Science Teams and Affiliations

SOFIA-USRA Polarimetry Group

The polarimetry research group at the SOFIA Science center has had a varying membership over the years, but the core group (funded through our NSF grant) has been myself, John Vaillancourt,  Miguel Charcos Llorens, Sachin Shenoy, Andrew Helton and Enrique Lopez Rodriguez.  Kristin Kulas from the Santa Clara University usually join us over summer – often with with students.

A number of summer students: Richard Fineman (2014; Columbia U.), Emma Sundin (2014; UTEP), Sarah Youlton (2015;SCU), Ilija Medan (2016; SCU), Shivam  Desai (2017; SCU), Morgan Gillis (2017; SCU), Mandy Caputo (2018; SCU) and Ricky Spolzino (2018; SCU),  have provided highly invaluable assistance and inspiration.

The SOFIA-USRA Polarimetri research group. From left (standing) B-G Andersson, Sachin Shenoy, Miguel Charcos Llorens, John Vaillancourt, Richard Fineman. In front; Emma Sundin.
The SOFIA-USRA Polarimetry research group (in 2014). From left (standing) B-G Andersson, Sachin Shenoy, Miguel Charcos Llorens, John Vaillancourt, Richard Fineman. In front; Emma Sundin. (Not in the picture: our 2015 summer student Sarah Youlton) In the background Ygdrasil – except I guess that tree is not an Ash…

Here’s a group photo of the 2018 group

Core 2018 SOFIA/USRA Polarimetry Group
Tall guy in back left: Ilija Medan (now at Georgia State University),
From left: Archana Soam, Kristin Kulas, Mandy Caputo, me, Ricky Spolzino.
Not pictured; Andrew Helton and Enrique Lopez-Rodriguez

We went en force to the Seattle AAS and presented various aspects of our work.  The

At the AAS meeting in Seattle, January 2019. From left: Ricky Spolziono, me, Kristin Kulas, Mandy Caputo and Archana Soam,

Here’s a group photo of the 2019 group:

Core 2019 SOFIA/USRA Polarimetry Group
From left: Janik Karoly (now at U. Central Lancaster, UK), me, Maddie Dilg, Remy Dennis, Mandy Caputo (now at U. Toledo), Kristin Kulas and Archana Soam.
Not pictured; Simon Coudé and Enrique Lopez-Rodriguez

Current and previous Group Members
Kristin Kulas and Sarah Youlton at Lick Observatory in 2015
Mandy Caputo and Ilija Medan, at Lick Observatory in April 2018
Ilija Medan (background), Kristin Kulas and Ricky Spolzino, at Lick Observatory, April 2018
Arago Science Consortium

I’m a member of the Science Consortium for the Arago mission (previously known as “UVMag”).

Arago is a mid-scale space mission proposed to the European Space Agency (ESA) with Coralie Neiner of the Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, as the PI, aimed at performing Optical & Ultraviolet spectro-polarimetry  of stars and the interstellar medium.   My main contribution has been in defining what Arago can contribute to interstellar medium UV polarimetry

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)
International Science Development Team (ISDT) for
The Stars, Stellar Physics and the Interstellar Medium (ISM)

My proposal for joining the TMT ISDT to promote [ultra] high-resolution optical spectroscopy of the ISM, as well as broad-band ISM polarimetry, was accepted in early March 2017.  Looking forward to helping out with that.

UC Santa Cruz IMPS program

I’m a Visiting Scientist with the astronomy department at UC Santa Cruz and with the Inter[stellar and galactic] Medium Program of Studies (IMPS)