AstroFest2015 was led by Prof Sarah Maddison and Dr Glen Mackie from the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, and joined by long-term SAO friend, Dr Pamela Gay. Locals from Hawaii joining us included Dr Thayne Currie and SAO alumnus Dan Birchall, and Swinburne astronomers joining us live from Australia included Dr Jeff Cooke and Dr Chris Flynn.  Presentations were also given by 3 additional SAO alumni: Lynn van Rooijen-McCullough, Phil Evans and Richard West.

Sarah-2-_ART4087Sarah Maddison is a Professor of Astrophysics working on planet formation. She uses some of the world’s largest telescopes to study planet-forming disks around young stars, as well as supercomputers to model the earliest stages of planet formation when tiny grains grown in size to become planetary building blocks. Sarah was the SAO program coordinator from 2001 until 2012 and is currently the Dean of the School of Science.
vlcsnap-2015-03-13-13h52m32s252Glen Mackie is the SAO program coordinator and author of the Cambridge University Press text Multiwavelength Atlas of Galaxies. He studies Brightest Cluster Galaxies to trace large-scale structure in the Universe, as well as galaxy formation in rich cluster environments. His research also covers astronomy education and astronomy history. Glen is currently writing a new interactive textbook on cosmology which will include 3D visualisations of large data sets.
vlcsnap-2015-03-13-13h52m32s252Pamela Gay is an astronomer, writer, and podcaster focused on using new media to engage people in science and technology. Through, she works to engage people in both learning doing science. Join her to map out our Solar System in unprecedented detail, and learn astronomy through media productions like Astronomy Cast. Through this weekly podcast, Fraser Cain and Pamela take people on a facts-based journey through our Cosmos, exploring not only what we know, but how we know it.
ThayneCurrie_3974949Thayne Currie is a research associate at the Subaru Telescope/NAOJ, whose research focuses on directly imaging extrasolar planets around nearby, young stars. Thayne is also interested in protoplanetary and debris disk evolution, models for planet formation, cosmochemistry, and stellar ages.
birchallDan Birchall is a 2010 alumnus from SAO, graduating with a GradCertSc. Coming from a background in information technology, he has worked at five observatories on Maunakea. Currently he is an operator at Japan's Subaru Telescope and research staff at Berkeley, doing spectroscopy of supernovae with the University of Hawaii 2.2-meter. He also works as a photographer, writer and editor in sustainability reporting.
Lynn-14M-aLynn van Rooijen is a 2011 SAO MSc alumna. Since 2010, she has done public outreach in the Benelux as a Solar System Ambassador for JPL/NASA and she chairs the Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy for the area of the country east of Amsterdam (Gooi & Vechtstreek). She also supervises a number of SAO projects. Her interests include photometry, low-resolution spectroscopy and astrophotography and she has recently been doing some work on eclipsing binaries and supernovae.

SAO participants included:

Ghanim Alotaibi (K)
Evelyn Anderson (K)
Chris Benton (K)
Allan Brender (+)
Nalayini Brito (K)
Roy Corbin (K)
Gareth Davies (K)
John Drummond (K)
Phil Evans (K)
Gigi Giles (K)
Jennifer Gull (K)
Andras Hidas (S)
Joseph Jackson (+)
Joss Larsen (K)
Albany Livingstone (K)
Robert Miller (K)
Jason Nishiyama (K)
Jim Peterson (S)
Daniel Puser (K)
Sherie Sunderland (K)
Mark Taylor (S)
Paula Tomlinson (K)
Lynn van Rooijen-McCullough (S)
Richard West (K)

(K) Keck tour
(S) Subaru tour
(+) No summit