Subject: [DPS Members] DPS Mailing #08-09: 2008 DPS Election...

Issue 08-09, June 12th 2008

1) 2008 DPS Election: Vice-Chair, Committee, and Bylaw Amendments
2) Vitae and Position Statements for the DPS Election Candidates
3) Planetary Science Subcommittee Meeting, 23-24 June, Goddard
4) Job Announcements
5) Upcoming Meetings



Vote at

It's time to elect the new 2008 DPS officers.  The slate is as follows:

Vice Chair (one to be chosen, to serve as DPS Vice-Chair in 2008-2009,
and DPS Chair in 2009-2010):

        Kevin Baines, JPL
        Candice Hansen, JPL

DPS Committee (two to be chosen, to serve for three years, 2008-2011):

        Barbara Cohen, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
        Geoffrey Collins, Wheaton College
        Joshua Colwell, University of Central Florida
        Anne Verbiscer, Space Science Institute

Vitae and position statements for the candidates follow in item 2

This year we also have to vote on two amendments to the DPS bylaws,
covering (1) the inclusion of "other planetary systems" in our
statement of purpose, and (2) a procedure for replacing the DPS

For changes to the DPS Bylaws, approval must first come from the
DPS Committee, followed by a vote by the AAS Executive Board.
Both of these approvals have been met.  However for the Bylaw
changes to take effect, they must also be approved by vote of
the DPS membership (2/3 majority of all voters).

Please cast your vote for or against the following two amendments
to the DPS Bylaws:

(1) Shall the DPS amend its Bylaws to expand its "Purpose" Statement
     so as to include "other planetary systems" ?
     Through this change, Article I, Section 3 "Name and Purpose"
     shall be amended to read:

      "The Division shall exist for the purpose of
       advancing the investigation of the solar system
       and other planetary systems, with special
       encouragement of interdisciplinary cooperation. "

     Language describing the scope of DPS Prizes will also be
     amended accordingly, noting that this change in prize
     descriptions does not require a membership vote.

(2)  Shall the DPS amend its Bylaws to specify how the position
      of Vice-Chair shall be filled in the event of a vacancy?
      (The existing Bylaws give no provision as to how a vacancy
      in the Vice-Chair position is to be filled.)
      Through this change, Section III.4 "Vacated Offices" shall
       be amended to read:

       "If the office of Vice-Chair becomes vacant, a special
        election shall be held, generally  within eight weeks
        of the vacancy. The official ballot consisting of two
        candidates shall be prepared by the Nominating Subcommittee
        following the established procedures for regular elections.
        Normally, these two candidates should be drawn from the two
        ranking members of the DPS Committee (in the third year of
        their terms)."

Complete text of the proposed changes, and the full text of the
existing bylaws, may be examined at:

Voting will be done via a Web form only, at
You will need your AAS membership number and password in order to
vote- there is the option to reset your password if necessary.  You
can look up your membership number via
If you still have trouble, contact the AAS office at,
202-328-2010.  Contact me (John Spencer,,
303-546-9674) if you're really stuck.



Kevin Baines (Vice-Chair): Vita

    Kevin H. Baines is a Principal Scientist at the Jet Propulsion
    Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. He is the Leader of the US Venus
    Express Mission Science Team, a Co-Investigator with the
    Cassini-Huygens Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, and a Team
    Associate on the New Horizons mission to Pluto. He is a member of
    the Steering Committee on both the Outer Planets Assessment Group
    (OPAG) and the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG).  Kevin
    also leads the Saturn Target Working Team on Cassini-Huygens,
    coordinating the observational desires of the international
    Cassini-Huygens science team for observing Saturn.  Kevin was the
    Local Arrangements Chair for the 1987 DPS Meeting, a member of the
    DPS Scientific Program Committee in 2005, and Chair of the DPS
    Scientific Program Committee in 2006.

    Kevin's primary research interest is in studying the structure,
    dynamics, chemistry, and formation and evolution of planetary
    atmospheres.  In this endeavor, he has led observations from both
    ground-based telescopes, such as the IRTF, and interplanetary
    spacecraft, such as Galileo and Cassini-Huygens.  As an
    author/co-author of over 120 peer-reviewed papers, he has
    researched and published articles over a diverse range of topics,
    including the rings of Uranus, satellite surfaces, the formation
    and evolution of Venus, and mechanisms for the extinction of
    dinosaurs, as well as on the structure, dynamics, chemistry and
    origins of the atmospheres of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan,
    Uranus, and Neptune.

    Kevin received his B. A. (1976) in both Physics and Astronomy from
    Amherst College, Amherst, Mass., and received both an M.A. (1978)
    and Ph. D (1982) in Physics from Washington University in St Louis,
    Mo.  Outside of his science endeavors, Kevin has been serving as
    (1) a Member of the Board of the Caltech/JPL flying club for over
    25 years, most recently serving as the Flight Director, responsible
    for flight safety, and (2) for the past three years, the President
    of a local community association. Both of these endeavors have
    reinforced his belief in the power of inclusiveness in making
    organizational decisions.

Kevin Baines (Vice-Chair): Statement

    As the yin/yang of the notorious Chinese proverb avers, we are
    living in interesting times in planetary science.  On the one hand,
    astounding discoveries are being made almost every week. The short
    (!)  list of fundamental new revelations made just in the last
    three years includes the first comet samples returned to Earth, new
    visions of the surfaces of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Titan, the
    geysers of Enceladus, the rings of Saturn and Uranus, the first
    clear views of storm systems in the depths of Saturn, Uranus, and
    Neptune, discovery of two additional satellites of Pluto, and the
    first sightings of hundreds of distant worlds beyond, including
    numerous Kuiper Belt Objects and exoplanets.  Simply astounding.
    Yet, despite this explosion of new discoveries - which together
    demonstrate an amazingly effective use of tax payers' funds - and
    despite the faithful attempts of many NASA planetary managers to
    improve the situation, NASA's planetary budget remains
    inadequate. The established budgets are just not large enough to
    effectively mine the new data and discoveries being made, much less
    support new Discovery, Scout, New Frontiers, and Flagship missions.
    This rather dismal state of affairs not only severely curtails the
    productivity of current researchers - who find themselves writing
    (and reviewing) more and more proposals as they strive to survive -
    but discourages talented students from entering our field to form
    the next generation of planetary scientists, Yes, we certainly do
    live in interesting times.

    For the near term, the DPS can help this unhappy funding situation
    by ensuring that sound science policy is infused into the tough
    budget decisions being made today by NASA, Congress, and the
    President. As one example, by working with various chief scientists
    and science advisors of influential decision makers, the DPS can
    make its voice heard to ensure that our community-wide priorities -
    as embodied, for example in the 2003 Decadal Study, and in the
    findings of various "AG" groups such as MEPAG. OPAG, VEXAG, LEPAG
    and the newly-formed SBAG - are understood by key policy makers.

    More importantly, the DPS can also influence future budgets, both
    to establish priorities and to grow them.  Earlier this decade, we
    demonstrated we could indeed expand our enterprise, as a large
    fraction of our membership developed the first Decadal Study for
    planetary science. This document quickly became the blueprint for
    planetary exploration, with its declared priorities leading
    directly to the development of the New Frontiers Program, new calls
    for a Flagship mission, continuing support for Discovery missions,
    and the development of new R+A efforts, such as the Origins
    Program. The next Decadal Study will likely start this next year,
    and - given the tremendous trove of discoveries noted above and the
    concomitant public support these have engendered - can lay an even
    stronger foundation for further investments by Congress and the
    Nation in Planetary Science.

    As the new Vice-Chair of the DPS, and as Chair the following year,
    I will work earnestly to foster the budgetary expansion of
    Planetary Science through, for example, (1) increasing meaningful
    contacts between the DPS and influential science managers and
    advisors in NASA, Congress, and the Executive branch, and (2)
    helping to ensure that all facets of the planetary community are
    strongly represented in the development of the new Decadal
    Study. In particular, I will work with the knowledge base embodied
    in past DPS Chairs and committee members, the DPS community at
    large, and the excellent science policy networking resources of our
    parent organization, the AAS, to develop the most effective
    contacts possible with today's policy makers.  I will ensure that
    the DPS vets both the areas of study and the membership of the new
    Decadal Study, to ensure coverage across the broad spectrum of
    planetary science.  As well, as past DPS Chair Mark Sykes
    accomplished in the earlier study by fostering the development of
    community-developed white papers, I will work to ensure the
    opportunity for the entire planetary science community to be
    directly involved in the development of Decadal Study

    I hope that you will support me as we strive to ensure a strong
    future for Planetary Science in America.

Candice Hansen (Vice-Chair): Vita

    Candice Hansen is a principal research scientist at the Jet
    Propulsion Laboratory.  Her primary interest is the study of ices,
    polar caps and tenuous atmospheres throughout the solar system.
    With a B.S. in Physics from California State University, Fullerton,
    she began her career working with the Voyager Imaging Science team
    shortly before the Voyagers were launched.  She continued through
    the Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune flybys, going back to
    graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles,
    between the Uranus and Neptune flybys.  For her Ph.D. dissertation
    she modeled seasonal nitrogen cycles on Triton and Pluto, using
    Voyager data and a climate model based on the seasonal behavior of
    Mars' primary volatile, CO2.  In 1990 she started working with the
    Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) team. As a Cassini
    UVIS Co-Investigator she is particularly interested in planning and
    analyzing data from Saturn's icy satellites, especially Enceladus'
    water vapor plume.  She is also the deputy Principal Investigator
    for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science
    Experiment (HiRISE), and her area of emphasis is studying the
    yearly sublimation of Mars' seasonal CO2 polar cap.  She has
    participated in and/or led proposals for instruments, Discovery,
    Scout and New Frontiers missions, been involved with hardware
    development for flight missions, and operation of flight
    experiments. She received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in
    1990 for her outstanding work and leadership on the Voyager Neptune
    Encounter and again in 2005 for her leadership on Cassini in
    planning the science investigations for Cassini's 44 close Titan

Candice Hansen (Vice Chair): Statement

    In previous years the most serious issue facing the DPS was the
    steady erosion of research and analysis funding.  This year thanks
    to the dedicated effort of Alan Stern and his staff, this problem
    has been largely resolved.  We must remain vigilant, to make sure
    that hard-won progress is not eroded, but we are able now to look
    forward to other looming challenges.  Some of the challenges are
    "good problems" to have.  How do we best fold in the growing
    exoplanet community?  How do we most productively explore the solar
    system with our foreign collaborators?  What is the best way to
    fund our spacecraft missions continuing to return new science data
    and results well into their extended missions in the face of
    considerable pressure to reduce cost?

    A big concern for me is the inclusion of our newest scientists in
    flight missions.  The steady pace of Mars missions launching at
    every opportunity for the last 12 years has given our young Ph.D.'s
    a chance to join science instrument teams and participate in
    science investigations.  With the new outer planet flagship
    followed by the Mars sample return missions considerable funding
    will be invested in large missions.  Opportunities for
    participation on science teams will be limited after the initial
    selection of instrument teams.  We need to find a way to continue
    to offer entry points for young scientists.  I would like to see a
    new model for funding of extended missions that includes
    opportunities for inclusion of new co-investigators rather than
    continuously decreasing funding for science teams.

    The planetary community will embark on a new decadal survey soon.
    The last decadal survey brought us the New Horizons mission to
    Pluto and the Juno mission to Jupiter, both key to fundamental
    progress in understanding solar system formation.  The direction of
    solar system exploration for the future will be similarly
    influenced by the new decadal survey. As a member of the DPS
    leadership I will be keenly interested in how the community is
    involved in the process.  Participation by all stakeholders will be
    key to a program that leads us in a realistic direction that has
    broad community consensus.

    PI-led missions have brought us creative approaches and new ideas
    for exploration.  The cost over-runs in small and large missions
    however have focused attention on this model, and potential
    solutions include requirements for PI experience.  I am convinced
    that PI-led missions are very effective, and that the solution lies
    in how the missions are vetted and selected, not necessarily in
    restrictions on who can lead.

    We need to continue to foster international collaboration.  The
    leveraging of multinational resources means that we can undertake
    much more ambitious programs, and the new outer planets flagship
    mission is an obvious example.  Pragmatic interfaces that allow us
    to operate within ITAR restrictions can be developed.
    Multi-spacecraft endeavors are a possible approach to this, such as
    the convoy of spacecraft that have studied earth's magnetosphere.
    The international participation in the DPS provides a forum for the
    hallway discussions that spark the ideas for these missions.

    As the vice-chair and then chair of the DPS I will use my
    experience to craft enthusiastic but practical approaches to the
    exciting human endeavor to explore space with all our tools -
    telescopes, robotic missions, models - and most of all our

Barbara Cohen (Committee): Vita

    Education and Experience:
    - Planetary Scientist, current, Marshall Space Flight Center
    - Assistant Research Professor, 2003-2008, University of New Mexico
    - Postdocs at University of Hawaii and University of Tennessee
    - PhD Planetary Sciences, 2000, University of Arizona
    - BS Geology, 1993, State University of New York at Stony Brook

    Research focus: Impact cratering, igneous processes, and aqueous
    alteration on solid bodies, using microbeam and radiometric
    geologic techniques on returned samples and meteorites.

    Professional Activities:
    - Co-Chair, International Lunar Network Science Definition Team,
    - NRC/NASA Committee on the Scientific Context for the Exploration
      of the Moon, 2006-07
    - Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extraterrestrial
      Materials (CAPTEM) and CAPTEM Lunar Science Subcommittee, 2003-06
    - Convened special sessions at GSA (2008), DPS (2007), and LPSC
      (2001).  Served on program committee for Early Solar System
      Bombardment Workshop (2008), LPSC (2002-05) and Meteoritical
      Society (2001)
    - Panel member and reviewer for various NASA and NSF R&A programs
      and professional journals

Barbara Cohen (Committee): Statement

    One of the most gratifying aspects of my own research is that data
    gathered from tiny mineral grains constrain dynamical models that
    change our view of solar system formation and evolution. To me,
    this exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of planetary science
    and the great benefits of cross-pollenization to advancing our
    field. When political priorities within our funding agencies shift,
    our diversity helps us take advantage of new opportunities even
    while we collectively advocate a balanced program. As a DPS
    committee member, I pledge to help the DPS continue its role in
    strategic planning for a balanced and diverse planetary science
    community. Spirited DPS meetings, the flagship journal Icarus, and
    a strong Federal Relations subcommittee are vital components of our
    society. Going further, we could help DPS meetings attract wider
    participation =96 for example, invited mini-sessions such as the
    Lunar Bombardment special session at last year's meeting foster
    interaction among subfields. We can help advocate program balance
    by ensuring extensive DPS member feedback into the next planetary
    decadal survey, and could consider report-outs from DPS members
    sitting on various NRC and NAC committees to the general
    membership. I am also interested in continued DPS support to and
    benefit from the AAS Committee on the Status of Women. I have
    gained a lot from my DPS membership since 1993, and it would be my
    pleasure working these issues on behalf of the society.

Geoffrey Collins (Committee): Vita

    Current Position:
    Associate Professor of Geology, Chair of Physics and Astronomy Dept.
    Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts

    Ph.D., Geological Sciences, Brown University, 2000
    B.A., Geology, Carleton College, 1994

    Research Focus:
    Icy satellite geology: Structural geology and tectonics on
    Ganymede; Geology and geophysics on Europa and Enceladus; Fluvial
    erosion and sedimentation on Titan.

    8 first-author publications; 18 coauthor publications; 142
    conference abstracts PI and/or Co-I in NASA OPR, CDAP, and PG&G
    programs, and NSF DUE program

    - Member, Jupiter System Observer SDT
    - Chair, member, and external reviewer for various NASA review
    - Paper reviewer for Icarus, PSS, JSG, JGR, and GRL (2004 editor's
      citation for excellence in refereeing, GRL)
    - Dwornik student paper award judge
    - Space exploration outreach to local schools, church groups,
      astronomy clubs, and elderhostels
    - Member of DPS, AGU, GSA, NAGT, AAAS, Sigma Xi

Geoffrey Collins (Committee): Statement

    The DPS has an important role to play for the planetary science
    community through its invigorating annual meeting, its advocacy on
    behalf of scientists, and keeping its members in the loop on
    current events that affect us as researchers.  As a committee
    member, I will help to make sure that the organization keeps its
    current strengths in these activities.

    Planetary science is an exciting and rapidly evolving field, and
    though there are a large number of laypeople that follow along with
    our mission results, there is an even larger proportion of the
    public that can easily be turned on to planetary science when they
    are informed about our new discoveries and the context in which
    they take place.  The DPS can play a larger role in making sure
    that the public is exposed to the meaningful discoveries in
    planetary science, and in inspiring not only the next generation of
    scientists, but also the next generation of voters and political
    decision makers.  As most of our work is ultimately government
    funded, we are responsible to inform the public about what we've
    done.  We all support expanded R&A programs, but we can do more to
    close the loop - to demonstrate more clearly to decision makers and
    the public how much value the small research and analysis budget
    adds to the much larger amount of money spent on flying missions.

    Besides keeping the pressure up on NASA and other agencies to
    increase resources for research and analysis and to remove
    agonizing snags from the funding pipeline, we also need to be
    advocates for the current (and the next) decadal survey.  We need
    to advocate a balanced portfolio of robotic exploration for all
    parts of the solar system.

    I look forward to using my energy and enthusiasm to help make the
    DPS an even better organization.

Joshua Colwell (Committee): Vita

    Current Position:
    Assistant Professor, Physics Department, University of Central
    Florida, 2006-present

    Past Professional Experience:
    Research Scientist, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics,
    University of Colorado, Boulder, 1989-2006

    Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees,
    Toulouse France, 1995-1996

    Ph.D. in Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Sciences,
    University of Colorado, 1989 B.S. in Physics, (Applied Math minor),
    Stetson University, 1985

    Professional Societies:
    American Geophysical Union, Division for Planetary Sciences,
    American Astronomical Society

    Scientific Interests:
    Origin and evolution of planetary rings
    Dynamics of dust in the solar system
    Physics of the lunar regolith
    Collisional accretion and disruption in the protoplanetary disk
    Thermal modeling of comet nuclei

    Recent Service:
    -Local Organizing Committee for 25th and 39th DPS meetings
    -Scientific Program Committee for 39th DPS meeting
    -Visiting Scientist for Challenger Center (later National Center
     for Earth and Space Science Education) Journey Through the
     Universe: weeklong visits to underserved K-12 school
     districts. 2004-2006.
    -Review panel member for NASA and NSF
    -Manuscript reviewer for Icarus, JGR, PSS, AJ, Science, ApJ
    -Astronomy talks at local K-12 schools
    -Open house host for special events at CU.

    NASA Group Achievement Awards (Voyager at Neptune, Cassini)
    NASA Space Act Board Award
    NASA JPL Interplanetary Network Directorate Team Award

Joshua Colwell (Committee): Statement

    The DPS has grown dramatically since the first meeting I attended
    more than 20 years ago. With that growth we have seen our influence
    at NASA increase as well. The DPS should continue targeted
    campaigns in Washington to help grow a more robust Research and
    Analysis portfolio at NASA and to build on recent gains at
    headquarters to help improve the process of grant awarding,
    disbursement, and communication with the community.

    Our efforts must also be directed toward the public who are our
    ultimate customer. As a community we are producing results of
    historic importance, and more can be done to bring these results to
    the public. Visits by nearly 1000 school children to last year's
    DPS meeting are one example of how the DPS as an organization can
    have a broader impact. There are many other avenues afforded by the
    internet that are being successfully used by various
    missions. However, the work of individuals and small research
    groups on the theoretical side as well as ground-based observations
    frequently does not get the exposure it deserves. The DPS could
    help facilitate dissemination of results from all members of our
    community to a broader public in addition to the work it is already
    doing in communicating with the press at the annual meeting.

    We are all committed to a variety of projects in our scientific
    community, from our own research projects, to various service
    activities such as reviewing papers and proposals. I therefore
    think that our greatest impact can be achieved through careful
    selection of the particular issues we wish to address with
    policymakers and funding agencies followed by focused efforts to
    get action on those issues. A recent example of one such issue
    affecting us all is the extension of the maximum allowed proposal
    duration for R and A grants, with a recognition that a
    simultaneous effort must be made to provide on-ramps for young
    researchers. The annual meeting is a unique opportunity for us to
    get broad community input on the priorities of the DPS for the
    following year, so getting broader participation in the business
    meeting is something that we need to continue to pursue.

    I look forward to the opportunity to work on the DPS committee to
    help strengthen our community and strengthen our voice in
    Washington as well as across the country.

Anne Verbiscer (Committee): Vita

    -Ph.D. Planetary Sciences, Cornell University, 1991
    -B.S. Physics, Rhodes College, 1986

    -Research Associate and Mission Planner, Cassini Imaging Central
     Laboratory for Operations, Space Science Institute, 2007-present
    -Research Scientist, University of Virginia, 2001-present
     (currently on leave)
    -Visiting Assistant Professor, Mount Holyoke College, 1997-1998
    -Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts,
    -Consultant, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1992-1995
    -Research Associate, Cornell University, 1992-1995

    -Cassini Science Planning, Satellite Orbiter Science Team
    -Cassini ISS team associate
    -PI on HST and Spitzer programs
    -PI on NASA Planetary Astronomy (PAST), Cassini Data Analysis
     (CDAP) programs
    -Co-I on NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics (PG&G) program
    -Coordinated worldwide campaign to observe the 2005 Opposition of
     Saturn's satellites using 15 telescopes at 10 observatories in the
     U.S. and Europe and HST.

    -Member, NASA Planetary Systems Science Management Operations
     Working Group (PSS-MOWG), 2005-present
    -Participant, Congressional Visits Day, 2007, 2008
    -Member, 2008 DPS Meeting Local Organizing Committee
    -Member, DPS Education Subcommittee 2007-present
    -Member, 1997 DPS Meeting Program Committee
    -NASA Planetary Astronomy Review Panel 1994-1996, 2005
    -NSF Planetary Astronomy Review Panel 2005
    -Space Telescope Science Institute TAC (Solar System) 2004
    -Numerous outreach activities with the Science Museum of Virginia
     (produced planetarium show), Girl Scouts, local Astronomy Clubs,
     Cassini Scientist for a Day

    -Photometric properties of planetary surfaces: icy satellites,
     transneptunian objects, asteroids; Enceladus' plumes; planetary
     rings.  Near-infrared spectroscopy of outer Solar System bodies

Anne Verbiscer (Committee): Statement

    Since attending my first DPS meeting in 1986, the DPS has been my
    professional home and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve
    the planetary community as a DPS Committee member.

    Membership in the DPS is the primary means by which most of us are
    connected to the international community of planetary scientists.
    The annual meeting provides the ideal opportunity to interact
    personally with colleagues, present our latest research results,
    and learn about discoveries made by other fellow solar system
    explorers.  I have worked on the Program Committee of the 1997 DPS
    meeting and am currently working with the Local Organizing
    Committee for the 2008 DPS meeting.  As a DPS Committee member, I
    will use this experience to promote the success of future annual

    In many ways, the success of the DPS meetings depends directly on
    healthy Research and Analysis (R&A) programs at both NASA and the
    NSF.  Over the past year, we have seen many positive changes in R&A
    at NASA, particularly those effected through the establishment of
    the Senior Advisor for Research and Analysis (SARA).  NASA has
    demonstrated that the agency is not only willing to listen to the
    concerns of our community regarding R&A but is responsive to those
    concerns. However, many challenges and uncertainties lie ahead in
    this presidential election year.  NASA's FY09 budget includes an
    ambitious suite of future missions for which the available funds
    appear to be only barely adequate, and, if cost overruns are
    allowed to eat into these marginal budgets, painful sacrifices may
    become necessary and may include reductions in R&A. Maintaining
    balance between and within the four Science Mission Directorate
    divisions may prove to be impossible without increased funding.  I
    am heartened to see that the NASA Authorization Act of 2008,
    recently unanimously passed by the House Committee on Science and
    Technology's Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, requests $1.9
    billion over the agency's FY09 request (including $148.8 million
    more for planetary science), restoring the effective cuts in
    previous year's budgets which have not kept pace with inflation
    since the last Authorization Act in 2005.

    As a participant in the Science Engineering Technology
    Congressional Visits Day (CVD) for the past two years, I have
    joined the AAS delegation asking members of Congress to increase
    funding for research and development. As a DPS Committee member, I
    will use my experience and insights gained as a CVD participant to
    continue to be a voice for the planetary community and communicate
    the critical need for adequate funding of scientific research, not
    only for the present, but especially for the future.  Any cuts in
    science funding deeply compromise our ability to attract and
    maintain young researchers, our "seed corn", the very people who
    will be enjoying the fruits of the missions we can only dream about

    Toward this end, as a DPS Committee member, I will work to improve
    the effectiveness of the CVD by actively seeking participants from
    critical congressional districts such as those of House and Senate
    Appropriations Subcommittee members.  These Subcommittees are
    directly responsible for establishing funding levels for both NASA
    and the NSF, and visits from member constituents assure that our
    voices are heard by those who most need to hear them.

    Finally, as a DPS Committee member, I would encourage DPS members
    to take advantage of all opportunities to convey our enthusiasm and
    appreciation for the public's support of the exploration of the
    Solar System.  I will offer any assistance I can provide to E/PO
    within NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) to simplify both
    the acquisition and implementation of the E/PO supplement grants,
    upon resumption from their current hiatus status at SMD.  So many
    youngsters have an infectiously keen interest in space exploration
    as elementary school-aged children that somehow either wanes or
    gets squelched by the time they enter high school and college.  I
    would like to find ways to maintain that interest level that is so
    clearly present at an early age.  NASA's spacecraft missions,
    enabled by taxpayers, are the crown jewels of its science programs.
    We need to preserve the awe and wonder instilled by viewing images
    from other worlds and translate these emotional responses into real
    support for the continued exploration of our solar neighborhood.
    Current plans have the Space Shuttle retiring in 2010, leaving
    NASA's robotic missions, many with significant international
    participation, to be the most visible symbols of the agency's

    I would be truly honored to serve the DPS community as a Committee
    member and I look forward to working with the chair, vice-chair,
    and other committee members to promote the goals and interests of
    the planetary community as a whole.



      The next meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the
NASA Advisory Council will be on 23-24 June in room E100E of Building
1 at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The agenda will include the
usual updates on the Planetary Science and Mars Exploration Programs
and reports on the activities of the community-based assessment groups
(MEPAG, LEAG, OPAG, etc.)  There will also be presentations on the
Cassini extended mission, the current status of planning for Mars
Sample Return and the Outer Planet Flagship and a the results of
studies on the drivers for cost overruns and schedule slips.  The
meeting is open to the public up to the capacity of the room.
Attendees will be requested to sign a register and to comply with NASA
security requirements, including the presentation of a valid picture
ID, before receiving an access badge.  Foreign nationals attending
this meeting will be required to provide the following information no
less than 15 working days prior to the meeting: full name; gender;
date/place of birth; citizenship; social security number; green card
information (resident alien number, expiration date); visa information
(number, type, expiration date); passport information (number, country
of issue, expiration date); employer/affiliation information (name of
institution, title/position, address, country of employer, telephone,
email address); title/position of attendee.  To expedite admittance,
attendees with U.S. citizenship can provide identifying information 4
working days in advance by contacting Marian Norris via email at or by telephone at (202) 358-4452.

Michael New
Executive Secretary, Planetary Science Subcommittee



1) Post-Doc Position In Planetary Dynamics at the Observatoire de la
Cote D'Azur in Nice (France)

A new post-doc position will be open from October 2008 in the
Planetary Science Team at the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur in
Nice. The position is for one year, but renewable up to three
years. The net salary will be 2.200 Euros/month and will include
medical coverage.

The object of this post-doctoral research will be to investigate in
details the dynamical evolution of the asteroid belt during the period
of Late Heavy Bombardment of the terrestrial planets, with emphasis on
the history of the cratering rate on Earth and the origin of
projectiles. Other aspects of small bodies' evolutions during the
same phase of Solar System history will also be investigated.

Applicants should have some knowledge of dynamics in the Solar System
and some experience in the use of numerical integrators.  Applications
should include a CV, a list of publications and three letters of
recommendation. The applications should be sent before June 30, 2008
by email to Alessandro Morbidelli (, whom applicants
may contact for further information.

The position will be funded by the Helmholtz-Society through the
Research Alliance `Planetary Evolution and Life'.  The Alliance
is led and managed by Institut f=FCr Planetenforschung, Deutsches
Zentrum f=FCr Luft- und Raumfahrt, Berlin.

2) PhD Student Fellowships, Solar System Physics, Max Planck Institute

Several fellowships for PhD students in solar system physics


Contact: Dieter Schmitt, Max Planck Institute for Solar System
Research, Phone Number: +49 5556 979 431

3) Planetary Physicist, Max Planck Institute for Solar System
Research, to participate in the science planning and data analysis of
the DAWN Framing Camera

Information about our research program can be found at

We need support to prepare for the scientific investigations
(operations planning), to operate the cameras, and for scientific data
analysis. The candidate is expected to take an active role in the
science planning, data reduction and analysis, and in the operation of
the Framing Camera onboard NASA's DAWN spacecraft. He/she shall
support the scientific mission planning, development of tools, and
appropriate preparation of the science data analysis. Extended stays
in the US (science & operations center at UCLA) have to be
supported. It is expected that the candidate will pursue his/her
research in the field of minor planetary bodies in order to support
the scientific goals of the DAWN mission.

Qualifications: University degree in physics, several years of
experience in asteroid research, experience with space instruments and
operations. Knowledge of mission simulation software (e.g. SPICE,
SOA), IDL, and experience in CCD data analysis are of
advantage. Fluent command of English is mandatory.

The position is available immediately for an initial period of four
years up to and including Vesta orbit. The DAWN mission will nominally
end in the year 2016. Salary and benefits will be enumerated according
to the TV=F6D scale of the German civil services based on qualification
and experience.

Applicants should include a CV, a list of past employers
(certificates), and a list of publications.  Applications should be
sent until 30th of June 2008 to:

Max-Planck-Institut f=FCr Sonnensystemforschung
Dr. H. Sierks
Max-Planck-Str. 2
37191 Katlenburg-Lindau



1) 3rd European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC#3), Muenster, Germany,
21-26 September 2008


Online submission abstract deadline, June 13th (tomorrow!)

Note this session:

OA3: "Observing the Solar System: Contributions from Amateur Astronomy
to Planetary Research"

This session should provide a platform to foster or even strengthen
cooperation between amateur astronomers and planetary
researchers. Experience reports from technical equipment,
observational techniques, data analysis methods (e.g., telescopes,
videoastronomy, image processing), ground-based observations of the
Moon, inner and outer planets, asteroids, comets, meteor showers, and
coordinated observational campaigns are welcome. The session will
include solicited and contributed papers; poster presentations are
particularly encouraged.

There will be reduced registration fees for teachers and amateur

Susanne Huttemeister,
Silvia Kowollik,
Frank Sohl,