Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 13:54:30 -0600
Subject: DPS Mailing #05-04: Message from the Chair: NASA Update....
Greetings, DPS Colleagues,
1) MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR: NASA UPDATE
2) 2005 DPS PRIZE NOMINATIONS SOUGHT
3) MEETINGS OF INTEREST TO DPS MEMBERS
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR: NASA UPDATE
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
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
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
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
1 University Station C1402
Austin TX 78712-0259
Ph: (512) 471-6474
Fax: (512) 471-6016
wdc at astro.as.utexas.edu
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:
Spring AGU Special Session P06:
"Aeronomy of Titan and Saturn: Recent Advances from Cassini/Huygens
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).