Highlights of 2012

The  year  2012  was  a  year  of  growth  for  the  Manila  Observatory.  We  celebrated  triumphs,  new  collaborations  and  the  strengthening  of  partnerships  in  the pursuit  of  our science agenda. Here are some of the many highlights of our work in 2012.

Exhibit by the Manila Observatory Archives

highlights2012_archivesThe Manila Observatory Archives  aims  to  preserve,  for  further  use and  dissemination,  any  recorded  information  that embodies  the  work of the institution.

In June 2012, the Archives hosted  an  exhibit  called  “Preserving  History  and  Science:  an  exhibit  of  the Manila Observatory Archives”.  The  exhibit  highlighted  the  Manila Observatory  (MO)  and  its  collection  which includes  textual  records,  photographs,  and  other  historical and scientific data.  This exhibit  was  an  opportunity  to  promote  the  Manila  Observatory and  its Archives  to  the community  as  research  institution and  source of  valuable historical and scientific data.

The  construction  and  preservation  of  its  collections  were  made  possible  through  the assistance  of  the  Agencia  Española  de Cooperacion  Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID) and Cives Mundi.

The opening  of  the  exhibit was  lead  by  Fr. Jose T. Villarin, SJ and attended by  the Ateneo de Manila University officials, Board of Trustees  of the MO and partners and staff of the MO.


Transit of Venus

highlights2012_venusVenus  passed  directly  in  between  the  Sun  and  the Earth on June  6, 2012.   This was the  last Venus transit of the  century and was  visible  from  its  beginning  to end in  the  Philippines in the  morning of 2012.  the earlier one in 2004 was  visible while  in  progress,  and  the next  one  will  be  in  2117.    Students,  staff,  and  the  general  public  were  treated  to  the  rare  twice-in-a-lifetime view with setups  from  the  Manila  Observatory  and  the  Philippine Astronomical Society.


Coastal Cities at Risk (CCaR) launch


In  March  2012, Manila Observatory and the Ateneo de Manila University  formally launched  the  Coastal Cities  at  Risk  (CCaR) Building  Adaptive Capacity  for  Managing Climate  Change  in  Coastal  Megacities Project.  Coastal  megacities  are  especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change and pose the need for an interdisciplinary approach to climate change. The CCaR project aims  to address  climate  change  in  Metro  Manila  – where  it  can  lead  to  drastic  changes  in  the coastal  megacity’s  economic,  social,  and physical infrastructures.

As  part  of  the  International  Research Initiative  on  Adaptation  to  Climate  Change (IRIACC), the project is funded by the International  Development  Research  Centre (IDRC),  the  Canadian  Institutes  of  Health Research  (CIHR),  the  Natural  Sciences  and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC),  and  the  Social  Sciences  and Humanities  Research  Council  of  Canada (SSHRC),  Ottawa,  Canada.  The  five-year program will  involve in-depth studies of coastal megacities  in  Canada,  Thailand,  Nigeria  and  the Philippines.

IRIACC-CCaR  involves  the  input  of  natural, engineering,  social,  political,  economic,  and  health scientists.

IRIACC-CCaR’s objectives include:
1)  Creating a knowledge base of CCA-DRM of coastal megacities;
2)  Developing strategies and methodologies;
3)   Transferring  knowledge  and  capacity  building.



Automated Weather Stations

Several automated weather stations (AWS) were launched in different  locales  as  part  of  the  Metro  Weather  network.  Metro  Weather  is  a  public-private  partnership  that  has  established  a  network  of  30 AWS  in Metro Manila.  This  network  will  provide  free  and  near  real-time  weather  data  that  can  be  used  to  prepare for severe weather conditions such as tropical cyclones and heavy flooding.


Albay Sustainable Guidebook Launch

Albay GuidebookA  guidebook  for  the  local governments  of   Tiwi  and Malinao  in  Albay  on how  to plan  and  develop  projects that  aid  in  their  sustainable development  was  completed and launched in 2012.




Talks by Visiting Scientists

highlights2012_ReinaGuest  scientists  came by  the  Observatory  to  give  various talks  and  seminars  about  physics,  space  weather, geology and air quality. These seminars  gave  Observatory researchers  and  the  general  public  to  interact  with  experts  like  Dr.  Reinabelle Reyes, Dr. Grace Rolusta, Dr. Emmanuel Anglo, and
Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo.


Dr. Gemma Narisma, Outstanding Scientist

Dr.  Gemma  T.  Narisma,  the  Associate Director for Research and Director of the  Regional  Climate  Systems  Program  at  the  Observatory, wa s  recognized  by  the  National  Academy  for  Science  and  Technology  as  the Outstanding  Young Scientist for Atmospheric Science in 2012.