Teaching, teaching, and whales

While trying to finish up my last week of lectures, set the tutorial, teach all of atomic physics, and help several students prepare submissions (and write references for) various post-doc/PhD/masters bursaries, my last week has led to research taking a back seat.   The good news is it went on without me as Solohery submitted the first paper of this thesis.

There was also a visit to Hermanus to take part in the NASSP curriculum review.   Overall, this was a very positive experience and very interesting in trying to blend the needs of astronomers and space scientists to provide a strong, comprehensive curriculum for students coming from a wide variety of backgrounds.   The program has been very successful in preparing students for a PhD in astronomy, but it can certainly be improved and hopefully, we can start taking steps in that direction.

And I even managed to catch a sighting of a whale, but more interestingly, we also got a tour of South African National Space Agency (SANSA)  where they are running a number of projects observing the Earth’s magnetic field and also forecasting space weather.   The Sun wasn’t doing anything too interesting at the time we were there, but it was very cool to see the range of projects that they have going on to monitor space weather.