- Establishment of SEA-ROAD
The SEA-ROAD was one of two OAD regional nodes formally established during the IAU General Assembly in Beijing in August 2012, and was assigned to the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), in Chiang Mai. Working closely with other 9 offices and language centres throughout the world, SEA-ROAD is committed to the development of astronomy in ASEAN nations, namely:
- Union of Myanmar
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- Kingdom of Cambodia
- Socialist Republic of Vietnam
- Republic of Singapore
- State of Brunei Darussalam
- Republic of Indonesia.
In line with IAU policy, and in conjunction with the OAD, the SEA-ROAD is responsible for over-viewing and assisting in the development of the following areas of astronomical activity in these ten Southeast Asian nations:
- University research and teaching (both undergraduate and graduate) in astronomy.
- Teaching of astronomy in schools.
- The training of teachers in astronomy.
- Increasing astronomy awareness among the general public.
- Host Institute
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand was established by Parliament in 2005 in order to use astronomy as a vehicle to promote science and technology at universities, and among school children and the general public.
The NARIT headquarters are located in Thailand?s second-largest city, Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, where there are close links with the astronomers at Chiang Mai University.
The Institute maintains the 2.4-m Thai National Telescope, which is located near Chiang Mai close to the summit of Doi Inthanon, Thailand?s highest mountain. This telescope offers Thai and overseas astronomers facilities with which to carry out cutting edge astronomical research. The NARIT staff include a number of Thai and overseas research astronomers who work in a range of different fields of astronomy.
In order to promote astronomy in schools and among the public NARIT has a large education and outreach section, and is in the process of establishing a network of five regional astronomy education centres throughout Thailand.
NARIT also maintains a watching brief over the national development of astronomy in Thailand, with radio astronomy flagged as one of the growth areas in the future.
The greatest resource that will enable the OAD and SEA-ROAD to achieve the vision of Astronomy for a Better World is volunteers. Whether these come in the form of professionals, amateurs, educators, students or members of the public, any form of assistance from anyone anywhere in the world will be appreciated. If you are interested
The SEA-ROAD is always open to partnerships with other organisations wishing to be proactive in the development of astronomy. Remember, the whole is always greater than the sum of the component parts!
In Thailand, for example, NARIT is already working in close collaboration with various universities, and at an international level it has Memoranda of Understanding with various observatories and universities, all of which directly benefit the SEA-ROAD. Further networking and partnerships are envisaged.
If your organisation would like to partner with the SEA-ROAD please contact us.
- IAU Funding
Annual Call for Proposals
The IAU has always funded several projects related to astronomy-for-development activities. In the era of the OAD and in implementing the Strategic Plan, the IAU now allocates these funds via the Task Forces. This ensures a more strategic approach to using astronomy for development with input from experienced international experts. The funding cycle is an annual one with funding allocations announced in December for the next calendar year in each of the three respective sectors (universities and research, children and schools, and public outreach). Funds have been provisionally allocated to the Task Forces for the 2018 Call for Proposals but final amounts provided to each Task Force will be determined by the IAU Extended Development Oversight Committee (EDOC) and depend on the quality and relevance of the proposals received.
Although the spirit of the OAD is to be as flexible and unbureaucratic as possible in order to ensure maximum benefit from the funds available, it is still important for proposers to provide the detail requested by the dates indicated in order for proposals to be assessed fairly and in a timely way. Projects which are not funded directly by the IAU but which are still ranked highly by the task forces go onto a wish list for which the OAD continues to search for funds throughout the year.
Please view the 2018 Call for Proposals by clicking on the link below:
However, please note that the deadline has now passed and proposals have been officially endorsed. The next call will be early 2019.
- IAU Task forces
The International Astronomical Union (IAU), through its Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), has established the three Task Forces which will drive global activities using astronomy as a tool to stimulate development. These Task Forces are: (i) Astronomy for Universities and Research; (ii) Astronomy for Children and Schools; and (iii) Astronomy for the Public.
The Task Forces are made of groups of experts in their field who give their time voluntarily to advise on and coordinate projects in the respective targeted areas of development. They are selected, as far as possible, on the basis of their skills, prior knowledge, experience, geographic locations and cultural diversity. After a lengthy nomination and selection process, approved by the Development Oversight Committee of the IAU, we are pleased to announce the names of the members of the three Task Forces. These individuals, together with the many passionate volunteers they will work with, will contribute to the vision of Astronomy for a Better World!
- Nicole van der Bliek (Chile/Netherlands)
- Stella Kafka (USA)
- Jean-Pierre de Greve (Belgium)
- Michele Gerbaldi (Co-Chair – France)
- Richard de Grijs (China)
- Edward Guinan (Co-Chair – USA)
- Roger Hajjar (Lebanon)
- Edward Jurua (Uganda)
- Hakim Malasan (Indonesia)
10Shengbang Qian (China)
11 Ravi Sheth (ICTP/Italy)
- Jen Gupta (UK)
- Edward Gomez (Co-chair – UK)
- Robert Hollow (Australia)
- Ofodum Chukwujekwu Nworah (Nigeria)
- Amelia Ortiz-Gil (Co-chair – Spain)
- Tsolmon Renchin (Mongolia)
- Lina Canas (OAO/Japan)
- Linda Strubbe (Canada/USA)
9 Akihiko Tomita (Japan)
- Megan Argo (Commission 55/UK)
- Sze-leung Cheung (OAO/HK)
- Thilina Heenatigala (Sri Lanka)
- Brooke Simmons (UK)
- Carolina Odman (Co-Chair – South Africa/EU)
- German Puerta (Colombia)
- Kumiko S. Usuda (Co-chair – Japan/USA)
- Kimberly Arcand (US)
Projects and Activities in 2019
Related Information and Networking
Mr. Setthawut Thongmee
National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand
260 M.4, Donkaew,
Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50180
Thailand. Tel: 053 121268-9