Galaxy Evolution at High Resolution: the New View of the Milky Way
Determining the structure of the Milky Way is one of the oldest problems in astronomy and yet it still has surprises in store. A new generation of surveys, soon culminating in the Gaia mission, is expanding our high-resolution view of stellar populations in the Milky Way from a small region around the Sun to the entire radial range of the stellar disk. I will present new results on the global chemical and spatial structure of the disk from the APOGEE survey. These results challenge
long-held assumptions about the basic structure of galactic disks, the importance of mergers for their evolution, and the physical conditions under which stars form throughout cosmic time.