Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 13:54:30 -0600
Subject: DPS Mailing #05-04:  Message from the Chair:  NASA Update....
 
Greetings, DPS Colleagues,
 
 +------------------CONTENTS:------------------------------+
       1)   MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR:  NASA UPDATE
       2)   2005 DPS PRIZE NOMINATIONS SOUGHT
       3)   MEETINGS OF INTEREST TO DPS MEMBERS
 +----------------------------------------------------------+
 
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR:  NASA UPDATE
 
Dear Colleagues:
 
As the week ends it appears that the Outer Planet Research 
Program (OPRP) has been restored, and the funds originally said 
to be deleted are going to be administered under the aegis of 
the Planetary Geology & Geophysics Program. Steve Saunders, 
the discipline scientist for PG&G overall, assures me that 
1) PG&G itself (that is, PG&G "classic") is not affected by 
this, and 2) that the full 4.8 $M dollars originally slated 
for OPRP will be dispersed in a timely manner.
 
I believe that the planetary community has been heard, and I 
wish to thank each and every DPS member who took the time to 
contact congressional staff members or others in regard to 
this extremely important matter. Do please let them know how 
things turned out, and thank them for their efforts.
 
And it is extremely important, for the abrupt cancellation of 
a program (as announced last Monday) in an advanced state of 
its funding cycle seemed to imply that any R&A program could 
be ended at any time for any reason, and that an entire line 
of inquiry could be declared no longer of scientific interest. 
It doesn't matter that in this instance it was a new program 
or that the area of interest was the outer solar system. It 
could have been any of the important research programs in 
the 2004 ROSS. If anything, the destructive aspect of the 
cancellation was magnified by the fact that new programs 
preferentially support young investigators or those otherwise 
early in their careers.
 
About fifteen years ago Solar System Exploration started a 
new research program but quickly found itself without the 
funds to support it. Because proposals had already been 
submitted, a review panel was convened and PIs selected. 
Letters were sent out, and those who were selected were told
that the money was not yet available, but if and when funds 
were available, they would be distributed. NASA did the right 
thing. Few jump the gun and imprudently make decisions until 
they receive these letters, and the PIs rolled with it. They 
rolled with it because exploring the Solar System is a 
partnership between the planetary science community and NASA. 
We all want the very best science done for the tax dollars we 
are privileged to spend. We all look forward to sharing our 
discoveries with each other, the American public, and the 
world at large. And in time, funding was made available for 
the program above, and that program, Origins, is now thriving.
 
It is very important that the sense of partnership between 
our community and NASA be maintained. NASA is clearly in the 
throes of its most important structural reorganization since 
the end of Apollo. Things will be different.  Projects and 
programs will be started, enhanced, continued, delayed, 
sunseted, and so forth. But there are good ways and bad ways 
to carry this out. And at the very base of the NASA "food web" 
is the fundamental scientific research that informs these 
choices and allows the best technical decisions to be made. 
A responsible exploration of the Solar System cannot be 
carried out without trying to understand what you are 
exploring; indeed, it simply won't succeed otherwise. And 
as we also understand, no amount of "research" monies can 
actually fix flight programs that are short of cash. There 
are one or two orders of magnitude difference in scale here, 
and the potential damage done to research communities 
disproportionately large.
 
Let me thank everyone again, especially those who worked 
with the DPS Committee and its Federal Relations Subcommittee 
this week. One wave has come in and receded. There will be 
more.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Bill McKinnon
DPS Chair
 
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2005 DPS PRIZE NOMINATIONS SOUGHT
 
As announced in Mailings #05-01 and 05-02, the DPS Prize S
ubcommittee is seeking nominations for 2005 winners of the Urey, 
Kuiper, Masursky, and Sagan Prizes.  The deadline for submission 
of completed applications is 7 March, 2005.
 
More information is available at
 
http://www.aas.org/~dps/prizes_contact.html
 
along with a nomination form.  A complete nomination will be 
considered by the Prize subcommittee for three years. You may 
wish to contact me to see if there already is an active 
pending nomination for your candidate. Because of the time 
it takes to accumulate materials needed for a nomination, I 
encourage all of you to begin as soon as possible. The award 
will be presented at the 2005 DPS meeting in Cambridge, England.
 
William D. Cochran
DPS Prize Subcommittee Chair
McDonald Observatory
1 University Station C1402
Austin TX 78712-0259
Ph: (512) 471-6474
Fax: (512) 471-6016
wdc at astro.as.utexas.edu
 
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MEETINGS OF INTEREST TO DPS MEMBERS
 
CALL FOR PAPERS: AGU SPECIAL SESSION
23-27 May, 2005
2005 Spring AGU Meeting
New Orleans, 23-27 May, 2005
Web abstract submission deadline 10 February, 2005:
http://www.agu.org/meetings/sm05/
 
Spring AGU Special Session P06:
"Aeronomy of Titan and Saturn: Recent Advances from Cassini/Huygens
Observations"
 
Spring AGU Special Session SA02:
"The Response of Planetary Ionospheres to Solar Irradiance"
 
 
Linda French Emmons, DPS Secretary
send submissions to lfrench at iwu.edu
Submissions should be in text format (no attachments, please).