Adopted May 1969, amended October 1970, July 1973, October 1983, January 1991, and September 1999.
An error was corrected in February 1983.
Article I. Name and Purpose
This Division of the American Astronomical Society (hereinafter called “the Society”), existing in accordance with Article VII of the Bylaws of the Society, as revised in 1968, shall be known as the Division for Planetary Sciences.
2. Enabling Authority
Article VII of the Society Bylaws, as revised in 1968, and as said Article may be subsequently revised or amended, is hereby incorporated in these Bylaws by reference.
The Division shall exist for the purpose of advancing the investigation of the solar system, with special encouragement of interdisciplinary cooperation. Meetings shall be organized to promote adequate discussion among participants and shall attempt to provide a forum for discussion of recent developments in planetary sciences. Studies of the Earth and Sun fall within the scope of the Division’s interests, insofar as they are oriented toward an understanding of the planetary system in general.
Article II. Membership
The Division shall consist of Full Members, Associate Members, and Junior Members who hold corresponding membership of the Society and of Affiliate and Junior Affiliate members as defined in Sections 2 and 3.
2. Affiliate Members
The category of affiliate membership shall be open to planetary scientists who wish to be associated with the Division and who are not members of the Society but who are members of other professional organizations actively concerned with planetary science. The Committee will specify the professional organizations in which membership will qualify a candidate for affiliate membership. A person so qualified shall become an Affiliate Member, if formally nominated by at least 2 Members or Affiliate Members of the Division and approved by the Committee. Junior members of either category are not eligible to nominate affiliate members. The Committee may waive the professional organization requirement for candidates not from North America (Canada, the United States and Mexico). Affiliate Members will pay as dues the regular dues of the Division plus an Affiliate Member charge, to accrue to the AAS, which will be as specified by the AAS Council. Affiliate Members will enjoy the same rights and privileges as Members of the Division, except as otherwise provided.
3. Junior Affiliate Members
The category of Junior affiliate membership shall be open to graduate students in planetary sciences and related fields who wish to be associated with the Division and who are not Members of the Society but who are Student or Junior Members of other professional organizations actively concerned with planetary science. The Committee will specify the professional organizations in which membership will qualify a candidate for Junior affiliate membership. A person so qualified shall become a Junior Affiliate Member, if formally nominated by at least 2 AAS Members or affiliate members of the Division (but not Junior members of either category) and approved by the Committee. The Committee may waive the professional organization requirement for candidates not from North America (Canada, the United States and Mexico). Junior Affiliate Members will pay as dues the regular dues of the Division. Junior Affiliate Members will enjoy the same rights and privileges as Junior Members of the Division.
4. Emeritus Members
Any Full Member, Associate Member or Affiliate Member of the Division of at least ten years standing, on retiring from his or her academic or other duties, may, if he or she so requests in writing, elect to be transferred to the status of Emeritus Member. Emeritus Members shall be exempt from payment of dues, and shall retain all other rights and privileges of a member of the Division.
Article III. Officers and Committee of the Division
The Officers of the Division shall consist of a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary-Treasurer (or in place of the latter officer, at the discretion of the Committee of the Division, a Secretary and a Treasurer), an Education Officer, and a Press Officer, who in addition to the duties specifically assigned to them by these Bylaws shall discharge the other duties usually incident to their respective offices. The Officers shall be Members of the Division. Junior Members are not eligible to be Officers or Committee Members. Affiliate or Associate Members are not eligible to serve as Chair, Vice-Chair, or Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary or Treasurer) of the Division.
The Committee of the Division (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) shall consist of the Officers, the available Past-Chair whose term has most recently expired, provided he or she has served his or her full term, and of six other Members of the Division. The management of all affairs of the Division not otherwise provided for shall be entrusted to the Committee. The Chair and the Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary) of the Division shall serve respectively as Chair and Secretary of the Committee. Each Officer of the Division shall be responsible to the Committee and shall administer that office in accordance with its instructions. The Committee shall appoint a Secretary-Treasurer (or a Secretary and a Treasurer), an Education Officer, and a Press Officer whenever such a post falls vacant.
3. Terms of Office and Eligibility
Terms of office shall begin at the end of the annual business session at which election occurred, except as specifically provided for in these Bylaws. The term of office shall be one year for the Chair, one year for the Vice-Chair, three years for the Secretary-Treasurer (or three years for the Secretary and three years for the Treasurer), three years for the Education Officer, three years for the Press Officer, and three years for each of the six elected Committee Members, with two of the latter elected each year. The Vice-Chair shall succeed the Chair in office. The Past Chair serving on the Committee shall not be eligible for immediate reelection to the Committee. A retiring elected Committee Member shall not be eligible for immediate reelection to the Committee, but he or she shall be eligible for election as an officer. The Secretary-Treasurer (or the Secretary and Treasurer) shall not serve more than two consecutive full terms.
4. Vacated Offices and Committee Seats
If the Chair of the Division should die or resign before the expiration of the term of office, the Vice-Chair shall act as Chair for the remainder of the unexpired term and shall then continue to serve the term for which the Vice-Chair was originally elected. If a Committee Member should die or resign before the expiration of a term of office, the vacancy for the unexpired term shall be filled by appointment by the Committee.
5. Nominating Subcommittee
The official ballot shall be prepared by a Nominating Subcommittee consisting of three Members of the Division, each Member serving for three years. Members serving on or nominated for the Committee shall not be eligible for the Nominating Subcommittee. Election, organization, and duties of this Nominating Subcommittee shall be as follows: At the business session of the annual meeting of the Division, the Members of the Division who are present shall nominate and, by ballot, elect for a term of three years one Member of the Subcommittee. Nominations shall not be closed until at least three candidates are nominated. The candidate with the largest number of votes shall be considered elected. The Chair of the Subcommittee shall be that Member whose term of office next expires. If a position on the nominating subcommittee should fall vacant before the normal expiration of the term of office, the Chair of the Division may fill the position by appointment until the next regular business meeting, when the position for the remaining term shall be filled by election in the manner given above.
6. Election of Officers and Committee Members
All members of the Division, including Junior, Affiliate and Junior Affiliate members, are eligible to vote in the election of officers. A Vice-Chair and two Committee members shall be elected by ballot prior to each regular meeting of the Division. All communications relating to the election, including voting, may be carried out by mail, FAX, or other electronic means. The Nominating Subcommittee, having obtained a statement from each nominee that the nominee is willing to serve if elected, shall prepare and submit to the Committee a slate containing at least two names for Vice- Chair, and at least four names for the combined two Committee Member vacancies, with Members voting for two. This slate is to be sent by the Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary) to each Member of the Division at least four months prior to the annual meeting. During the next 30 days, additional candidates may be nominated by petition of at least 20 Members. The final ballot or ballot instructions, containing the names of all duly nominated candidates, shall be sent to each Member of the Division, with a brief biography and position statement from each nominee, at least eight weeks prior to the annual business meeting. Each legally voted ballot must be returned to the Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary) in the manner specified by the Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary) shall set the deadline for receiving ballots, to be not less than 2 weeks after ballots are sent out not less than six weeks before the annual business meeting. A plurality of all votes cast shall be sufficient for election, except that the two nominees receiving the largest number of votes for Committee Member shall be declared elected. The ballot of the current Chair shall be held separately and counted only to break a tie among any of the candidates. The Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary) shall inform the candidates and the Members of the DPS Committee of the results no later than one month prior to the start of the DPS business meeting. The results of the election shall be confirmed by the Committee at its next regular meeting.
7. Subcommittee Terms
The terms of office of all Subcommittees appointed or elected by the Division or by the Committee shall end at the annual business meeting next following the appointment unless otherwise specified by the Bylaws, by the Division, or by the Committee.
8. Special Appointments
The Committee may create positions of special appointment within the Division. Such appointments will be of a title, duties, and duration as determined by the Committee. Unless otherwise specified by the Committee, the term of a special appointment shall be three years. Individuals given special appointments by the Committee shall not vote at Committee meetings and are not officers of the Division.
Article IV. Duties of Officers and Members of the Committee
1. Notification of Election
Members elected to offices in the Division shall be notified of such election in writing by the Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary) within ten days thereafter.
2. Executive Subcommittee
The Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Secretary Treasurer (or the Secretary and the Treasurer) shall constitute an Executive Subcommittee to act ad interim upon all such minor matters affecting the Division that in their judgement do not call for submission to the entire Committee. Such actions of the Executive Subcommittee shall be reported to the Committee at its next meeting.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall perform all duties of a Secretary and a Treasurer. Should that office be divided by the Committee into a separate Secretary and Treasurer, these duties shall be divided as follows: The Secretary shall be the purchasing officer of the Division, and the Treasurer shall be the disbursing officer and shall pay out monies in accordance with a budget approved by the Committee. Emergency expenditures, above a limit set by the Committee, which are not covered by the approved budget shall require interim approval of the Executive Subcommittee and shall be reported to the Committee at its next meeting. The Treasurer shall keep accounts showing all receipts and expenditures of monies belonging to the Division and showing also the indebtedness to the Division of each Member thereof on account of dues. The Secretary shall keep accounts showing the financial transactions of the office. The accounts of the Treasurer and of the Secretary shall be audited by a Subcommittee of not less than two Members before being submitted to the Division at each annual meeting. The Committee may authorize the Secretary to approve Affiliate and Junior Affiliate membership applications for which all criteria for those memberships are met. When so authorized, approval by the Secretary shall constitute approval by the Committee. At least once a year, the Secretary will report to the Committee in all such membership approvals since the previous report.
4. Education Officer
The Education Officer shall be responsible for organizing educational activities of the Division for the benefit of planetary science education in schools and colleges.
5. Press Officer
The Press Officer shall be responsible for ensuring clear and effective communication to the public media of newsworthy scientific results reported at the annual meeting, prizes, and other matters of public interest.
Article V. Meetings of the Committee
1. Regular Meetings
There shall be a meeting of the Committee at the time and place of each meeting of the Division, except when specifically canceled by vote of the Committee at the previous meeting.
2. Special Meetings
The Chair shall convoke the Committee in special meeting (physical or electronic) whenever the affairs of the Division require it. A request in writing or electronically from at least four Members of the Committee shall render the convocation of the Committee obligatory. Minutes of all special meetings shall be kept and presented for approval at the next regular meeting of the Committee.
At any meeting of the Committee at which members are physically or electronically present, the Chair or Vice-Chair and three other Members shall constitute a quorum. Any action taken by fewer than four Members shall be subject to ratification by a majority vote of the entire Committee. Business conducted otherwise (e.g., by noncontemporaneous e-mail, FAX or electronic bulletin board postings) requires a majority (or 2/3 as required) vote of all members of the Committee. The Chair or, in his or her absence, the Vice-Chair may invite other persons to sit with the Committee without vote.
Article VI. Finance
Any changes in dues for Members shall be proposed by the Committee but shall be ratified by the Members in attendance at the subsequent business meeting of the Division. All Members shall be required to pay the annual Division dues, except as otherwise provided by the Bylaws or by specific action of the Committee of the Division.
2. Non-Payment of Dues
The Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary) shall send written reminder notices to any Member whose dues are in arrears more than three months. If such dues remain unpaid after an additional three months, the delinquent Member’s name shall be removed from the membership list.
Article VII. Meetings of the Division
The Committee shall determine the time and place of each meeting of the Division and shall provide for an annual meeting, including a business session, and other scientific meetings or symposia as desirable. It shall establish such subcommittees as are necessary to carry out these tasks.
Twenty Members shall constitute a quorum at properly constituted business sessions.
Article VIII. Amendments
1. Approval of the Committee
These Bylaws may be amended only upon recommendation of the Committee.
2. Approval of the AAS Council
Proposed amendments to these Bylaws shall be submitted to and approved by the AAS Council.
3. Ratification by Membership
Upon recommendation of the Committee and with the approval of the AAS Council, as stipulated above, proposed amendments to these Bylaws must be ratified in a ballot by mail or electronic means by two-thirds of the Members voting.
4. Temporary Suspension
Individual articles of these Bylaws may be suspended until the next business meeting of the Division by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Committee, subject to the quorum requirement as defined in Article V.3. Any such suspension shall be reported to and affirmed by the membership at the next business meeting.