2008 Version – Bylaws of the Division For Planetary Sciences

Adopted May 1969, amended October 1970, July 1973, October 1983, January 1991, September 1999, August 2003, July 2008.

An error was corrected in February 1983.

Article I. Name and Purpose

1. Name
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.
3. Purpose
The Division shall exist for the purpose of advancing the
investigation of the solar system and other planetary systems, 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, Sun
and stars fall within the scope of the Division’s interests, insofar as
they are oriented toward an understanding of the solar system and
other planetary systems in general.

Article II. Membership

1. Members
The Division shall consist of Full Members, Associate Members, and
Junior Members who hold corresponding membership of the Society
and of Affiliate members as defined in Section 2.
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 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. 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

1. Officers
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.
2. Committee
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. If the office of Vice-Chair becomes vacant, a special
election shall be held, generally within eight weeks of the vacancy.
The official ballot consisting of two candidates shall be prepared by
the Nominating Subcommittee following the established procedures
for regular elections. Normally, these two candidates should be
drawn from the two ranking members of the DPS Committee (in the
third year of their terms).
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 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 judgment 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.
3. Secretary-Treasurer
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 membership applications
for which all criteria for that membership is 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
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

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.
3. Quorum
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

1. Dues
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
2. Non-Payment of Dues
The Secretary-Treasurer (or Secretary) shall provide that reminder
notices are sent 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

1. Scheduling
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.
2. Quorum
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
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.