Thursday, December 11, 2014

Visiting Yale

My current fellowship is sponsored by the Chilean national government. In particular I hold a FONDECYT Postdoctoral Fellowship. FONDECYT is an acronym for Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico, which translates to National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development. Naturally, I live and work in Concepción, Chile.

But, thanks to my swank fellowship, I get to be my own boss and decide when and where I go for collaboration. It happens that my current supervisor has close ties to Yale University, and so I’ve extended my network to Yale as well. It also happens that I am part of a two body academic orbit, so coming in close toward Yale is particularly rewarding on a personal level as well as an academic/professional level.

Right now it is early December in New Haven, CT, and I’m in for a nice snowy New England winter; I am staying through the month of February. On my to do list while I am here is to reduce and analyze some spectroscopy of a sample of Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 galaxies. These galaxies host active galactic nuclei (AGN), and are of interest to me because we expect them to have black holes that are smaller than those of other kinds of AGN. We can learn some really neat things about the connections between the AGN and their hosts by studying NLS1s.

I really like the department here. It is big enough that something is going on just about every day. There are lots of scientific talks, or journal clubs, or other social events to attend. I actually have more space here as a visitor, than I do at my home university - I guess being a private institution has benefits. So far I'm enjoying the environment, and I hope to get some good science done while I am here.

I’ll also be traveling to Seattle for the American Astronomical Society meeting in early January. I registered a bit late, and I am only able to present a poster on the last day of the conference, but it is better than nothing. Now I just need to make sure I have those data reduced and ready to show off before then!

In early March I’ll be headed back to Chile, just in time to travel to Puerto Varas for a science meeting. Puerto Varas is a beautiful lake town in the south of Chile, with great views of Volcan Osorno. I’m really looking forward to going back there, and I hope to present some good science results when I am there.

Bye for now!

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