Newsletter 11-20

Issue 11-20, December 2, 2011

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1) IN MEMORIAM: LYNN MARGULIS (1938-2011)
2) NSF PORTFOLIO REVIEW
3) REMINDER : 2012 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
4) FAMELAB ASTROBIOLOGY
5) JOB OPPORTUNITIES
6) UPCOMING MEETINGS
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IN MEMORIAM: LYNN MARGULIS (1938 – 2011)

Lynn Margulis passed away on November 22, 2011, at her home, in Amherst, Massachussetts, aged 73. She was born in Chicago and enrolled at the University of Chicago when she was 14. Lynn was a renowned biologist and University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, whose faculty Margulis joined in 1988. Prior to that she taught at the University of Boston for 22 years. She is best known for her theory on the origin of eukaryotic organelles, and her contributions to the endosymbiotic theory. She is also associated with the Gaia hypothesis, based on an idea developed by the English environmental scientist James Lovelock.
The author of Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution penned hundreds of research papers and many books during her illustrious career. She taught classes in environmental evolution for nearly 40 years.
Lynn, who was once married to astronomer Carl Sagan and then to chemist Thomas Margulis, was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1983 and received the National Medal of Science in 1999. She is survived by her four children and nine grandchildren.

For a full obituary see the New York Times News Service at :
http://bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111125/NEWS0107/111...

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NSF PORTFOLIO REVIEW

The NSF astronomy division is in the process of organizing a "portfolio review" of all NSF Astronomy Division-supported activities with the goal of again reducing expenditures. The following web page solicits community input, and I encourage the DPS community to make its voice heard in this process.

http://www.nsf.gov/mps/ast/ast_portfolio_review.jsp
While the call for input mentions only the "Astro2010" astronomy decadal survey, the management of Arecibo Observatory has been invited to submit, by January 6, a "vision statement" for the observatory over 5, 10, and 15 year timescales, to be based on the Astronomy *and* Planetary Science Decadal Surveys.

The management of Arecibo Observatory (nolan@naic.edu) would also be happy to have from you any material that you believe might help us in formulating that vision statement.

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REMINDER : 2012 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS

Pay your 2012 membership dues online at https://members.aas.org/ through 31 December 2011. Renew today by logging in to your membership record, and consider making a donation to the Power of Giving Campaign. These programs support our discipline as well as recognize the research of your fellow astronomers. By renewing online and not receiving a paper renewal, you will help your Society save enormous costs.

If you will renew your dues electronically before 31 December 2011 log in to your membership record today and opt out of a paper renewal to avoid receiving an invoice in the US mail. Also, please take a moment to update your personal DPS member file.

Thank you for your support.
Send general replies to aas@aas.org.

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FAMELAB ASTROBIOLOGY
Are You the Next Carl Sagan? Come Find Out at FameLab Astrobiology!

Calling all grad students and post docs doing research related to astrobiology.....
FameLab Astrobiology is a science communication extravaganza! Via four preliminaries and one final competition—spanning January thru April 2012—early career astrobiologists will compete to convey their own research or related science concepts. Each contestant has the spotlight for only three minutes....
no slides, no charts—just the power of words and anything you can hold in your hands. A panel of experts in both science and science communication will do the judging. One of the four preliminaries will be held 100% online via YouTube!

Beyond the competition, at each preliminary event there will be science communication training and enrichment activities, providing exposure to alternative careers. There will also be a two-day master class for finalists just prior to AbSciCon 2012 in April. Other science communication opportunities will be available, including joining a network of other FameLab participants from around the globe. The winner goes on to compete in the International FameLab Final in the UK in June, 2012!

Registration, eligibility requirements, and more info can be found at: http://astrobiologyfamelab.arc.nasa.gov/

Please contact Daniella Scalice at the NASA Astrobiology Institute with any questions: daniella.m.scalice@nasa.gov

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES

1) RESEARCH SCIENTIST, COMETS AND SMALL BODIES, JET PROPULSION LABORATORY, CALTECH

The Asteroid, Comets, and Satellites group in the JPL Science Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology has an opening available for a research scientist in comets, asteroids, or other small primitive bodies in the Solar System. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in planetary science or a related field, a record of research in solar system primitive bodies science as demonstrated by publications, good computer and software skills, and expertise in modeling the physics and chemistry of primitive solar system bodies, or analysis of spacecraft and/or ground-based observations (optical, IR, or sub-mm) of these bodies. It is anticipated that future work in connection with other small body missions will be possible and is encouraged.

To view the full job description and apply to this position, please visit: http://careerlaunch.jpl.nasa.gov, (see Requisition #10483). Candidates should submit a CV and a short statement (no more than 2 pages) of relevant cometary and small body research, and research goals. Equal Opportunity Employer.

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2) RESEARCH SCIENTIST, COMETS AND SMALL BODIES, JET PROPULSION LABORATORY, CALTECH

The Asteroid, Comets, and Satellites group in the JPL Science Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology has an opening available for a research scientist in comets and small bodies in the Solar System. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in astronomy or a related field, a record of research in small body solar system science as demonstrated by publications, good computer and software skills, and expertise in optical, IR, or sub-mm astronomy or thermal modeling of small bodies. The position is a staff position and it is primarily in connection with the MIRO experiment on the Rosetta spacecraft. The MIRO team is involved presently in the planning, and analysis stage of the Rosetta mission, including theoretical modeling of the nucleus and coma of the target comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Thermal modeling of the comet nucleus as a boundary condition for the development of the coma is a primary area of research for which this position is being advertised. It is anticipated that future work in connection with other small body missions will be possible and is encouraged.

To view the full job description and apply to this position, please visit: http://careerlaunch.jpl.nasa.gov, (see Requisition #10484). Candidates should submit a CV and a short statement (no more than 2 pages) of relevant cometary and small body research, and research goals. Equal Opportunity Employer.

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3) OPERATIONS STAFF ASTRONOMER AT ESO-VLT

One operations staff astronomer positions has opened at the ESO-VLT. Below is a summary of the job description (more information and on-line applications at https://jobs.eso.org

Job details:
The successful candidates will have the opportunity to provide expert knowledge on novel instrumentation, and may be given the overall responsibility for an instrument at the Very Large Telescope. The successful candidates will:
- Contribute to the observing support in both visitor and service mode at the La Silla Paranal Observatory, with duty station on Paranal, including short-term scheduling of observations, calibration of instruments and the assessment of the scientific quality of the astronomical data.
- Work in collaboration with one or several of the teams operating the instruments currently on the mountain to improve their operations and scientific performances, and contribute to the VLT operations-readiness of the second generation of instruments.

The successful candidates (Ph.D. in Astronomy, Physics or equivalent) will be member of the ESO Science Faculty, with an appointment at the level of Assistant or Associate Astronomer. They will be expected and encouraged to actively conduct astronomical research. We are seeking a active researcher staff astronomers, with substantial observing experience in any of the state-of-the-art observing techniques available at Paranal. A good command of English and a strong sense of team spirit are essential. The position requires three letters of reference to be sent to vacancy@eso.org.

Contact person: Christophe Dumas (cdumas@eso.org)

Deadline for application: January 02, 2012

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4) POST-DOCTORAL POSITION IN PLANETARY SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Applications are invited for an immediate opening of a post-doctoral research associate position in planetary science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Successful candidate will be expected to support surface science operations of Mars Science Laboratory rover, assist with analysis and interpretation of atmospheric trace gas and evolved gas measurements at Mars, and develop, refine or test algorithms for retrieving composition of Jupiter’s atmosphere with Juno. Some research on atmospheric chemistry of Venus is also envisioned. Travel to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center and science team meetings of MSL and Juno will be necessary. The position is currently for one year with good prospects of extension for the second year subject to candidate’s performance and availability of funds.
Following material is required for consideration of your candidacy: (1) CV including highlights of recent relevant research publications (three-page maximum), (2) info on citizenship or permanent resident status (for using JPL and GSFC facilities), and (3) names and email of three individuals whom you have asked to send letters of reference directly to me. All material must be sent by email to Sushil Atreya at atreya@umich.edu, with “UM Job” in the subject line.

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5) PHD POSITIONS AT LUND OBSERVATORY

Three open PhD positions at Lund Observatory, in the topic of planet formation and orbital evolution
Lund University invites applicants to up to three PhD positions working on
theoretical models of planet formation and evolution of planetary systems,
funded independently by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council and
by the Swedish Research Council. Two students will be supervised by Dr. Anders
Johansen and one jointly between Dr. Anders Johansen and Prof. Melvyn B.
Davies.

Last day of applying: 14 November 2011
Starting date: flexible but preferably no later than autumn 2012

Full job announcement:
http://admin.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=22598&Dnr=424909&Type=E

Information about Lund Observatory:
http://www.astro.lu.se/
http://www.astro.lu.se/Research/OTA/planets.shtml

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6) POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP IN PLANETARY SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

Applications are invited for appointment as Post-doctoral Fellow in
Planetary Science in the Department of Earth Sciences of the
University of Hong Kong, from as soon as possible for two years, with
the possibility of renewal subject to funding availability and
satisfactory performance. The appointee will collaborate with Dr. Man
Hoi Lee on research related to the origin and dynamical evolution of
our Solar System, its satellites, and extrasolar planetary systems.
Further details can be obtained at
http://jobregister.aas.org/node/40486

It would be appreciated if the applicant could e-mail Dr. Lee at
mhlee@hku.hk to let him know that he or she is applying, in addition to
applying online at the university website.

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7) POSTDOCTORAL POSITION AVAILABLE - WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington
University in Saint Louis invites applications for their new Steve
Fossett Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Department seeks outstanding
candidates who will strengthen and complement existing areas of study,
including both terrestrial and planetary geology, geochemistry, and
geophysics. Candidates will be encouraged to collaborate directly
with faculty and students within the department, and will be invited
to lead a seminar in their area of expertise. Ideal candidates will
have trans-disciplinary interests, and will interact scientifically
with a broad spectrum of the department's members. This competitive
postdoc is awarded for a one-year period, which may be extended to
a second year. Applicants should contact a potential faculty sponsor
to discuss additional arrangements. Applications will be considered
until the position is filled, but priority will be given to those
received before January 15, 2012. For further information:

http://eps.wustl.edu/Fossett_Fellowship

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8) TWO POSTDOC POSITIONS AT IPAG IN GRENOBLE, FRANCE

Two postdoctoral positions are offered at the Institut de Planetologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), France, starting in February 2012. The successful applicants will work as members of an ANR funded Chaire d'Excellence project about the dust evolution in molecular cloud cores. The work ranges from data mining, the compilation of scattering and extinction maps, modeling MIR images to the derivation of dust size distributions and grain growth models for collapsing core structures.
At IPAG (formerly LAOG), star and planet formation studies are recognized as the main scientific center of interest with strong ties with the other research activities plasma and high-energy astrophysics molecular astrophysics, planetology and solar system studies, and instrumental developments centered on high angular resolution techniques (in particular near-infrared interferometry and adaptive optics). IPAG provides an excellent and lively scientific environment to perform research in star formation.
The applicant should have a PhD in physics or astrophysics. Experience in star formation research, observational data modelling, NIR/MIR/mm observations, continuum and line radiative transfer, and/or cosmic dust physics is an advantage. All applications will be reviewed carefully starting December 1st 2011 and until the position if filled.
Applications should be sent in pdf format by e-mail to Jürgen Steinacker (stein@mpia.de). They should comprise a scientific CV, a description of research interest, a list of publications, and up to two reference letters. The contract will run for 2 years. Questions about IPAG can also be related to Francois Menard
(menard@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr).

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UPCOMING MEETINGS

1) WORKSHOP: "LITHIUM IN THE COSMOS", FEBRUARY 27-29, 2012,
AT THE INSTITUT D'ASTROPHYSIQUE DE PARIS, FRANCE

Registration and Abstract Submission are now open for the workshop
"Lithium in the Cosmos", to be held at the Institut d'Astrophysique de
Paris, February 27-29, 2012. Please check our webpage
http://www.iap.fr/lithiuminthecosmos2012 and follow the instructions
in order to submit your abstracts and register.

Also notice that attendance will be limited, and that an early
registration is advisable. Deadline for abstract submission is
December 31st 2011, deadline for fee payment (150 euros) is January
31st 2012.

Fabio Iocco for the SOC

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2) WORKSHOP: "CIRCUMSTELLAR DYNAMICS AT HIGH RESOLUTION",
FEBRUARY 27 - MARCH 02, 2012, FOZ DO IGUAZU, BRAZIL

The Workshop is sponsored by ESO and the University of Sao Paulo. More
detailed information is available on our web page :
http://www.eso.org/sci/meetings/2012/csdyn.html
or by email to csdyninfo@eso.org.

On behalf of the organizers, Alex Carciofi

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3) OBSERVING PLANETARY SYSTEMS II
SANTIAGO, CHILE, MARCH 5-8, 2012

This workshop will bring together both communities of solar system and extra-planetary systems scientists to discuss, mostly from an observational standpoint, our understanding of the formation of our solar system and its early chemistry, and how it fits with recent observations and current knowledge of the formation of planetary systems at large. Emphasis will be made on the capabilities provided by ALMA and the next generation of Adaptive Optics Planet Finders (e.g. SPHERE) to search for, and characterize, young planetary systems.

Four main sessions will cover the following topics: (1) Planetary disks and the first Million yrs of planetary formation. (2) Nature and dynamics of planetary bodies. (3) Planetary atmospheres and biomarkers. (4) Future prospects for direct-imaging of exoplanets and role of planet-finders. This 4-day meeting will be held in Chile, at the ESO-Chile headquarters in Santiago on March 5-8, 2012.

A one-day technical workshop will follow this meeting and will be focussed on high-contrast imaging and spectroscopy.

Conference webpage: http://www.eso.org/sci/meetings/2012/OPSII.html
Technical workshop webpage: http://www.sc.eso.org/~jgirard/hconis
Registration page for both meetings: http://www.eso.org/sci/php/meetings/OPSII/registration-open.html
Conference e-mail: ops2012@eso.org

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4) MARS RECENT CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOP RESCHEDULED

The Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop hosted by Ames Research
Center has been rescheduled. The new (and final) dates are:

May 15-17, 2012

See
http://spacescience.arc.nasa.gov/mars-climate-workshop-2012/

Contact : Bob Haberle (650-604-5491)

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5) TITAN THROUGH TIME II WORKSHOP
3-5 APRIL 2012, NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, GREENBELT, MD

A second workshop on "Titan Through Time: Unlocking Titan's Past, Present and Future" will be held from April 3-5th 2012, following the successful event in 2010. As in 2010, the 2 1/2 day workshop will feature a mixture of invited reviews, and contributed talks and posters on all aspects of Titan's formation, evolution and fate - from theory to
experiment.

Invited review topics and speakers have been confirmed and are listed on our website, which is also open for registration and abstract submission at:

http://pirlwww.lpl.arizona.edu/~hurfordt/ttt/index.html

Deadlines are:
February 1st - Abstracts
February 15th - On-line registration
The workshop fee will be $60 payable on arrival.

Conor Nixon, University of Maryland
Ralph Lorenz, Johns Hopkins APL
Co-chairs, science program.

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6) EGU GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2012 (EGU2012),
22 - 27 APRIL 2012, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

The Planetary and Solar System Science Division of EGU is happy to announce that the call for papers is now open.
Detailed information on the planetary programme and meeting organization can be found on the EGU meeting website:

http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2012/sessionprogramme/PS

Each Session shows the link Abstract Submission. Using this link you are asked to log in to the Copernicus Office Meeting Organizer. Please pay attention to the First Author Rule as described at: http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2012/abstract_management/how_to_submit...

The deadline for the receipt of Abstracts is 17 Jan 2012. In case you would like to apply for support, please submit no later than 15 Dec 2011.

Further information about the EGU General Assembly 2012 can be found at: http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2012

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7) CHALONGE SCHOOL MEUDON WORKSHOP 2012: "WARM DARK MATTER GALAXY
Formation in Agreement with Observations", 6-8 June 2012,
Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, Meudon, France

The Meeting is open to all scientists interested in the subject. Information is displayed at
http://www.chalonge.obspm.fr/Cias_Meudon2012.html

Norma G. Sanchez, Ecole Chalonge (http://chalonge.obspm.fr/),
Chalonge.Ecole@obspm.fr

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8) 3RD CONFERENCE ON TERRESTRIAL MARS ANALOGUES
25 - 27 October 2012
Marrakech, Morocco

Pre- and post-conference field trips will be offered on recent and ancient Mars analogue sedimentary environments.

Web page for additional information and indication of interest:

http://www.ibnbattutacentre.org/conf/mars2012/