High-flyer Marc Garneau on Keele campus today

Left: Marc Garneau

You’re not imagining things if you think you see astronaut and Canadian Space Agency president Marc Garneau at York today. He is at the Keele campus for a series of meetings, culminating in a strategic planning session about York’s future role in Canadian space research.

A veteran of three space missions, logging more than 677 hours, Garneau became the first Canadian in space in October, 1984, as a payload specialist on Shuttle Mission 41-G.

Invited students and faculty will have the good fortune to attend a research symposium with Garneau in the afternoon and hear his talk about the future of the CSA and space research in Canada. Several prominent members of the Faculty of Pure & Applied Science will also be making presentations at this time, including Prof. Gordon Shepherd, director of York’s Centre for Research in Earth & Atmospheric Science; Prof. William Gault, Prof. Ian McDade, Prof. John McConnell and Prof. Diane Mchelangeli, Department of Earth & Atmospheric Science; and Prof. Wayne Cannon, Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Garneau also plans to attend a lunch meeting with several dignitaries from the CSA, as well as president Lorna R. Marsden and other members of York’s administration and the Faculty of Pure & Applied Science. Among some of the speakers on this occasion are VP Research & Innovation Stan Shapson, who will give an overview of York’s strategic research plans, and FPAS Dean Gillian Wu, who will lead a roundtable discussion about York’s space research strengths and plans.

Later in the day, Garneau has a meeting scheduled with key planners to discuss what steps York will take and the role it will play in working with the CSA to deliver a strategic national space research agenda. Shapson will chair the session.

This is by no means Garneau’s first visit to the campus. Last June at the spring convocation, he was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree.