As a Director of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
As part of his service to the Society as co-chair of the National Council, Roger Nelson had placed great importance in the need for the Board and National Council to communicate and engage the members. He intends to continue to work towards this as a Director of the Society. He feels that greater importance should be placed on involvement from across the society in the: (1) committee work of the national organization; (2) communication and co-ordination of projects, and; (3) initiatives between the centres. National Committees should demonstrate an effort to obtain members/representation from all parts of the Society. Roger’s believes that we must try to involve any member who is willing to contribute to the Committee work of the Society.
Roger intends to promote an increased level of effort by the RASC in terms of supporting the interests of members in exploring astronomical science objectives. He believes that this should be seen of equal importance as outreach programs in public education, promotion of Astronomy, information and education on advances in Astronomical Science. Furthermore, Roger’s vision is a balanced, healthy and thriving astronomical society that includes active enjoyment of each of these, by its members.
Let’s make our Society work for all the members in all the Centres!
Motto: “Tell less, listen more”
Roger Nelson – Astronomy Experience
Roger’s interest in astronomy goes back to his youth when he dedicated himself to learn the night sky while living on a farm in rural Manitoba. When he was 10 years old, Roger had received a small telescope as a Christmas present. Later as a teenager, Roger set the hobby aside as he lived in an area with no Astronomy Club to participate. He did not have funds to purchase a larger telescope, the support of an organization or mentors to help him build his own instrument. As an adult, he resolved to take the hobby up again when he could do it as part of an organization that would help. His experience as a youth, without the support and mentorship, made him resolve to work to prevent this from happening to others who are interested in the awesomeness of our Universe.
When Roger moved to Regina in the 1980’s; with the encouragement and support of his amazing wife Grace Nelson, Roger joined the Regina Astronomical Society (RAS). At the time, the RAS was in a state of disarray and was having difficulty attracting membership and interest. It did have an observatory with a 4″ refractor! Roger agreed to take the leadership of this organization and while expanding his knowledge and observation experience, he worked to breathe new life into that organization over a 4-year period. Through his efforts, and the support of Regina’s Astronomical Community, the long defunct Regina Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) was restored in 1989.
In 1990, Roger moved to Calgary and joined the Calgary Centre. As a member, Roger immersed himself in the Observing programs of the Centre. He built a 10″ Newtonian Reflector with the support and mentor-ship of other members who had skills in telescope construction. Time and life experience caused Roger to step away from the RASC for a time and he returned in 2005 to take up a role serving as a Councillor, and participating in observing and public education programs of the Calgary Centre. In 2013 Roger served for 3 years as a National Council Representative for the Calgary Centre, then Secretary and most recently a Councillor again. More recently, Roger has moved his interest to Astronomical Imaging,
For the 2018 and the 2019 General Assembly, Roger provided webservices though his company (The Blue Grid AB Ltd.) and technical expertise to build and deploy the website to host these GAs.
Astronomy Memberships and Accomplishments
Royal Astronomical Society (1989-1997, 2005-2010 & 2012-present)
- Member of Calgary Centre 1990-present
- Member of Regina Centre 1989-1990
- Calgary Centre Secretary 2014-2016
- Calgary Center Councilor 1992-1993, 2005-2007, 2016-present
- 1992, 2007 & 2018 GA Organizing Committees
- 2018 GA Website Creator/Webmaster
- “Where’s the Science Program”
- Active volunteer 1990 to present (At the RAO, Star-nights and outreach)
- Calgary Centre National Council Representative 2012-2015 (Attended the General Assemblies in 2013, 2014 & 2015)
- National Advisory Council Co-Chair 2013-2015
- Calgary Observing Group Chairman 1993-1994
- Calgary Centre Observing Committee 2017-present
- Help in organization the first Messier Marathon at the WCO.
Awards: National Service Award 2019; Calgary Centre Bolide Awards 2016/2018
Certificates: Messier Certificate (RASC) 1992
Working on the following Certificates: Explore the Universe, Finest 110 NGC’s
Regina Astronomical Society (1986-1990)
- President 1986-1990
- Activities: Lead the group in activities and build engagement and activities over a 4 year period.
- Authored updates to By-Laws and Constitution
- Published the newsletter
- Public Education and Volunteer programs for the Society
- Media contact for Astronomy for Southern Saskatchewan
- Telescope for loan program
- Davin Dark site acquisition
- Partnership with the Science Centre
- Partnership with the Western Development Museum to preserve the Observatory build by the original Regina Centre (1910)
- Built the group from a dozen members to over 30
- Arranged to have the Society become the Regina Centre of the RASC
Mount Kobau Star Party Society
- Member of MKSP Society (2017-present)
- Webmaster (1995-present)
- MKSP Facebook Page
- Attended the event in 1992, 2007&8, 2012, 2014, 2016,2019
Personal Astronomy Projects
- Built his own 10” Newtonian Telescope (1992)
- Publishing his Observing Log Book (currently at over 1200 Observations)
- Herschel 400
- Local Group Picture Album
- Observing Certificates
- Occultations and Eclipse Events and Expeditions
- 2017 US Solar Eclipse (Idaho); 1979 Solar Eclipse (Winnipeg); Planning Expedition to S. Texas for 2024 Total Eclipse.
- Star Parties (ASP and SSSP) SINCE THE 1990s
Other positions outside of the Society
- Lego Robotics Competition Judge
- Director of the Saskatchewan Science Centre
- Shareholder with (Grace Nelson) of The Blue Grid AB Ltd. an Internet and Information Systems Consulting Company.
- Past Treasurer of his Condo Corporation
- President of the University of Manitoba Students Union