Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 19:23:57 -0600
Subject: DPS Mailing #06-15: DPS Election 2006
DPS ELECTION 2006
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
2006-2007 and then serve as DPS Chair during 2007-2008. The two
Committee Members elected will serve in those positions for three-year
terms. The members retiring from the Committee are Bill McKinnon
(Past-Chair), Fran Bagenal, and Jim Bell. Biographies and
position statements for all of the candidates are included in this
IMPORTANT CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS YEARS: You may vote ONLINE beginning
at midnight EDT Tuesday, July 18. That link will be sent in another
enews on Monday, July 17. You will need to know your AAS username
and password; if you have forgotten these you can obtain them
automatically from the AAS website. As always, we need to protect
against duplicate voting; if you vote online your logging in will
enforce this requirement.
As mailings over the past weeks have noted, those who do not wish to
vote online have had the option of requesting a paper ballot to be
returned by regular mail. 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. And
a final reminder: VOTES RECEIVED BY EMAIL WILL NOT BE COUNTED THIS YEAR.
Paper ballots have been mailed to DPS members who do not have email
addresses on file with the AAS, as well as to members who have
Following this message are the position statements for each candidate.
Please indicate your selections either online, beginning next week, or
on the paper ballot (if you have requested one) and return the paper
ballot to me either by fax or regular mail.
The deadline for receipt of the ballots by me is Monday, July 31, 2006;
online voting will be available until midnight Tuesday, August 1
(i.e., at the end of the day Monday, July 31).
Linda French Emmons, DPS Secretary
Department of Physics
Illinois Wesleyan University
P.O. Box 2900
Bloomington, IL 61702 USA
CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES AND POSITION STATEMENTS
MICHAEL J. MUMMA, Candidate for Vice-Chair
Michael J. Mumma was educated at Franklin and Marshall College
(A.B. 1963, Physics), and the University of Pittsburgh (Ph. D. 1970,
Physics) and joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center thereafter.
At Goddard, he has mentored 30 post-docs and senior visiting scientists
and has co-directed four Ph. D. and two M. S. theses, holding
Adjunct Professorships at Penn State Univ. (1982 - 1989) and the
Univ. of Toledo (2002-2005) for that purpose.
At Goddard, he is founding Director of the Goddard Center for
Astrobiology (2003 - present) and Senior Scientist in the
Solar System Exploration Division (2005 - present). Earlier, he founded
the Infrared and Radio Astronomy Branch (1975-1978), the Infrared
Astronomy Branch (1978- 1985), and the Planetary Systems Branch
(1985-1990), and he served as Chief Scientist for Planetary Research
(1990 - 2004), all in the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics (LEP).
He founded several research activities within LEP, including the
infrared heterodyne group, the laboratory infrared spectroscopy group,
and the cometary spectroscopy group.
He has research interests in atomic and molecular structure, planetary
and cometary physics and chemistry, and the formation, evolution,
and characterization of planetary systems. His astronomical interests
span the electromagnetic spectrum. Recent work has utilized observatories
on Mauna Kea (NASA - IRTF, Keck, and Subaru), in Chile (Gemini South and
ESO-VLT), and in space (FUSE and Suzaku/Astro-E2). He currently
is vigorously continuing his cometary studies, actively searching
for biomarker gases on Mars, investigating cometary volatiles in
the environment surrounding young stars, and searching for
ionospheric emission from exoplanets.
He has been a member of DPS since 1972, and he was Organizer of the
1994 Annual Meeting (Bethesda, MD). He co-organized three other
major meetings that were heavily attended by planetary astronomers:
"The Study of Comets" (Greenbelt, MD 1974),
"Vibrational-Rotational Spectroscopy for Planetary Atmospheres"
(Annapolis, 1981), and "Astrophysics from the Moon" (Annapolis, 1990).
Since 1975, he has served on numerous NASA, NSF, and NRC advisory
committees and review panels. He served as co-representative from
NASA on the Keck Science Steering Committee (1995-2002), and he
currently serves on the Executive Council of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.
The principal roles of the DPS are: 1. to provide a forum in which
planetary scientists can present results, discuss issues, and
formulate plans, and 2. to assist its members in promoting and
achieving community objectives.
Our fundamental objective is to enhance the health and vigor of
planetary science, by which I mean our pursuit of improved understanding
of planetary systems - their origins and evolution, their current state,
and all other related topics concerning them. Our own planetary system
is the paradigm for all others - and our home - hence it is
centrally important. The chief measures of health and vigor include:
1. the pace and significance of new scientific insights,
2. the adoption of new initiatives for extending current knowledge,
3. the persistence of funds to support ongoing research and analysis
and their commensurate growth to meet expanded opportunities, and
4. the maintenance of opportunities for professional placement and
growth - especially by early career scientists.
The times are perilous. The present challenge is clear, and it
differs fundamentally from other serious challenges of recent
decades. First, ALL of science is under attack. Second, the attack
enjoys support from the very top of the Executive Branch. Until now,
major challenges took place within NASA's Science sector and often
involved choosing among a plethora of possible science missions.
Now, the conflict is occurring between the human and robotic
(i.e., Science) exploration sectors, and its outcome is directed from
the top of NASA. The Advisory structure has been changed too, weakening
the influence of active scientists by requiring all advice to pass
to the Administrator directly, through a single committee. This same
logic leads to reduced funds for Research and Analysis, in keeping with
the reduction in missions. Efforts to reverse these decisions by
addressing NASA directly have been ineffective.
Fortunately, we have a powerful alternative. Science has many friends in
the Legislative Branch, and they have responded to political pressure
from our community and others. As a result, some announced
program cancellations were rescinded (e.g., Dawn) or are being
reconsidered (e.g., SOFIA), and additional funds were added recently
during markup - restoring significant funds to JIMO, TPF, and to R&A.
This is good, but not good enough. The community pushback was done
in a reactive mode rather than a proactive one. The fundamental
change mentioned above calls for a corresponding change in the way we
promote our science.
We must work harder and more consistently to strengthen support for
planetary science, because it is correct for the nation and indeed the
world. We must avoid strict partisanship - and instead work to strengthen
a tide that lifts all science boats. We must continue to address members
of both Legislative and Executive Branches at appropriate levels. And
we must take every opportunity for public outreach - paying special
attention to those that address the great "multipliers" - educators,
policy makers, and members of the media.
Last, we should not forget that NSF also supports planetary astronomy, but
at a budgetary level that is far lower than our fractional representation
(17%) among members of the American Astronomical Society. I believe it
is important (and long overdue) to redress that severe and glaring imbalance.
I will work towards that end.
CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY AND STATEMENT
S. ALAN STERN, Candidate for Vice-Chair
Education and Recent Professional Background:
BS (Physics, 1978), BA (Astronomy, 1980), University of Texas
MS (Aerospace Engineering, 1981), University of Texas
PhD (Astrophysics and Planetary Science, 1989), University of Colorado
Research Fellow, Center for Space & Geosciences Policy, U. Colorado 1988-1990
Principal Scientist, SwRI Space Science Department, 1991-1992
Section Manager, SwRI Space Science Department, 1992-1998
Department Director, SwRI Space Studies Department, 1998-2004
Executive Director, SwRI Space Science & Engineering Division, 2004-
Prior PI in NASA Origins, Planetary Astronomy, AISRP, IUE, HST, and
Neptune DAP programs.
Over 175 papers; topics include: Kuiper Belt, Pluto and Triton, the
Oort Cloud, the atmospheres of the Moon, Io, and comets,
UV photometry/imaging/spectroscopy, and space policy.
Space Mission Experience
Participating Scientist, New Millennium Deep Space-1
CoI Mars Express SPICAM, Venus Express SPICAV, HST Cosmic
PI: NASA Sounding Rocket Program (7 flights);
Shuttle CHAMP & SWUIS UV imagers (4 flights);
Rosetta-Alice UV spectrograph;
New Horizons-Alice UV spectrograph;
New Horizons-Ralph VIS-IR imager/spectrograph;
PI: New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission.
Selected Committee Service:
Member, Lunar Science Exploration Working Group (LExSWG)
Member, Solar System Exploration Subcommittee (SSES)
Member, New Millennium Program Science Working Group (NMPSWG)
Member, NRC Solar System Decadal Survey, Primitive Bodies Panel
Member, NAS Committee on Scientific Context for the Exploration of the Moon
Chair, HST Planetary Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC)
Chair, NASA Outer Planets Science Working Group (OPSWG)
DPS Service & Experience:
Member, DPS Program Committee, 1990, 1994
Member, Nominating Committee, 1998, 1999; Chair 2000
Co-Chair, New Orleans DPS-2001 Local Organizing Committee, 1998-2001
Co-Chair, New Orleans DPS-2001 Program Committee, 2000-2001
Member, DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee, 2004-2006
Chair, DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee, 2006
We are now in a time of both great opportunities for and great challenges to
our field. Opportunities present themselves for a new flagship-class
planetary mission, for an exciting renaissance of robotic and human lunar
exploration, for an increased role in planetary exploration by ESA, JAXA, and
ISRO, and in the exciting data from missions like MRO, MER, Deep Impact,
Cassini, Stardust, and MEX and VEX. But threats present themselves too. These
include R&A cuts, insufficient funds to analyze data from on-going missions,
reductions in future mission flight rates, and a lack of enthusiasm for
public service at NASA Headquarters.
The DPS plays a pivotal role in representing planetary science to NASA, to
Congress, to OMB, and to the public at large. As such, it is the
responsibility of the DPS leadership to capitalize on current opportunities
and to overcome the current threats. DPS needs committed volunteers who want
to take it to new heights. I offer my time and my energy in that service.
There is a great deal that needs to be done in the coming years. DPS must
work to significantly increase funds to R&A programs. We must also work to
demonstrate the advantages to both grantors and grantees of increased size
and duration grants in R&A programs. And DPS should work to steeply increase
data analysis funds, so that space missions return their full value in
We also need to increase the flight rates for New Frontiers, Discovery, and
Mars Scout back to their intended levels. And we should capitalize on the new
lunar flight programs in NASA's Exploration directorate to advance lunar
science in a win-win for both planetary science and NASA's exploration
These objectives-for both research programs and missions-will require a great
deal of effort to be successful, but they are feasible and I will make it my
top priority for the DPS to champion them energetically. Being employed
outside the government gives me the freedom to directly lobby NASA and
Congress on behalf of the DPS.
Within the DPS's other responsibilities, I want to see the DPS work more
closely with sister professional organizations like AGU and GSA to advance
our common interests, for there is strength in numbers. And I want to see the
DPS become more heavily involved in practical training of students and
postgraduates in how to win grants and instrument/mission proposals; perhaps
an annual workshop in concert with DPS meetings would be helpful in this
regard. So too, I'd like to see the DPS explore corporate fund raising for
student fellowships and travel grants. Finally, I want to help continue the
outstanding annual meetings for which the DPS is known.
In addition to research grant work during the 20 years I have been a DPS
member, I have PI'ed flight instruments, and guided a large mission from
inception, through political difficulties, and ultimately to launch. I've
organized a DPS meeting and I've served on and chaired both the DPS
Nominating Committee and the Federal Relations Subcommittee. I have worked
with and know the current NASA leadership well.
These attributes are not unique, but they do represent an experience base and
an energy level that can hopefully serve the DPS well as we go forward to
advocate for our field.
I would like to bring these diverse experiences to the helm of the DPS as we
lay the groundwork for the second decade of 21st-century planetary
exploration. I am used to public advocacy, and I am willing to work
tirelessly to represent the DPS's interests.
CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY AND STATEMENT
ATHENA COUSTENIS, Candidate for DPS Committee
Biographical Information :
Masters Degree (Maitrise) in Physics (1986, P. & M. Curie, Paris VI Univ.)
and English Literature (1987, La Sorbonne, Paris III Univ.)
Ph. D. in Astrophysics and Space Techniques (1989, Paris VII Univ.)
Habilitation to Direct Research (HDR) in Astrophysics (1996, Paris VII Univ.)
Permanent position as researcher 1st class, National Scientific Research
Center (CNRS, France) since 1991. Working at the Department of Space Studies
and Instrumentation in Astrophysics (LESIA) at Paris-Meudon Observatory.
- Division officer and organizer of planetary sessions at the European
Geosciences Union (EGU) since 2000
- Organizer of planetary sessions at the Asian Oceanian Geophysical Society
(AOGS) since 2004.
- President of the International Committee for Planetary Atmospheres and
Environments (ICPAE) since 2003.
- Committee Member of "Physics Year 2005"
- Contact member of EUROPLANET and co-organizer of the First European
Planetary Sciences Conference (EPSC) in Berlin, 18-22 September 2006.
- Co-organizer of the Planetary Conference in Blois, France, 5/25-6/2 2006.
- Guest Editor of special Planetary Space Science issues since 2003.
The DPS gives us the opportunity to meet annually and discuss our recent
research efforts and discoveries. I have experience in organizing meetings
and international assemblies all around the world. If elected in the
committee, I will try to make these meetings a place and time where planetary
scientists from all over the world can come together and exchange - more
efficiently than through e-mail - ideas, impressions and results. I will
To do this I will ensure the existence of valid candidates for DPS meetings'
venues in the Northern and Southern America, in Europe, but also in Asia,
Oceania, and any other country that has the possibility to host such a
meeting. I will help the local organizing committee to develop the right
environment for our colloquia. I will also therein propose special sessions
to focus on recent results from the numerous space missions both planned, and
underway. Furthermore, I find that in the past years, the number of meetings
on themes related to our field has increased impressively. In this context, I
will make sure that these colloquia have some coordination.
Recent significant successes in space missions and ground-based observations
have demonstrated that :
a) planetologists are efficient, imaginative and nevertheless rigorous
b) that we are the recipients of the dreams of many people and hence we are
c) the collaboration among nations (as for example in the ESA-NASA-ASI
collaboration in the framework of the Cassini-Huygens mission) leads to
success and makes us a group to be reckoned with, giving us the power to
resist the wimps of politics.
The DPS is becoming a large, multiethnic society. As such we can make our
voice heard and assure the promotion of our requirements. I will also support
and facilitate collaborations among the DPS members. In my mind this is the
only constructive and fruitful way to go in the future for science - and for
Planetology in particular.
I am intent on working with the elected leadership of the DPS to have the
outcome of the DPS meetings and decisions heard in all international
instances and assure that there is a result and an impact of our decisions
for the well-fare of the planetary community.
CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY AND STATEMENT
SIMON MITTON, Candidate for DPS Committee
Fellow and Treasurer, St Edmund's College, Cambridge UK
Associate Research Scholar, Department for the History and Philosophy of
Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Ph. D. in Physics, University of Cambridge, 1972
M. A. in Physics, University of Oxford, Charlottesville 1968
Research Fellow, Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, University of Cambridge,
Departmental Secretary, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge,
Senior Editor, Cambridge University Press, 1978-1980
Science Director, Cambridge University Press 1980-2001
Council, Royal Astronomical Society, 1975-78, and, 2002-2005
Outreach teaching, University of Cambridge, 1969-2004
Chair, LOC DPS 2005, Cambridge UK 2001-2005
Founding Editor, International Journal of Astrobiology 2001-present
Planetary science, astrobiology, history of astronomy in the 20th century
I have attended every DPS Meeting since 1992. I have also attended
40 astrophysics Meetings of the AAS. At Cambridge University Press I
was instrumental in starting a new list in planetary science. CUP is now
the most active publisher of academic and professional books in
My professional work is mainly conducted through the writing of books and
feature articles. My biography of the British maverick theorist, Fred Hoyle
(Conflict in the Cosmos, Joseph Henry Press, Washington) was published to
great critical acclaim in 2005. I am a Fellow of the RAS and a Member of the
IAU. I am active in speaking to amateur astronomical societies, to schools,
and to giving media interviews of all kinds in support of astronomy and
planetary science. I give professional seminars in universities. The ADS
system lists 54 of my publications in astronomy and astrophysics. My most
highly cited papers are on the magnetic field of the Milky Way Galaxy. I have
written, co-authored, or edited 14 books, including professional level books
as well as popular science.
My interest in serving on the Committee is to strengthen the link between DPS
colleagues in North America and Europe, with some emphasis on the mutual
linkage between the AAS and the RAS. As learned and professional societies
become international I feel it is important that the global dimension should
be reflected in the composition of the Committee.
In the immediate future I believe my experience in organising DPS 2005 will
enable me to contribute in an informed manner on issues to do with the
location, planning, finance, and running of future DPS Meetings.
CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY AND STATEMENT
MARLA H. MOORE, Candidate for DPS Committee
Education: Ph.D. Astronomy, 1981 University of Maryland
M.S. Physics, 1967 Catholic University of America
B.S. Physics, 1962, Pennsylvania State University
Astrophysicist, NASA GSFC, 1991-present
Research Associate, University of Maryland
NRC Post-Doctoral Research Associate, NASA GSFC, 1981-1984
Adjunct Professor, and Planetarium Director, Montgomery College
Aerospace Engineer, NASA GSFC
Member of various NASA review panels (e.g. Planetary Atmospheres, Outer
Reviewer for (CRDF) Civilian Research and Development Foundation proposals
Reviewer for international and domestic journals (e.g. Icarus, JGR Planets,
Mentor for various high school, undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral
Member of the DPS Meeting Organizing Committee, 1994
Member (AIP) Award for Science Writing Aimed at Children Committee, 1998-2001
Member (AAAS) Whitaker Science Writing Awards Panel, 1999-2002
Professional Affiliations: American Astronomical Society
Division of Planetary Science
American Geophysical Union
International Astronomical Union
Asian Oceania and Geosciences Society
Many DPS members rely on financial support from NASA for their research
programs. These research scientists and their students are impacted by the
decrease in available money for research, the decrease in the number of
solicitations for ROSES, and the decrease in the number of NASA grants in the
life and physical sciences programs. The Vision for Space Exploration
mandate may mean that entire research programs and laboratories will become
unfunded. Flagship missions and some smaller missions are still untouched,
but getting the most out of these missions requires input from appropriate
laboratory research, theory, and ground-based observations. I would like to
help the DPS community to communicate the importance of our work to the
public, a key to developing constant support for planetary research programs.
The annual DPS meeting is a high point each year for planetary scientists; a
time to discuss new results, and exchange ideas. I support high quality
meetings that are cost-efficient, and meetings that are scheduled for the
convenience of most of its members. I will promote meetings with sessions
that reflect the most current successes in planetary astronomy, as well as
the diversity of the community's research areas. I would like to see special
sessions in astrobiology and in laboratory research, each with invited
speakers, at appropriate intervals. I support education-related activities
and public outreach programs currently administered by the DPS since I
believe that engaging students and educating teachers is another key element
leading to long-term public support of planetary science.
CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY AND STATEMENT
ADAM SHOWMAN, Candidate for DPS Committee
Adam Showman earned a B.S. in physics from Stanford in 1991 and an M.S. and
Ph.D. in planetary science from Caltech in 1998. He did postdoctoral
fellowships in Louisville, KY and at the NASA Ames Research Center before
becoming an assistant professor of planetary sciences at the University of
Arizona, where he has been since 2001. His research interests involve the
dynamics of planetary atmospheres and interiors, broadly defined, with
specific research efforts focusing on dynamics of giant planet atmospheres;
extrasolar giant planets; and the tectonics, resurfacing, and orbital-thermal
evolution of icy satellites.
The past year has seen among the greatest challenges to planetary science in
the history of the field. NASA's efforts to maintain funding for the Shuttle
and ISS while jump-starting the Crew Exploration Vehicle have led to deep
cuts in R&A programs, including an unprecedented 50% cut in Astrobiology.
These cuts are crippling for many planetary-science researchers, especially
those on soft money, and will almost certainly cause a loss of capable
scientists from the field. Deep cuts in the Graduate Student Researchers
Program prevented most newselections this year, which sends the wrong message
toour student researchers and will probably cause many students to
re-evaluate their choice of professional field. All these cuts betray a lack
of appreciation for, and understanding of, the role that science plays in the
Nation's program of space exploration. Such cuts are particularly egregious
given the small fraction of NASA's budget that goes toward basic research:
debilitating cuts to R&A funding free only enough dollars to make a small
dent in reducing cost overruns in the manned space programs.
As the major voice of the planetary science community, the DPS has a crucial
role to play in these trying times. In addition to hearing from the DPS about
specific issues as they arise, I believe that NASA needs to consistently and
repeatedly hear several messages from the DPS:
Importance of research: NASA sometimes appears to forget that the reason to
fly machines in space is to learn about the planets and Universe, which is
impossible without a robust research program. It is not a good use of
National resources to spend billions of dollars sending machines to the
planets without funding the proper research to understand the data we collect
about those bodies. NASA is driven by many motivations, but we need to make
sure that basic research remains crucial.
Importance of continuity: In lean times, it may be inevitable that research
funding declines. But continuity on multi-yeartimescales is as crucial as
absolute funding level. It shows the utmost lack of vision for NASA to spend
years encouraging the creation of a field such as Astrobiology and then turn
around and gut it with a single decision. Whatever the funding level for
basic research, it needs to be stable. The DPS also needs to make sure NASA
understands that cutting programs (both R&A and missions) after proposals
have been submitted -- or, even worse, after selection letters have been sent
out -- destroys the good-will of scientists toward NASA and erodes the
strength of the field. With proper long-term planning, these problems can
Finally, the planetary science community can and should be a major part of
the decision-making process within NASA. Recent decisions about which
programs/missions to cut were largely made without consultation of the
planetary community, which is bizarre since we are the community most
affected by those decisions. As a community, we are best-suited to helping
NASA set priorities about how planetary-oriented funding should be spent,
particularlywhen funding is limited and tough decisions have to be made. The
DPS can help by providing a unified voice for our views, which will help NASA
view us as a resource rather than as a thorn in its side.
If elected, I will help the DPS interface with NASA on these broad issues as
well as with any specific crises that arise.