Mapping the Northern and Southern Skies: Diversity and Research Capacity for Global Astronomy

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Wilson C (Marriott Wardman Park)
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is an astronomy collaboration to map the sky with telescopes in the U.S. and Chile, addressing questions ranging from the formation of the Milky Way Galaxy to large-scale structure in the universe and the nature of “dark energy.” With more than 40 member institutions in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, SDSS is one of the most scientifically-productive astronomy programs in the world, and of particular interest to institutions without guaranteed telescope access and to junior faculty seeking to start their own research groups. This session discusses the experience of SDSS in conducting a highly international collaboration, focused on engaging scientists in developing and recently developed nations to enhance research capacity in those countries; structuring collaboration to enable participation and leadership by women and minorities; and enabling the advancement of early-career scientists. Speakers will describe the formal system of shared-use, shared-risk international research facilities; provide examples of documents that formalize an inclusive, equal-opportunity collaboration structure; describe the use of external “site visit” committees to identify issues that limit access to underrepresented or early-career individuals; and share example materials for connecting small colleges and minority-serving institutions within a broader international collaboration.
Keivan Stassun, Vanderbilt University
Michael Blanton, New York University
Alexandre Roman Lopes, University of La Serena
Research Capacity Development Benefits for International Partners
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