About the Author
I (Dave Lane) have been an active amateur astronomer since the early 1980s, am a life member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), and am a past-president of the Halifax Chapter and of the national Society. From 1992 to 2021, I was employed as the Astronomy Technician (later Observatory Director) and Systems Administrator at the Department of Astronomy and Physics at Saint Mary's University (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) where I was the director of the Burke-Gaffney Observatory and the department's computing infrastructure. Prior to working at SMU, I developed instrumentation systems for oceanography and meteorology and led the "hardware group" at Seimac Limited (later Cobham Tracking & Locating - no longer in business).
My primary astronomical interests are observatory automation, public outreach, contributing to amateur astronomical science projects (such as variable star observing), deep sky observing, and astrocomputing.
I also operate the very-part-time business, Nova Astronomics, whose primary work involves the development and distribution of this and other astronomy software.
I also hold the distinction, along with Paul Gray of being the first and second Canadians to discover a supernovae (1995F in NGC 2726 and 2005B in UGC11066) from within Canada.
Outside of astronomy, I am a sailor that races and cruises a 30-foot C&C 30-2 sailboat. I also volunteer in several capacities at the St Margaret Sailing Club.
Notable Awards and Recognition
- From the RASC
- Chant Medal (1996) - the highest award for amateur contributions to astronomy in Canada.
- Ken Chilton Prize (1995 and 2010) - awarded annually to an amateur astronomer resident in Canada, in recognition of a significant piece of astronomical work carried out or published recently.
- Service Award (1998) - recognizes the contributions of members who, at either the National or Centre levels, have made a significant contribution to the life and vitality of the Society.
- President's Award (2013) - given at the President's discretion to a member who has made an important contribution to the Society.
- Fellowship Award (2015) - acknowledges the work of long-serving members. It recognizes those outstanding members who have made extraordinary contributions to the Society over the long term, much of which service has been rendered at the national level.
- From Saint Mary's University
- The President's Award for Exemplary Service (2008)
- From the Discovery Centre
- Science Champion (2007) - awarded to a working scientist, technology professional, full-time science teacher/professor, journalist, radio or TV personality who devotes time to the promotion of science and technology to the public.
- From the IAU
- Asteriod (117032) Davidlane was named after me - the citation reads: David Lane (b. 1963) is the author of The Earth Centered Universe, a brilliantly easy-to-use planetarium and telescope-control program. With Paul Gray, Lane has discovered three supernovae---SN1995F, 2005B and 2005ea. He is scheduled to assume the presidency of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in June 2008.