Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Keynote Lecture on Aboriginal Astronomy

A 45 minute video on Aboriginal Astronomy by keynote speaker Professor Ray Norris is available from the Australian Science Teachers Association website.  Click on the image below for the video.

Professor Ray Norris giving a lecture on Aboriginal Astronomy.
 Click on this image to go to the video.

Ray Norris is an astrophysicist at the CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science. He received an Honours Degree in Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University and then a PhD at Manchester University. He moved to Australia in 1983 to work for CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility, where he became Head of Astrophysics in 1994 and Deputy Director in 2000.  He currently leads a project to image the faintest radio galaxies and star-forming galaxies in the Universe, to understand how they form and evolve. He also studies the astronomy of Aboriginal Australians, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University. Professor Norris has been sponsored by CSIRO for CONASTA 60.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Call for Students

The Aboriginal Astronomy Project is seeking students who wish to undertake a PhD in Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney.  The university has several MQRES scholarships specifically dedicated to Indigenous Australians who wish to undertake a PhD in any field - including Aboriginal Astronomy.  The MQRES stands for the "Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship" and includes a stipend, research funds, and all associated costs for up to 3.5 years.  For international students, the scholarship also covers tuition and health insurance (and some relocation costs).

We are actively trying to increase Indigenous membership and researchers in our project.  The university also has MQRES scholarships available for non-Indigenous students, both domestic and international.

Our project is seeking students to undertake research projects in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Astronomy.  Projects include ethnographic, archaeological, historical, and linguistic approaches.  Students with degrees in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities are ideal.  Students are not required to have an astronomy background, but it is very useful.  Those with no formal background or training in astronomy will be recommended to audit a first year course in the subject.

Candidates will need a bachelor's degree with honours or a research masters degree to be eligible for the MQRES.  Evidence of research experience (i.e. publications) may meet this requirement if you don't have an honours or masters degree.  A senior thesis for international students may count towards this requirement.

Students may also opt to complete an Honours degree or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Indigenous Studies working on a topic in Aboriginal Astronomy.  Some scholarships may be available, but the MQRES is for PhD students only.  Additional funding is available in the form of ITAS tutoring, planetarium and observatory work, and public outreach.

Students will be centered in the Department of Indigenous Studies but will also have formal ties to the Research Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Astrophotonics.

For more information, visit the following links:

Feel free to contact us if you are interested!

Duane Hamacher
Aboriginal Astronomy Project
Department of Indigenous Studies
Macquarie University
Phone: 02 9850 8671