Acting Division Director and Acting Deputy Division Director in AST

January 12, 2017

Dr. James Ulvestad will be moving from the position of Division Director of MPS/AST to Acting Assistant Director for MPS on January 14.  We are pleased to announce the following appointments, effective January 17, 2017.

Dr. Ralph Gaume will serve as Acting Division Director for MPS/AST. Dr. Gaume has over 30 years of federal government service, primarily at the US Naval Observatory, where he was a member of the Earth Orientation Department and headed the Astrometry Department. He has been at NSF since 2014, and has served as the Acting Deputy Division Director and then the Deputy Division Director since June 2016.   Dr. Gaume received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Wichita State University in 1979 and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Iowa in 1985. Dr. Gaume’s primary research interests are in the development of the International Celestial Reference Frame using both optical and radio techniques.

Dr. Edward Ajhar will serve as the Acting Deputy Division Director for MPS/AST. Dr. Ajhar was a postdoctoral research associate at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and held positions as Professor of Physics, Department Chair, Interim Dean, and Institute Director at St. Thomas University in Miami.  He served as a rotator in NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences from 2011 to 2014, served as Expert in 2015, and returned to the Division on a permanent basis in January 2016.  Dr. Ajhar received bachelor's (1986) and PhD (1992) degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a Master of Music degree (1997) in Performance (Conducting) from The University of Arizona.  Dr. Ajhar’s research interests are in the areas of cosmology, large-scale structure of the Universe, structure and evolution of galaxies, black holes in galaxies, and globular star clusters.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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