Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 12:06:58 -0500
Subject: DPS Mailing #05-18: DPS Election 2005
It is election time; please vote!
1) DPS ELECTION 2005
DPS ELECTION 2005
To: All Active Members of the DPS
From: Linda French Emmons, DPS Secretary
Subject: Election of Officers and Committee members
In accordance with the bylaws of the Division for Planetary Sciences,
the membership must elect a Vice-Chair and two DPS Committee
members. The person elected as the Vice-Chair will serve
in that capacity during 2005-2006 and then serve as DPS Chair
during 2006-2007. The two Committee Members elected will
serve in those positions for three-year terms. The members
retiring from the Committee are Bill Cochran (Past-Chair),
Ann Sprague, and Paul Weissman. Biographies and position
statements for all of the candidates are included in this mailing.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: You may vote by e-mail by simply sending
an e-mail message with your choices to me at lfrench at iwu.edu.
Because of the need to protect against duplicate voting, we
must strictly enforce the requirement of providing member
identification when voting. Please identify yourself
explicitly in your message, especially if you are sending
from other than your regular e-mail address as the AAS office
has it on file. If you are voting by regular mail, you
must be sure to identify yourself in a legible manner on the
ballot provided. I will also accept ballots by fax (309.556.3864)
as long as the identity of the voter is clearly indicated.
Ballots submitted anonymously, by any means, will not be counted.
A hard copy letter with ballot and return envelope is being
mailed to every member, but you do not need to wait for that
in order to vote.
Following this message are the ballot and the position
statements for each candidate. Please indicate your selections
on the ballot provided below, which you may send to me by
e-mail, fax or regular mail. If you choose to vote by e-mail,
DO NOT return it by "reply", but instead address it to
lfrench at iwu.edu. Both I and my system administrator
would much appreciate it if you could please edit off all
unnecessary text so I don't get 1000 copies of the candidate
statements in my in box.
Please indicate your selections by e-mail or on the ballot
provided below, faxed or mailed in the envelope provided.
The deadline for receipt of the ballots by me is
Monday, July 25, 2005.
Linda French Emmons, DPS Secretary
Department of Physics
Illinois Wesleyan University
P.O. Box 2900
Bloomington, IL 61702 USA
Vice-Chair (vote for 1):
Alan W. Harris
DPS Committee (vote for 2):
CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES AND POSITION STATEMENTS
GUY CONSOLMAGNO, Candidate for Vice-Chair:
Guy Consolmagno SJ was born in Detroit, Michigan, earned undergraduate and masters' degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT (1974, 1975), and a Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona (1978). He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and was an assistant professor of physics at Lafayette College before entering the Jesuits as a brother in 1989.
An astronomer and curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory since 1993, Dr. Consolmagno divides his time between the Vatican Observatory headquarters in Castel Gandolfo, just south of Rome, Italy, and the Vatican Observatory Research Group at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory. In addition he has been a visiting lecturer in physics at Loyola College (Baltimore) and Loyola University (Chicago), and held the MacLean Chair for Visiting Jesuit Scholars at St. Joseph's University (Philadelphia).
His research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies. This work has included theoretical modeling of the geophysical evolution of planetary satellites; geochemical modeling of lunar samples and basaltic meteorites; analysis of the effects of electromagnetic forces on interplanetary dust and dust rings; observations of asteroids, moons, Kuiper Belt Objects and Centaurs with the Vatican's 1.8 meter telescope in Arizona; and laboratory work on the physical structure of meteorites at the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo.
He served on the DPS Committee from 2000-2003, and the Meteoritical Society Council from 2003-2006. He chaired the Program Committee for the 1999 annual DPS meeting, and organized the 2001 Meteoritical Society annual meeting. He is the lead author of the handbooks for meeting organizers used by both organizations.
Dr. Consolmagno has served on the IAU Commission 16 (Planets and Satellites) Organizing Committee since 1994, as secretary during 2000-2003; in 2003 he was elected President of that Commission for the 2003-2006 triennium. Since 2003 he has also served as Secretary to IAU Division III (Planetary Systems Science). He is a member of the IAU Working Group on Small Planet Definition, and the IAU Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature.
The biggest challenge facing the planetary sciences community today is the uncertainty surrounding NASA and its commitment to Planetary Sciences.
Some 20% of the DPS membership works outside of the US (as I do, for half the year). And yet regardless of where we get our funding, we all know that the health of the entire field is intimately tied to the health of NASA. Without NASA we would have fewer colleagues to collaborate with, less data to work on, fewer tools to use, and a much smaller community to work with and learn from. The whole community needs a strong and knowledgeable spokesperson to explain ourselves to NASA and to the US Congress.
This starts with a clear idea of just what were trying to do, and why it is in the national interest for us to be supported. The US government supports NASA for many different reasons, from national prestige to a desire to support a high-tech economy. Those reasons are all valid. But they are often different from the reasons that drive us in the field to actually do the work.
NASA's Research and Analysis grants support most of the people in the DPS. The DPS has emphasized, and must continue to emphasize, that such research is the essential foundation for the more visible spacecraft missions and presidential initiatives that contribute so much to national prestige. From the nation's point of view, it is also important to remember that these funds also support graduate students, the next generation of scientists and engineers whose work will inevitably spill over into other fields. Yet we also know that what we do in research and analysis is in its own right valuable, worthwhile science.
Of course we would like more funding. But, at the very least, we would like more stability in our funding. This means not only a consistent, dependable number of dollars but also a consistent strategy for exploration. That strategy exists, in the Decadal Report that we all worked so hard on just a few years ago. It represents the consensus of the community. This strategy is complemented by the work of other standing committees, such as COMPLEX and SSES. Though of course we are open to new initiatives from the Congress and the President, the planning we have already done must be remembered and honored.
NASA is not the only entity that the DPS must deal with. We also need to maintain and strengthen our relationship with our parent organization, the AAS, and with the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Planetary astronomers have a stake in the decisions made by the entire astronomical community, from telescope usage policies to the nitty-gritty of nomenclature; we need to listen, and we need to be heard.
Finally, we must always remember that we are a small, self-selected group of men and women who have been given the great privilege of exploring the solar system, in the service of all humankind. It is our obligation to share what we do and what we learn with all those in the general public who are exploring, vicariously, through us. (This sharing is also good politics -- and a lot of fun!) This is especially important in a climate where science has become mistrusted or feared among a large segment of the population. Education and Public Outreach efforts must have a central role in all our activities.
The DPS Chair has taken on a role of spokesperson for the planetary science community, especially to NASA. The health of the field in which I work is dependent on NASA decisions. But my own research is not; as it happens, I am one of the few Americans in the DPS with an active research program who does not receive any NASA funding. This puts me in a unique position, able to be a strong and credible voice for our community without even the appearance of a conflict of interest. As someone intimately familiar with the workings of large organizations and long-established bureaucracies, but not dependent upon NASA or other US government funding, I can provide a unique voice to promote the goals of our community.
ALAN W. HARRIS, Candidate for Vice-Chair:
BS 1966, Caltech; MS 1967, PhD 1975, UCLA
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1974-2002 (retired)
Senior Research Scientist, Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO
DPS membership and service:
Member since March, 1974
Attended every meeting since 1974 except for March, 1976 (Austin, TX)
Prize Committee, 1988-90; Chair 1990
DPS Committee member, 1992-95
Chair of 2006 meeting LOC
Memberships: AAS, DPS, DDA, HAD, AGU, AAAS, IAU
Offices held in other organizations:
IAU: President of Commission 15, 1991-94
AAAS: Chair of Astronomy Section, 2002-03
DDA: Member of Committee, 1978-80; Prize Comm., 1985-88; Chair of DDA, 1990-91
I am indeed honored to be nominated for the office of Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the DPS.
My training is as a theorist (celestial mechanics), although I discovered early the importance of tying theory to observation, and vice versa. I therefore became a self-taught observer, having done photometry, spectroscopy and direct imaging, as well as some radio astronomy using the DSN early in my JPL career. My specialty is the dynamics of small bodies in the solar system, including ring particles, small satellites, asteroids, comets, meteoroids, and most recently, satellites of asteroids.
The founding purpose of our society is to bring scientists together for productive exchanges of ideas and research mainly through our annual meetings. During my 9 years' service on the DPS Committee, I gave highest priority to meeting organization. I have participated in the selection of many meeting sites, e.g. Tucson, Padova, Italy, Pasadena, Cambridge, MA and England, and several others. I have also served as local host for a number of other meetings, of the DDA, ACM, and others. If elected I will contribute my experience and "corporate memory" to the selection of first class and affordable meeting venues as a high priority.
Another important duty of the DPS Chair is maintaining relations with the parent society and in particular the Executive Office in Washington. During my years as Secretary-Treasurer I got to know every member of the EO staff and developed good working relations with them. Early in my term as Secretary-Treasurer we negotiated the move of meeting support to the AAS EO, which is still in place and has been generally very successful. Although each Division is invited to send a representative to the AAS Council meetings, that representative is non-voting. By proportion of size, between one and two of the voting members of the Council should be DPS members. I will endeavor to see that this is so, if necessary by introducing petition candidates on the AAS election slate when no DPS members are put forth by the AAS nominating committee.
Regrettably, I must mention that toil of Sisyphus, doing what can be done for the fiscal health of our profession, the perennial problem of NASA. In the May 5 issue, the editors of Nature wrote: "Only a confused space agency would consider shutting down the Voyager spacecraft as they approach the uncharted edge of the Solar System. Or cutting the basic research grants that provide the scientific basis for everything it does." They went on to note "...another disturbing trend: news of an impending cancellation is sent out or leaked, followed by a quick denial. Predictably, scientists reduced to chasing down rumours have turned fearful and angry." I am not optimistic of success in changing these things, but we must try. In particular, we must stress, to Congress as well as to the agency, the importance of basic research to all that NASA does. We must also stress that an "announcement of opportunity" must represent a true opportunity, not a fishing trip. Cancellations, de-scopings, and non-selections of announced mission opportunities are destructive and wasteful. Public position statements, such as the recent one from AAS endorsing a Hubble servicing mission, can be effective tools in gaining the attention of the agency and of Congress and the Administration. These are generally most effective if joined with even larger organizations such as the AGU or AAAS, or as endorsements of expert panel statements from the National Academy or other respected bodies. At least as important is to try to reestablish the "firewall" between manned space program and R&A program. For the past couple decades, the R&A programs have been relatively immune from raids to make up shortfalls elsewhere in NASA's budget, but that immunity has evaporated in the last year or so. It is important to do what can be done to reestablish that firewall. I will look mainly to the DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee and the AAS Public Policy Committee for guidance and assistance in achieving whatever can be done. Kevin Marvel, the Deputy Executive Officer of the AAS, is a registered lobbyist and a valuable resource I will turn to for advice on political actions.
Following my retirement from JPL I have continued research, funded through NASA, approximately half time. This status gives me the liberty to devote whatever time is required to the job of being a DPS officer, and I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to what I regard as the premier society of our profession.
KAREN MAGEE-SAUER, Candidate for Committee Member
Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ
Ph. D. in Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1988
B.S. in Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 1983
Post-doctoral Fellow, Bartol Research Institute, University of Delaware,
Assistant Professor, Rowan University, 1989-1993
Associate Professor, Rowan University,1993-1998
Visiting Research Professor, University of Virginia, 1995-1996
Professor, Rowan University, 1998-present
Local Organizing Committee Member for 1994 Bethesda DPS meeting,
physical science outreach in elementary and middle schools, served
frequently on NASA Planetary Astronomy panels/external reviewer,
and NSF Planetary Astronomy panels/external reviewer.
Cometary Atmospheres, Bioastronomy
I have been a member of the DPS since 1986. In talking with past committee members about the responsibilities involved with serving, one of the major duties identified was in helping select the locale and agenda of the annual meeting. I believe that I will be able to represent educators and other researchers from smaller institutions so that meetings continue to serve all members within the planetary science community. Accessibility to the meetings is a priority in both cost and convenience. For many, the annual meeting is the only opportunity to network, form collaborations, and gain recognition. We need to ensure that meetings create the right environment for this to take place. While the primary focus of meetings is to share recent discoveries, the meeting also needs to foster development and continued involvement of young scientists. The DPS has taken many steps in achieving this goal (graduate student breakfasts with the Chairs, being a prime example), but we need to expand on these steps. I would also support more programs to help members learn how to best sustain their research programs.
If elected to the DPS committee, I will be an active committee member willing to serve as needed. I will work hard to support the DPS commitment to education, outreach, and public policy.
TED L. ROUSH, Candidate for DPS Committee
PhD, Geology and Geophysics 1987, University of Hawaii
MS, Geology and Geophysics 1984, University of Hawaii
BS, Geology and Geophysics 1981, University of Washington.
1998-present, Space Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center,
1989-1997, Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Geosciences,
San Francisco State University
1987-1989, NRC Post-doctoral Research Associate, NASA Ames,
with James Pollack
Local Organizing Chair, 2003 DPS meeting in Monterey California
Science Team Member, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Compact
Reconnaissance Spectrometer for Mars
Member various NASA review panels
Reviewer for international and domestic journals
Member, NRC, Committee on Lunar and Planetary Exploration, 1996-1998
Mentor to various undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students
American Geophysical Union, 1987-present
Obtaining observational data using various telescopes and spacecraft
Developing, maintaining, and using computer programs to
interpret the observational data in terms of surface composition
Obtaining laboratory data to assist in the interpretation of the
Obtaining laboratory data for determining the optical properties
of candidate surface materials that are used in the
Enabling autonomous science decision making capabilities on-board
NASA robotic explorers such as spacecraft and rovers.
The DPS is a diverse, international society. We meet annually to discuss our recent research efforts and discoveries. If elected to the committee, I will strive to address how the growth of these meetings impacts our ability to effectively participate and communicate. I will also support special sessions that present recent and current results from the myriad of missions both planned, and underway.
Many members of the DPS rely upon fiscal support from NASA to sponsor their research. The burden placed on the research community by NASA and NASA's communication of the progress of proposals both require critical examination.
A tremendous amount of time is invested by the DPS community in writing and reviewing proposals. Yet, awards are commonly insufficient to support an adequate amount of time for researchers. This requires them to submit more proposals, resulting in more reviews, increasing the work burden for all. If elected I will work with the DPS to investigate a workable solution to this problem.
NASA's implementation of electronic submission of the proposals is to be applauded. However, as evidenced by several problems, researchers are effectively being beta-testers for computer software. If elected I will work with the DPS community and NASA to assure that such processes are not flawed and instead are ready for use when released/required.
Timely notification and awarding of research funds are critical for ensuring uninterrupted research efforts. If elected I will work with the leadership of the DPS to educate NASA HQ for the critical need in addressing this issue.
As NASA reinvents itself to address the President's vision of exploration it is critical that the voices of the DPS be heard in the halls of congress. I will work with the elected leadership of the DPS, within the restrictions imposed upon me as a NASA federal employee, to insure congress is educated about the impact of their decisions on the long-term viability of science and ability to attract talented young people to become the next generation of scientists.
AMY SIMON-MILLER, Candidate for DPS Committee:
B.S. Space Sciences, 1993 Florida Institute of Technology (highest honors)
M.S. Astronomy, 1996 New Mexico State University
Ph.D. Astronomy, 1998 New Mexico State University
Research Associate, Cornell University: 1999-2001
Program Associate/Instructor, UMD College Park Scholars Program: 2002-2004
Guest Instructor, UMD College Park Scholars Program: 2004-present
Astrophysicist, NASA GSFC: 2001-present
- AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (2001-2007), webmaster
- NASA Planetary Data System Management Oversight Working Group (2002-2005)
- Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Science Definition Team
- NASA Planetary Astronomy, Planetary Atmospheres, and ADP/LTSA Review Panels
- Journal manuscript reviewer for Icarus, JGR-Planets,
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Challenger Center Visiting Researcher (2001)
- DPS Program Committee (2002)
- AAS International Travel Grant Review Committee (2003)
- AWIS Educational Foundation Review (2003)
- Outer Planet Assessment Group Steering Committee
- Hubble Space Telescope Solar System Review Panel
The President's new exploration vision and the subsequent transformation of NASA has caused waves of concern within our community, especially in the areas of R&A funding and job security. We have been correctly concerned that the value of science not get lost in the return to flight and an expanded human exploration program. In addition, we now have a new NASA administrator, who will have his own priorities for NASA. In order for our concerns to be heard, and to not get lost in the shuffling budget priorities, it is important for the DPS to present a unified front.
To that end, I would like to see the DPS undertake a survey to understand the demographics of our community in order to lobby more effectively for our needs. For example, anecdotal evidence suggests that a higher fraction of planetary scientists are in "soft-money" positions than those in other astrophysical fields. Thus, a cut to or elimination of even small R&A programs would disproportionately affect us. The AAS has recently released a statement about the large effect of a cut to small R&A programs, as well, but it remains that the DPS may be affected even more than the astronomy community as a whole. In addition, astronomers in other fields often view us as the "privileged children;" we have spacecraft to go to our objects, so why do we need telescope time, etc.? Yet our data often capture the public's imagination and wonder through press releases and outreach, garnering support for all astronomical work. A voluntary member survey, therefore, should include a wide variety of statistics, such as age distribution, gender and sources of financial support. In addition, it should cover other topics of interest, for example, time spent on education and outreach, percentage of support and length of time on soft money. This would also support planned AAS studies, as the DPS currently has few demographic statistics available.
With a better understanding of our community's current demographics, the DPS Council can more clearly see where the planetary science community needs support and where it is most vulnerable. It will also showcase our strengths, useful when explaining to Congress or to the general public, why what we do is important. As a committee member, I would be happy to assist with such a survey, and with any other activities the DPS undertakes.
ROGER YELLE, Candidate for DPS Committee
Planetary Science faces a number of challenges whose solution requires active and vigorous involvement of the DPS. In addition to extreme vigilance in this time of changing priorities at NASA we need to address the following specific issues.
The funding situation at NASA has reached a state of crisis. The review of proposals to some NASA programs now takes longer than one year to complete, with even longer delays in the arrival of funding. This is intolerable in a field like Planetary Science with a large proportion of investigators supported on soft money. Investigators must budget time for the preparation of redundant proposals simply because they do not know the fate of previous proposals. It is essentially impossible to plan a multi-year research program. Even worse, the livelihoods of some scientists have been put in jeopardy by this bureaucratic inefficiency. I have no doubt that Planetary Science is losing good scientists because of these problems. The current problems are a direct result of a previous NASA administrator's ill-advised attempt to reorganized the grant administration process at HQ. The DPS should take the lead in pressuring NASA to fix the problems with grant administration. Resolution of the grant administration problem should be our highest priority.
The percentage of funding for science in planetary missions has decreased drastically over the last decade. Many investigators involved in spacecraft missions spend much larger fraction of their time on functional activities such as programming observational sequences or archiving data, rather than analyzing and interpreting the data. Sadly, much of this wonderfully prepared data sits in the PDS with too few trained scientists to analyze and interpret it, funded at too low a level to obtain full benefits from the data. Moreover, the low funding levels results in the involvement of too few scientist in planetary missions. It is not enough for the data bits to sit idly in the PDS. There needs to be a well-funded plan to support analysis by the scientists involved in the execution of the missions and to facilitate the involvement of larger numbers of scientists in the data analysis and interpretation phase of the missions. Obviously, the lack of emphasis on the scientific return of the missions makes no sense. Planetary Missions are not only engineering activities or publicity stunts. The DPS needs to pressure NASA to increase the proportion of funds allocated to science. This means increasing R&A grants and supporting participating scientists programs even if the consequence is fewer missions flown.
The mission selection process needs improvement. A tremendous amount of time and resources goes into a proposal for an instrument on a Planetary Mission and even more for a P.I.-led mission. NASA cannot issue A.O.'s that they do not honor. Moreover, there is no good understanding in the community or at headquarters of how the randomness of competitively chosen missions fits into long-term strategic plans. My impression is that much of the chaos is due to overemphasis of objectives with high publicity value, but short lifetimes, at the expense of long-term objectives that have been carefully considered. The involvement of a large fraction of the Planetary Science Community in the Decadal Survey was a splendid example of how the community can contribute to the strategic planning process, but such activity should not be a once-in-a-decade event. Constant vigilance is required and the community needs to remain engaged to ensure that its carefully considered recommendations, recorded in documents like the decadal plan, are in fact realized.
Send submissions (no attachments, please) to:
Linda French Emmons, DPS Secretary (lfrench at iwu.edu)
Department of Physics
Illinois Wesleyan University
P. O. Box 2900
Bloomington, IL 61702