Subject: [DPS Members] DPS Mailing #07-23: AAS Elections and membership renewal...

Issue 07-23, December 20th 2007

1) AAS Elections- Make your vote count
2) AAS/DPS Membership Renewal
3) Simplifying NASA AOs
4) NASA Astrobiology Institute: Proposals for New Member Institutions
5) SOFIA workshop at upcoming AAS -- date change to January 7
6) Job Announcements
7) Upcoming Meetings



DPS members who have joined through our parent society are eligible to
vote in the current election of officers for the American Astronomical
Society.  Eligible members should have received email instructions on
how to cast your ballot.  We are grateful to AAS all candidates who
have volunteered to serve.

DPS members may particularly note that Melissa McGrath, former DPS
Treasurer (and Secretary Treasurer) is a candidate for AAS Vice
President.  The DPS is the largest division within the American
Astronomical Society.  Thus it is particularly important for DPS
representation that eligible DPS members exercise their right to vote
in AAS elections.

To vote electronically for this year's candidates, go to:



DPS members who have joined through the AAS should be sure to renew
their AAS and DPS membership as soon as possible, before the end of
the year.  You should have received a renewal form by snail-mail back
in October, but you can also renew online at



Dear Colleague:

Alan Stern, Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate
(SMD), has initiated an effort to simplify NASA Announcements of
Opportunity (AOs). AOs are issued by NASA to solicit proposals for
complete PI-led missions (like Explorer, Discovery, Mars Scout, etc.),
for smaller PI-led missions of opportunity, and for instruments for
NASA's strategic missions (like recent AOs for RBSP, MMS, MSL, JWST,
etc.). This AO simplification effort is being led by Paul Hertz,
Senior Advisor in SMD at NASA Headquarters responsible for the AO
process, and Brad Perry, Head of the Science Support Office at NASA
Langley research center and responsible for the technical/ management/
cost (TMC) review process.

There are at least three necessary outcomes that are required from an
AO, and any simplified AO must still enable those outcomes. (1)
Maintain the ability for NASA to evaluate the science merit (through
science peer review) to guide selection. (2) Maintain the ability for
NASA to evaluate the feasibility of proposed missions (through TMC
review) to guide selection.  (3) Ensure that mission teams are ready
to successfully conduct Phase A mission concept studies if they are

The first step of this effort is to gather information. NASA is
conducting information gathering sessions at community meetings as
well as soliciting input directly from the community. We held a
successful community meeting at the Division of Planetary Science
(DPS) meeting in Orlando last October.

The next community meeting will be a splinter session at the American
Astronomical Society (AAS) winter meeting in Austin, Texas. The AO
simplification session is Thursday, January 10 during the lunch
break. Please check the final AAS schedule for the exact time and

Whether or not you can join us for the community meeting, please send
us any comments or input that you have for this study. We are looking
for all kinds of input: suggestions about AOs, suggestions about the
2-step selection process (the AO rules and the downselect are closely
coupled), even suggestions about how to carry out this study. We are
especially looking for suggestions of AO changes that will reduce the
amount of work on the proposer without impacting the quality of the
competition (what some proposers call "non value added AO

Please send responses to

Paul Hertz, NASA HQ,
Brad Perry, NASA LaRC,



NASA intends to release a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN, Cycle-5)
soliciting new institutional members to the NASA Astrobiology
Institute (NAI).  The CAN will be released in early 2008, and
proposals will be due approximately 90 days later. The CAN is
responsive to the recommendations of the recent NRC assessment
(  Proposals will be
required to clearly articulate an innovative, interdisciplinary,
astrobiology research program, together with plans to advance the full
scope of NAI objectives as defined in the Institute's Mission
Statement (see  NASA anticipates making $4-11 M
per year available for this selection, leading to 4-8 awards, each of
5 years duration.  Participation in this solicitation is open to all
categories of organizations, domestic and non-US, incuding industry,
educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, NASA centers, and
other Government agencies.

For further information, please contact: Dr. Carl Pilcher, Director,
NASA Astrobiology Institute, Mail Stop 247-6, Ames Research Center,
NASA, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000; Phone 650-604-0022,



The SOFIA Early Science Opportunities workshop at the January 2008
American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin Texas will be held 1
to 5 p.m. on Monday, January 7, before the AAS opening reception on
Monday evening.  That is a change in date from previous announcements,
partly due to the unusual Monday to Friday schedule of this AAS



1) Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Planetary Science), Adler Planetarium
& Astronomy Museum.  Contact: Mark Hammergren,, (312)209-0219. See

2) Tenure-track Assistant Professorship, Illinois Wesleyan University
Department of Physics, any specialty of astronomy, beginning Fall
2008.  For further information contact Linda French (
or Narendra Jaggi (  AAS Job Register #24237, to
appear 1 December.  See

3) Research Scientist in Planetary Science, The Bear Fight Center

The Bear Fight Center ( announces a position
opening for one or two qualified candidates having experience and
interest in studying the surfaces of Solar System objects and in
interpreting their origin and evolution.  The position is located at
our research facility near Winthrop, Washington.  Candidates would
preferable be in the early stages of career development, but those in
mid- or senior-level career and interested in taking a leadership role
in the Center will also be considered.

Contact: please email or mail your Curriculum Vitae with list of
references to the attention of Thomas B. McCord: or Bear fight Center, P.O. Box 667,
Winthrop, WA 988632.

4) Postdoctoral position: Surfaces of icy satellites and comets,

We invite applications for a postdoctoral position in planetary
science at the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research at Cornell
University to conduct research on spacecraft data (primarily imaging)
of icy satellites and comets.  We are seeking a candidate with a
recent PhD in geology or planetary science with a strong background in
remote sensing.  Experience with interpretation of surface morphology
and handling multiple data sets would be valuable.

Applicants should send contact information for three references and a
curriculum vita to Prof. J. Veverka, 312 Space Sciences Bldg., Cornell
University, Ithaca, NY 14853.



1) Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Astronomer
Workshop.  Feb. 29 2008, Ames Research Center.


The objectives of the LCROSS mission are to advance the Vision for
Space Exploration (VSE) by confirming the presence or absence of water
ice in the permanently shadowed craters at the Moon's South Pole and
to address science questions such as the nature of the polar regolith,
impact cratering dynamics, etc. This workshop is designed for
astronomers, to encourage the astronomy community to observe the
LCROSS impacts with both ground- and space-based telescopes. The data
collected from these observational assets will complement data
collected from the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft and help ensure that
maximum scientific and exploration value is derived from the LCROSS

2) The Science of Solar System Ices (ScSSI): A Cross-Disciplinary
Workshop. May 5 - 8, 2008, Oxnard, California.


3) 2008 ASP Meeting: Preparing for the International Year of
Astronomy: A Hands-on Symposium.  May 31-June 3, 2008, St. Louis, MO


At this meeting, education and outreach professionals will gather to
discuss international, regional, and local programs for the
International Year of Astronomy in 2009, which celebrates the 400th
anniversary of the astronomical telescope. If you are interested in
planning activities in 2009, this meeting is an excellent chance to
learn more about what various institutions and organizations are
proposing to do, and to coordinate your ideas with colleagues around
the country and the world.  During the weekend, there will also be
model workshops to demonstrate and develop techniques for reaching a
wide range of audiences.

Send submissions to:
John Spencer, DPS Secretary (