Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund


In 2013, the AAS’s Division for Planetary Sciences approved the creation of the Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund. This fund is programmatically administered by and supports larger initiatives of the DPS Professional Development subcommittee.

Dr. Susan (Mahan) Niebur (1973-2012) was a principal investigator, manager, and former Discovery Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters and the CEO of her own consulting firm specializing in space science policy, the history and development of missions, and the success of women in planetary science. More importantly, Susan was a tireless supporter and strong advocate for creating professional development programming for early career planetary scientists. It is the Division for Planetary Sciences’ hope that this fund will provide an additional legacy for Susan’s contributions to the planetary science community.

We thank Curt Niebur for granting permission to name this fund in honor of Susan and the generous support of the DPS Committee and donors to the program.


DPS Dependent Care Grants

The DPS’s Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund provides financial assistance to qualifying members in order to facilitate their meeting attendance by offsetting dependent care costs at the meeting location or at home during the DPS conference week. Online applications are solicited no later than 1 month prior to the DPS meeting:

DPS Dependent Care Grant Application

For questions, please contact the DPS Professional Development subcommittee.



Outside donations to the Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund are welcome and appreciated. AAS members can contribute directly via the AAS donation Web pages:

  1. Follow this link and log into your AAS account if not already
  2. If you lose your place after logging in, return to the contributions page by clicking the DONATE tab near the top of the screen
  3. Click the DPS tab and enter amount under “DPS Hartmann Student Travel Grant Program”
  4. Click the “Add to Cart” button in the bottom right hand corner
  5. Click “Cart” in the uppermost left hand corner to check out and follow instructions for payment

The AAS will handle the details including acknowledging your contribution for tax purposes. All donations are tax deductible.

You also can contribute to the DPS Hartmann Student Travel Grant Program by sending a check made out to the American Astronomical Society to:

American Astronomical Society
1667 K Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006

Please note in the memo line of your check that your contribution is to go to the DPS Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund so that it is credited to the correct account.


About Susan

More information about Dr. Susan Niebur and the programs that she founded is available at the following websites:

NASA Solar System Exploration Profile
DPS Tribute to Susan Niebur
Women in Planetary Science
Mothers With Cancer