Date: Tue, 2 May 2006 13:58:40 -0500
Subject: DPS Mailing #06-08:  News from the Chair:  NASA Priorities...
Greetings, DPS members,
  1)  NASA priorities
  2)  Upcoming DPS Committee Visit to Washington, DC
  3)  FRS Election results
  4)  NASA Planetary Science Summer School
The long-awaited new NASA advisory system is finally being set up. 
The new SSES is now called PSS (Planetary Science Subcommittee). 
Because the paperwork has not yet been completed the PSS membership 
is not official. We can say, however, that the PSS Chair is 
Sean Solomon and there are representatives from advisory 
groups for exploration of the outer planets (OPAG), Venus (VEXAG), 
and the moon. There is also a Planetary Protection Subcommittee, 
chaired by Gene Levy. PSS provides advice to the NASA Advisory Council 
(NAC) via a science committee chaired by Dr. Charles F. Kennel, 
with Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., Dr. Eugene H. Levy, 
Dr. Mark S. Robinson, Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. The NAC then 
passes official advice to NASA. This multilayered system is 
very different from the previous system where SSES provided advice 
directly to the Solar System Division Director. A list of the 
members of the NAC is available at
There will be a public meeting of the NAC on May 4. NASA Administrator 
Mike Griffin has made it clear that the current plan of 15% cuts in 
Research and Analysis (R&A) funds will be implemented unless there is 
a clear and consistent message from the science community about 
other priorities. The DPS Committee is submitting a statement to 
the NAC, urging that adequate and stable R&A funding is our highest 
priority, both to capitalize on the large public investment in 
past and ongoing missions and,to provide the scientific 
understanding essential to future missions. A balanced program 
of small, medium, and flagship missions should be developed and 
sustained, taking into account input from the scientific community 
from the Decadal Survey and advisory groups to the NAC. The DPS 
Committee is also working with Congress, as well as with the AAS 
and other professional organizations, to restore the funds that 
are being cut from the R&A programs.
On May 17& 18, the DPS Committee and FRS will visit Washington DC 
for a two-day meeting. Our primary focus will be on the NASA budget. 
We will:
- meet with key members of the House and Senate, and science 
  committee staffers
- visit NASA HQ to meet with policy makers in SMD 
  (Science Mission Directorate) and ESMD (Exploration Systems 
  Mission Directorate), as well as R&D program officers who manage 
  research programs within SMD.
- meet with members of OMB to get an overview of the current budget situation
- meet with Kevin Marvel, incoming AAS executive officer, and 
  representatives from the AGU
The DPS Committee will also develop a plan to expand the role of 
the Education and Public Outreach Subcommittee (EPOS), under the 
leadership of newly-elected EPOS chair, Jennifer Grier (CfA).
Based on nominations from the DPS community, the DPS Committee 
elected two new members for three-year terms to the Federal 
Relations Subcommittee:
        Jim Bell (Cornell U.)
        Melissa McGrath (NASA/MSFC)
They join continuing members Alan Stern (FRS Chair, SWRI) and 
Dan Britt (U. Central Florida), and ex-officio member 
Wes Huntress (CIW).  Beginning with the 2006 DPS meeting 
in Pasadena, the incoming DPS Vice-Chair will serve for a 
one-year term on the FRS.
The FRS serves as the eyes and ears of the DPS Committee by keeping 
track of the federal budget and appropriations process, helping 
to organize meetings with Congressional staffers and important 
science committees, and informing the DPS membership of current 
events and contact information via the FRS website
DPS members are welcome to contact the FRS directly with 
questions or recommendations.
Applications are due May 15, 2006, for NASA's 18th Annual Planetary 
Science Summer School, which will hold two sessions this summer, 
July 24-28 and July 31 - August 4, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 
Pasadena, California.  Science and engineering post-doctoral and 
graduate students with a strong interest in careers in planetary 
exploration are encouraged to apply.  Preference is given to 
U.S. citizens.   Partial financial support is available to a 
limited number of individuals to help defray the expense of 
travel and lodging only.  Applications are to be submitted 
electronically by May 15, 2006 at .
For further information, visit 
or contact Ms. Anita M. Sohus, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, M/S 111-B29, 
4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109; phone 818-354-6613; 
e-mail Anita.M.Sohus @
Send submissions (no attachments, please) to:
Linda French Emmons, DPS Secretary (lfrench @
Department of Physics
Illinois Wesleyan University
P. O. Box 2900
Bloomington, IL 61702