This agenda is available at

NAASC Organizational Meeting: Wednesday Nov 7, 1-2:30pm ET (1800-1930UT), CV-ER311/TUC-N525/Soc280(SO-conf2)

Meeting Information

  • Call date: 2007-11-07 (Wednesday)
  • Call time 13:00 ET or 18:00 UT
  • Duration: 1.5 hr
  • Non toll-free number: 434-244-6834
  • USA toll-free Number: 866-675-5385
  • Outside USA Number: +1 517-444-6916
  • Passcode: 8445333#
  • Leader: Hibbard


  • CV: JM, AW, AH, RI, RR, CB
  • Soc: SM, CC
  • GB: AR
  • ATF: DS, BG
  • Canada: JdF
  • SCO:

Action Items from past meetings

  • ACTION: Arrange for pdf of ALMA articles from NRAO Newsletter to be sent out electronically to
    • WHO: J. Hibbard/M. Adams -> Carilli, Adams
    • DUE: Next Issue (~July 1 -> Oct 1) -> Aug 15 -> Oct 15
    • DONE: pdf produced and posted Oct 10. Sent to almanews Oct 26
  • ACTION: Discuss idea of UVa/NAASC liason with D.O.
    • WHO: J. Hibbard
    • DUE: end of summer
    • DONE: 8/21/2007
    • NOTE: Assigned to R. Indebetouw, A. Evans, K. Johnson.
  • ACTION: Canadian MOU draft to NRAO; NRAO iterate. This is back in our court
    • WHO: L. Knee/C. Carilli
    • DUE: Aug 5 Back from NRC in Oct. Due back to them by Dec
    • DONE:

New Action Items from this meeting:

  • ACTION: Produced NAASC proposal/budget consistent with AOPverD
    • WHO: Carilli/Hibbard
    • DUE: Dec-15
    • DONE: New budget done 11/13.
  • ACTION: set up search committee for 3 NAASC jobs
    • WHO: Carilli
    • DUE: Nov 31
    • DONE:
    • NOTES: quick review to request letters. Then deliberate in Dec, offers in Jan
  • ACTION: Iterate with NRC on Canadian MOU
    • WHO: Carilli/di Francesco
    • DUE: Nov 31
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Submit Newsletter article
    • WHO: Carilli et al. (Remijan for splatalogue)
    • DUE: Dec 3
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Review NAASC webpage you are responsible for (see assignments) prior to monthly NAASC Org. Meeting
    • WHO: Everyone
    • DUE: prior to meeting
    • DONE:


  • NAASC News (Carilli/Hibbard)
    • Massimo Tarenghi's contract as JAO Director has not been renewed. His term ends March 2008. A new search will take place. He will be visiting CV next week.
    • Lars-Ake Nyman (JAO Head of Science Operations) will be visiting Nov 8-17. Staying in Carilli's office. Make sure to talk to him.
    • Quarterly report submitted Oct 23
    • OpsWG produced version D of AOP. Approved by Board. After that, we need to produce updated version of NAASC proposal with revised budget and methodologies.
    • CASA beta support: See main topic. Beta "user support" bootcamp was held in Socorro Oct 16-18. Crystal, John, James attended, as well as Carilli, Myers, four EU ARC/ARClet people, EVLA support personnel and ATF/EVLA commissioning people. Remotely, we had Remy, Tony, Antonio, Rob & Al. Talks available at
    • Staffing update:
      • NAASC Now supports Remijan 25% and Indebetouw 50% for CASA user support.
      • Indebetouw will also support futher development of CASA simulator. He is in room 308.
      • Aaron Evan's is at Spitzer Science Center. Attended "lessons learned" with Herschel, and is investigating their helpdesk implementation.
      • A number of new positions are being advertised (also listed on front of NAASC homepage, along with links to ESO and JAO ALMA positions):
    • New Action: Need to set up search committee
    • In total, expect four new bodies by early summer. Making office plans. Will likely Tony, Antonio & Rob into 303 to free up two offices, and try to get Barry & Dana's offices to accommodate four new bodies. Remy is in room 308.
    • Start weekly NAASC telecon with NAASC-paid people? (Carilli, Hibbard, Brogan, Indebetouw, Remijan). Weekly "to do", and longer term tasks.
    • Revision of Canadian MOU is in the works. New Action: Iterate on Canadian MOU
    • MOU with UVML for SIS development is in the works. Will support THz research, support Art Lichtenberger half time, as the "NRAO Director of the University of Virginia Microfabrication Laboratory". Funded under NAASC "Special Projects".
    • Science Talks/visits:
    • Upcoming NAASC Science Colloquia and Meetings: see ANASAC notes

  • ANASAC (Carilli)
    • Telecon Nov 2nd. Agenda. Minutes
    • Report on next workshop possible topics- see email from A. Baker under supplemental material (Carilli)
    • New Action: Finalize SOC of next NAASC workshop

  • Main Event:
    • CASA Helpdesk process, will be done via Hibbard will walk through triage/resolution process.
    • Gareth Hunt is begining to collect data on other observatory's helpdesk implementation. See list of questions under "Supplemental material". Need by early December for Hibbard to write draft of ALMA helpdesk requirements for Science Operations IPT face-to-face meeting (Santiago, Dec 13-14).

  • Reports from Working Groups
    • Software Testing
      • Pipeline testing: Gearing up for UT5. Was to be October, but moved to December. Take a look at their question on continuum subtraction
      • Offline testing: stable candidate due today. Need everyone to try to download & install on their machines (if they are the right flavor of OS)
      • ObsTool. Recent test has concluded. Waiting on report.
      • Casapy simulator: Discuss plans with Remy & Rob. Who will prioritize?
      • ALMA Archive will start external tests. Hibbard was asked to join.
    • Calibration Group (JeffMangum): Calibration
    • Imaging Group (AlWootten):
    • MM Calibrator/Spectral Line Databases (Tony Remijan)
      • We are expecting a "beta" release of all the new functionality, as well as some new surprises, by Dec 2007. Remijan gave demo to Menton & in Pasadena (NHSC, Caltech mm group, Spitzer). Will write newsletter article
    • Webpages (Tony Remijan):
      • We all have pages we are supposed to keep up to date. We should review them prior to each NAASC Org. Meeting. Assignments are on main NAASC wiki. Add as standing action item.
    • EPO (Adams)
      • Jan newsletter article due Dec 3
      • Ad for ALMA EPO specialist Posted.
      • Mark gave talk with JAO & ESO at "Communicating Astronomy to the Public" meeting in Greece in October.
      • "documenting ALMA". Next product: 15min video by January
      • ALMA EPO Working Group next f2f meeting 15 Nov
      • New EPO webcontent specialist: Taylor Johnson. Will be the point person for images.
      • Send any ideas for images for 2008 NRAO calendar
    • NAASC Workshops (Evans)
      • ANASAC will advise (see supplemental material)
    • ALMA Meetings: (Wootten)

Supporting Material

Helpdesk fact-finding:

Contact people:

  • Do they use a commercial helpdesk package (which one?), or did they write their own (in what), or do they just use a regular email program (which one)? Pros/cons/lessons learned (would they do the same again). How much overhead in working with outside contractors?
  • How Do users interface with helpdesk? Simple email, or Do they have a web interface, or both? Anything else? have the solicited user input on How they like the system?
  • Do they have a triage process, and if so How Do they manage it? Does the triage person spend a lot of time on each ticket, or quickly assign it to someone else?
  • How do they decide who to assign the ticket to? By specialty, or round-robin, or ??
  • Do they have diagnostics that the manager/triage person can use to help assign tickets? e.g., no. of tickets per support person, average time to respond, etc.
  • How do support personnel communicate with users? Personel email accounts? Webpage? Combination? Do all correspondances go through helpdesk? Are the all logged? If so, how and why? Can they provide concrete examples of when having the entire email chain has been useful?
  • How often do users get email notifications? Is it too much/too little?
  • How many tickets do they get in a day, and how many people are needed?
  • Do they also have any face to face support? How much?

Suggestion of next NAASC workshop by ANASAC: high-mass star formation

Subject:[Anasaconly] sketch of high-mass star formation NAASC workshop
From:Andrew Baker <>
Date:Mon, 5 Nov 2007 23:52:16 -0500 (EST)
CC:Christine Wilson <>


As promised, here's my attempt to flesh out the idea of a "high-mass
star formation" NAASC workshop.  The extra emphasis on feedback is an
effort to distinguish this meeting from others already scheduled
(possibly at the expense of the "narrow focus" criterion I proposed
in my last email...).  Please share your thoughts on whether (a) this 
looks generally credible for a summer 2008 event, (b) you have
specific suggestions for improvement, (c) you'd be willing to serve 
on the SOC for such a meeting (if you haven't already offered!), or
(d) you have some altogether different idea that is much better.  Re
(d), I'd say all areas other than planetary and high(est) redshift-- 
latter reserved for 2009-- should be on the table; I personally like 
Jonathan's "high angular resolution astronomy" idea, although perhaps 
unfortunately, so do the organizers of a meeting in Cologne next
spring (see bottom of email).



Formation and Feedback of High-Mass Stars:
Bridging the Galactic/Extragalactic Gap in the ALMA Era

Ideally, co-chaired by one Galactic person and one extragalactic
person, to reinforce the "bridging the gap" theme.

In view of the meetings that have the potential for overlap (see
list at bottom of this email), the last week of June or the first
week of July looks sensible.

Scientific motivation
High-mass stars dominate the radiative and mechanical luminosities
of the universe's most actively star-forming galaxies; thus,
understanding their formation from and feedback to the interstellar
medium is a key piece of the galaxy evolution puzzle.  With its
superior combination of sensitivity and angular resolution, ALMA
will make it possible to extend the detailed studies of star-forming
regions in the Milky Way to other, nearby galaxies.  This workshop
seeks to examine the key questions at this Galactic/extragalactic
interface, and how ALMA (in both its current and possible future
forms) will help address them.

Scientific topics
What are the preconditions for the formation of high-mass stars?
  + parameters governing molecular cloud formation
  + parameters governing (dense) molecular clump formation
  + preconditions for formation of intermediate-mass clusters
  + preconditions for formation of "super star clusters"
  + optimal diagnostics for physical conditions in star-forming gas

What determines the stellar initial mass function?
  + interplay of self-gravity/turbulence/magnetic field
  + competitive accretion vs. disk accretion
  + (possible) variation of the IMF: Galactic field vs. Galactic
    clusters vs. extragalactic clusters vs. (entire) external

How do young stellar clusters evolve?
  + self-propagating vs. self-terminating star formation
  + dynamical evolution: mass segregation, ejection, evaporation
  + variations with environment (dwarfs vs. galactic disks vs.
    galactic nuclei)

What are the principal effects of massive stars on the surrounding
  interstellar medium?
  + pre-main sequence: jets and outflows (linked to cloud support?)
  + main sequence: stellar winds, radiation pressure
  + post-main sequence: enrichment, dust production, supernovae

How do the "global" star formation laws emerge from what we know
  of the formation and evolution of massive stars on small scales?
  + radio-FIR correlation
  + FIR-CO-HCN correlations
  + Kennicutt/Schmidt law
  + star formation rate vs. superwind mass outflow rate

How could an enhanced "ALMA in 2020" strengthen the bridge between
  Galactic and extragalactic star formation?  [These could be offered
  as "wish list" challenge talks to potential participants.]
  + faster: more sensitive receivers and/or focal plane arrays
  + broader: greater frequency coverege and/or bandwidth
  + sharper: longer baselines and/or millimeter VLBI

Scheduled conferences with potential overlap
I did a quick scan of the CADC website and came up with the following
list of meetings we might want to avoid in terms of topic and date.
The Sheffield meeting Kelsey noted looks like the most direct
competition, but there seems to be no information about it on the web.
I was struck by the fact that all of these events are happening outside
North America, with the exception of the two training workshops.

Nuclear Star Clusters Across the Hubble Sequence
  25-27 Feb, Heidelberg (Germany)

Star Formation Across the Milky Way Galaxy
  03-06 Mar, Santiago (Chile)

The Universe under the Microscope: Astronomy at High Angular Resolution
  21-25 Apr, Bad Honnef (Germany)

Observing with ALMA: A Workshop
  26-27 May, Calgary (Canada)

Gas and Stars in Galaxies: A Multi-Wavelength 3D Perspective
  10-13 Jun, Garching (Germany)

Eleventh Synthesis Imaging Workshop
  10-17 Jun, Socorro (US)

Low-Metallicity Star Formation: From the First Stars to Dwarf Galaxies
  16-20 Jun, Villasimius (Italy)

Star Cluster Formation: From Taurus to the Antennae
  04-08 Aug, Sheffield (UK)

-- JohnHibbard - 13 Nov 2007
Topic revision: r1 - 2007-11-13, JohnHibbard
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