of the scientific activities of its members, and the dissemination of related information among members and other interested persons. The Society supports committees on Optical and Infrared Astronomy, Radio Astronomy, Space Astronomy, Theoretical Astronomy, Education, Heritage, Canadian Grad Students, and Awards. Cassiopeia, the quarterly newsletter of the Society, is published at equinoxes and solstices.

In 1992, the Society established CascaTrust as a charitable trust for the advancement of education and research in astronomy. A receipt for a charitable donation is issued to all members who make contributions to CascaTrust.

For a complete history of CASCA, click here.

>Past and Present Officers of the Society
>Letters Patent
>Society By-Laws


Benefits of CASCA membership
CASCA membership involves being part of:

  • a large group that can speak impartially and authoritatively to others about the interests of that group's profession (e.g., to lawmakers)
  • an organized group that supports efforts to realize those interests (e.g., support for the Canadian Coalition for Astronomy)
  • a professional group that examines and reports on the current health of its profession (e.g., through committees)
  • a diverse group that organizes exercises to determine future priorities (the Long Range Plans)
  • a national organization that defines the professional community within the country, allowing better communication within the country (e.g., e-Cassiopeia, the e-mail exploder, member directories)
  • an impartial group that honours its peers when warranted (e.g., through awards)
  • a professional group that assists in the organization of national outreach initiatives (e.g., IYA)
  • a long-lived organization that embraces the heritage of its profession and acknowledges the historical contributions by members of the profession (e.g., the Hogg Prize Lecture)
  • an inclusive organization that encourages younger members in its profession (e.g., free first-year memberships, grants for annual meeting travel, sponsoring of graduate workshops
  • a representative national organization that enables membership in the International Astronomical Union


Scientific Planning
One of the major raisons dtre of CASCA is to serve as a national forum for scientific planning in astronomy. Although this function is served in part by the annual meetings of the Society, and by our newsletter, Cassiopeia, both of which serve to examine existing and proposed projects and facilities in astronomy on a regular basis, the committees of CASCA also serve as a vital element of the planning process. For this reason, members should feel free to raise an opinion or propose a scientific project at any time to the appropriate CASCA committee, with a copy of their submission being sent concurrently to the president of the Society.


The Long Range Plan and the Coalition for Canadian Astronomy
In May 2000, CASCA released "The Origins of Structure in the Universe", Canada's Long Range Plan for Astronomy and Astrophysics. A few months later, the Coalition for Canadian Astronomy was formed to secure federal funding for the Plan. For the first time, representatives of CASCA, industry and academia (through the 21 members of the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy) have come together to ensure continued scientific excellence in Canadian astronomy. If you would like more information or to become involved, get in touch with one of the Coalition Co-Chairs or the CASCA Board.


Contribution to Public Outreach
CASCA is committed to Education and Public Outreach. To learn more, please visit our Canadian Astronomy Education page or contact our EPO committee. CASCA's contributions to the International Year of Astronomy and to public outreach have recently been recognized by the International Astronomical Union.