Yale - Universidad de Chile Joint Program
The Departments of Astronomy of Yale University and the University of Chile have a joint program of graduate education and research in astronomy, which began in 1999. The activities in the Joint Program and its funding have evolved over the years. Successes of the Joint Program include PhDs for 3 Chilean students, many scientific publications from the joint research programs, and significant recognition for both departments throughout both South and North America.
In the Joint Program there are opportunities for graduate students from both departments. Graduate students from UdeChile can spend 6 months to 2 years at Yale taking graduate classes or completing research projects. Graduate students from Yale can get access to Chilean telescope time if they spend at least 9 months in Chile.
The Joint Research Program consists of projects designed and executed by members of both departments, including faculty, post-docs and students. Joint Program Postdoctoral Fellows play an important role, and they may spend part of their time at Cal·n (the informal name for U. de Chile Astronomy) and part at Yale. Participants in these projects have access to telescope time available to both institutions, including the Chilean share of telescope facilities located in Chile. Thus joint projects have access to telescopes operated by the European Southern Observatory (including the 8.4m VLT telescopes), the Las Campanas Observatory (including the twin Magellan Telescopes), the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, and the Gemini Observatory. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array, which is currently under construction, will also be available to these joint projects. The Yale/Chile Joint Projects can also make use of Yale facilities, such as the WIYN and SMARTS telescopes. Currently approved projects include:
- Studies of Local Group Galaxies
- Multiwavelength Survey by Yale-Chile (MUSYC) (to study galaxy formation and evolution, AGN structure and demographics, and Galactic structure)
- Studies of Star Formation and Molecular Clouds
We expect additional projects to be authorized as the collaboration continues.
From 1999-2006 the program was jointly funded by Yale, UdeChile, and Fundación Andes, which sponsored cultural and educational enterprises in Chile. In 2006 Fundación Andes went out of existence, although there are some residual Andes funds remaining for Chilean students to spend time in New Haven. In 2006 Yale University agreed to support a 3-year renewal (2006-9) for $500K to supplement the residual Andes funding. Yale now funds half-support for 2 postdocs, and travel for all astronomers to the annual joint meetings and for students from either institution to the other for observing or scientific collaborations. Yale provides salary support to UdeChile faculty who spend sabbatical time at Yale. We also created a new astronomy summer course in Chile for Yale undergraduate science majors.
Image Credits: (header) NASA, ESA and J. Hester (ASU); (left) NASA/JPL-Caltech/CXC/NOAO/AURA/NSF