CHARLES P.T. O’DALE – curriculum vitae


by: Charles O’Dale

AKA: Terry O’Dale (a long story)


RASC 2017 Service Award

Charles O’Dale – Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 2017 Service Award


RASC 2017 GA Citation:
Chuck likes to show his long involvement in the Ottawa Centre by showing his young face in the group photo from the 1973 General Assembly in Ottawa, and most GAs in Ottawa since. Chuck has served the Ottawa Centre as Meeting Chair in 2005-2006, President in 2007-2008, National Council Representative in 2009-2011, SmartScope Director in 2011, and Webmaster from 2012 to now. Notwithstanding these important roles, Ottawa members know Chuck best for a different reason. Chuck loves to combine his three hobbies of astronomy, flying and geology into one, which he titles as “Big Holes in the Ground”. He has flown his small plane (C-GOZM or GO ZooM) to almost every meteorite crater in Canada from east to west to the high Arctic, as well as many in the US and as far south as Arecibo in Puerto Rico. He has documented his aerial and ground explorations, the science and the identification of these craters, in 43 presentations to monthly meetings in Ottawa since 2001, on the Centre’s web site and in numerous articles in AstroNotes. He likes to finish his talks with a favourite quote from Isaac Asimov – “How bright and beautiful a comet is as it flies past our planet … provided it does fly PAST it.”

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 2017 Service Awards – (l-r) Eric Briggs, Randall Rosenfeld, Charles O’Dale, Katrina Ince-Lum, Michael Moghadam, Simon Hanmer, Paul Heath, Betty Robinson, Ivan Semeniuk, Dave Garner.

When I was president of the Ottawa Centre of the RASC, I initiated the following Ottawa Centre position statement regarding science and evolution .







During my term as President of the Ottawa Centre RASC, I was prime on the publication of our Position Statement of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Ottawa Centre on Science and Evolution.


  • Communication Research ( NAVY )
    OS-RSS yours truly just turned 18, out of basic training (TerraNova 1/64) and headed for a ride of a lifetime!!
    Yours truly on the minesweeper, HMS Humber, in Portsmouth harbour England, 1989. HMS Victory is in the background.
    On the USS Shreveport, “somewhere”, doing “nothing in particular”, during “one period of time – or another”.
    CPO2 yours truly after serving 30 years in the regular and reserve navy, and still experiencing a ride of a lifetime!

    58 years after basic training and cap and sailor still going strong !!


    • 1st place in the 2016 Bushtukah 3km swim in the 70 and older age group. The trick is to outlive the guys that can swim faster than you!!
      It was a “second job” training for this one. I aimed for a 3 hour marathon but “hit the wall” at 19 miles.
      Stand Up For Science, Ottawa 2013
      Gillian and I experiencing the Solar Eclipse, 21 August 2017 at Douglas Wyoming.
      My chariot C177B “GO ZooM” from which I documented most of the illustrated impact craters on this site. FYI, a report on one of our crater exploration trips can be viewed here: Part 1 & Part 2.
      Just cannot get enough of having fun, here in our EDEL820 “Joya II” sailing on the Ottawa River.


      Eric Kujala 1964-2017 Here we are fulfilling our lifelong dream, exploring the Pingualuit impact crater, 2008. I miss you buddy!!
      Dr. David Saint-Jacques with yours truly and Eric Kujala (1964-2017). In December 2018, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques flew to the International Space Station on his first mission. During his assignment, he will conduct a series of scientific experiments, robotics tasks and test new technologies. This image was taken during the RASC Ottawa Centre annual dinner, 2011.
      Yours truly with three WRENS (retired – Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service [WRCNS], often called the “Wrens”). These ladies were part of the military force during WWII that intercepted German U-Boat traffic for analysis – at the HMCS Coverdale reunion, 2006.

      Dr. Michael R. Dence and yours truly at a 2012 Sigma Xi Companions in Research meeting, Ottawa. Dr. Dence was prime on impact crater research within the Canadian Shield, 1961-81. He was one of the few indiviuals responsible for transforming terrestrial impact crater research into a respectable and scientific discipline of planetary science.

      Dr. Ian Halliday (1928 – 2018) and yours truly, Ottawa 2012. Dr. Halliday was a pioneer on impact crater research authoring several papers on the subject. His field research provided evidence in support of a meteoritic origin for West Hawk Lake, Manitoba, Canada.

    Dr. Christopher Herd and yours truly at the 2012 RASC GA in Edmonton. Dr. Herd is Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta. He was prime in the confirmation of theWhitecourt Crater as an impact structure. He has published papers regardingastromaterials and their significance.

    Yours truly with Blyth Robertson. We are standing in front of a desiccation structure (fosilized creek). Dr. Blyth Robertson is Emeritus Scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada. Of the 37 years that he spent with Natural Resources Canada, Dr. Robertson spent 20 years researching impact craters in Canada and worldwide. In the 1970’s Dr. Robertson was instrumental in confirming the impact nature of a large site in northern Canada known as the Haughton Crater.
    Yours truly with fellow crater explorer, Dr. Gordon Osinski at the 2016 RASC Ottawa Centre Annual Dinner. Dr. Osinski’s research interests are diverse and interdisciplinary in nature. His work synthesizes field, remote sensing, and laboratory observations with a range of geochemical data. His current research falls into three main areas: planetary geology, astrobiology, and economic geology. Meteorite impact craters provide a common cross-cutting theme. He approaches planetary geology with the fundamental view that interpretations of other planetary bodies must begin by using the Earth as a reference and fieldwork forms the basis for much of his research. His latest research is on theTunnunik  Impact Structure.
    Yours truly with Ivan Semeniuk at the RASC 2017 General Assembly in Ottawa Ontario. For more than two decades as a science writer, Ivan has covered breaking scientific research – from the mysteries of the universe to the ancient creatures that once inhabited the Earth.
    The REAL “Bad Astronomer”, Phil Plait with yours truly at the 2009 RASC GA.
    Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education and yours truly at the “Great Unconformity” (look it up!!) in the Grand Canyon, 2008. In Blacktail Canyon (river mile 120), one can put one’s hand on a thin line separating two rock units—the lower, the Vishnu Schist, dated at 1750 million years of age (Ma), the higher, the Tapeats Sandstone, dated at 525 Ma. The gap between them is 1,225 Ma, and since the Earth is 4,540 Ma, that single small gap—that gravel-fringed line one can cover with one’s finger—represents 27% of Earth’s entire history.
    One of the best compliments I ever received was from Dr. Morgantaler. When he guessed my age he underestimated by 10 years! Dr. Morgantaler centre front, yours truly 12th in from the right. – 2005 Ottawa Conference -Humanist Association Canada
    Here I am at 14 (back left of the image) paying rapt attention to what is going on, as usual. I was there trying to convince Dief not to scrap the arrow.
    HMCS Gloucester TQ2 graduating class, 1966.



    Dence, M.R. 1964: A comparative structural and petrographic study of probable Canadian meteorite craters; Meteoritics, Contr. Dom. Obs., vol.
    6, No. 3.

    Halliday I., and Griffin, A.A. 1964: Application of the scientific method to problems of crater recognition; Meteoritics, vol. 2, No. 2.

    Herd C.D.K.  et al 2010: Astromaterials Curation and Research in Canada: Why It Matters; GeoCanada

    Osinski G.R. 2008: Meteorite impact structures: the good and the bad; Geology Today, Vol. 24, No. 1, January–February 2008

    Osinski G.R. 2015: New Ar-Ar Dating of the East and West Clearwater Lake Impact Structures, Québec, Canada – Evidence for Two Separate Impact Events; Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta Volume 148, 1 January 2015

    Robertson P.B. & Grieve R.A.F. 1977: Shock attenuation at terrestrial impact structures; Impact and Explosion Cratering.

    Robertson P.B. 1988: The Haughton impact structure, Devon Island, Canada – Setting and History of Investigations; Meteoritics, vol. 23, No. 2.

    “We, all of us, are what happens when a primordial mixture of hydrogen and helium evolves for so long that it begins to ask where it came from.”
    Jill Tarter