Officer Responsibilities

DPS Officer Responsibilities

Last Update: 30 January 2023


  • Run all DPS Committee and business meetings. There are usually monthly committee telecons (or more frequently as needed).  There are two committee meetings associated with the annual DPS meeting (one on the day before the meeting starts, one towards of the end of the week run by the new Chair).  There is also a committee meeting in May, generally at the AAS offices, associated with visits to congressional representatives to promote DPS concerns.   The annual business meeting occurs during the annual DPS meeting.
  • Communication and marshalling of the DPS membership on issues of interest to the society. Educating the DPS membership on effective advocacy of the value of planetary science in the modern world.  In the past few years this has involved political issues, issues with NASA HQ on grants, the decadal survey, DPS financial resources, and other broad issues of that sort.
  • Write annual DPS report for the AAS.
  • Attend AAS Council meetings if possible.
  • Invite participants and organizes the structure of NASAagency night held in conjunction with the annual meeting.
  • Responsible for making prize notifications, and awards DPS prizes at the annual meeting.
  • Serve as the DPS contact for persons or groups coming forward as hosts of future annual meetings.
  • Oversight of the meeting for which you are Chair.  This means interacting regularly with the LOC and the AAS.  Contract negotiation for meeting venues are conducted by the AAS office, with the DPS chair serving as the principal DPS contact for this process.  The chair coordinates all budgetary decisions between the LOC and the AAS meeting staff, with consultation with the committee as necessary.  The registration rate is decided at the May meeting.
  • Maintain frequent contact with the Secretary and Treasurer on the ongoing activities of the operation of the Division.
  • Have working knowledge of how to do a DPS emailing for immediate actions when the Secretary may not be available.
  • Interact with Icarus editor as needed
  • Thank you letters after annual DPS meeting (to LOC, SOC, volunteers, AAS staff).

Vice Chair

  • Participate in regular committee meeting teleconferences to fulfill responsibilities to division’s membership.
  • Fill in for the Chair during any Chair absences.
  • One year of watching what the Chair does to prepare for the year as Chair. Effectively it is a “training period.”
  • Responsible for solicitation and awarding of the student travel grants for the annual meeting in the year you serve as Vice-Chair.  Also encourage donations to the Hartmann travel grant fund and maintain a healthy financial status for the various prize funds.
  • Participate in the oversight of the annual meeting that occurs in the year you serve as Vice-Chair.
  • Oversight on behalf of DPS of the annual meeting that occurs in the year you serve as Chair.
  • Have working knowledge of how to do a DPS emailing for immediate actions when the Secretary and Chair may not be available.
  • Serve as liaison to the Federal Relations Subcommittee

Past Chair

  • Chairs the Prize Subcommittee, responsible for the nomination and selection process, and for getting the citations in order for the winners.

Education and Public Outreach Officer

The Division for Planetary Sciences is committed to enriching educational experiences for students, teachers, and the general public in the multiple disciplines of planetary science and supporting disciplines of math and technology. We wish to use our wealth of space science expertise to excite and inspire the next generation of space scientists and to demonstrate the value of planetary exploration and discovery to the nation. Our membership are involved in a wide array of education and public outreach activities including classroom visits, training for formal and informal educators, product and curriculum review, systemic education reform, science content advisors, after school clubs, as well as public outreach through books, journals, and radio and TV interviews. To assist DPS members in contributing to these goals, the DPS E/PO officer will:

  • Develop, solicit, and organize E/PO-related workshops at annual meeting.
  • Work with E/PO liaison on SOC to organize E/PO sessions (talks and posters).
  • Act as POC for membership who want to promote their E/PO opportunities.
  • Act as POC for members who want to connect to E/PO opportunities.
  • Solicit input from membership on their E/PO needs. 
  • Create awareness of and engage DPS members in wider E/PO initiatives (e.g. Asteroid Day, Trick or Treat and Telescopes).
  • Maintain the Education section of DPS website.

Federal Relations Officer

  • Maintain positive relationships between the Division and government agencies that support research and elected officials who allocate funding.
  • Serve as the Federal Relations Subcommittee Chair.


  • Maintain close contact with the DPS Committee by attending meetings and telecons insofar as regular duties and schedule permit.
  • Consult with DPS officers, particularly the Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer, about the preservation of their records during their terms in office and in a central repository after their terms are completed.
  • Determine current techniques and standards for the preservation of both written and digital records, and apply these techniques as far as possible to DPS records.
  • Find a suitable archive for DPS records that currently exist in written form and establish a protocol for access to these materials and the addition of more society-related materials as they are generated by the officers and other members of the organization.
  • Make occasional reports to the DPS officers, at such times and on such occasions as they request, on the status of the society’s records and their availability.
  • Remain in contact with the curator of archival materials at the chosen facility and advise on questions that might arise concerning access by other parties.

Press Officer

  • Media relations before and during the DPS Conferences.  This involves:
    • Media alerts four to six weeks prior to the meeting
    • Create a list of media representatives interested in covering a meeting, whether in person or other means
    • Work with the LOC to ensure that a Press Room and a Press Briefing Room are available
    • Make sure that the media needs during the conference are met by properly attending to the Press Office (internet, telephone, Printer/PC, FAX
    • Urge the LOC to provide refreshments to the media as is customary at all the meetings currently
    • Be in contact with the SPC for any media stories, issues and contacts with the local media
    • Handle any embargo or access issues for media coverage of the DPS meeting
    • Solicit text releases from the briefers and release them in adherence to embargo dates through the AAS Press Officer
    • Any other media issues that might crop up
  • Prize announcements and associated press releases
  • General Comments:
    • The DPS Press Officer works closely with the AAS Press Officer who maintains a list of press contacts.  All DPS releases are sent to the list by the AAS Press Officer.


    • Write minutes of all meetings including telecons and include them in the archive on BoardEffect.
    • Distribute eNews to membership.
    • Maintain various records and documents.
      • DPS Meeting Guide
      • Prize Subcommittee instruction guide
      • Contracts for meetings
      • Nominating Subcommittee instruction guide
      • Committee and Subcommittee membership list
      • DPS Committee letterhea
      • DPS By-laws
      • Membership data
    • Oversee membership matters.
    • Help draft MOU with AAS as needed
    • Conduct the annual election.
    • Prepare prize certificates, citations.
    • Oversee By-laws changes as needed.
    • Write or organize input for newsletter articles for the AAS newsletter.
    • Provide corporate memory

    Student Representative

    • Communicate interests of planetary science students to the Committee.


    • Prepare financial statements.
    • Prepare an annual Committee budget, approve and make disbursements.
    • Oversee DPS annual meeting expenditures made by AAS and meeting LOC.
    • Provide corporate memory.
    • Prepare an annual meeting budget.
    • Manage disbursements to recipients of DPS grants and DPS prizes.


    • Website maintenance
      • Routine Tasks
        • Post each DPS newsletter issue (frequency 2-4 per month)
        • Update other web pages as needed
      • Coordinate with the Press Officer and Secretary to release the annual DPS prize announcements
      • Provide access and instruction to other DPS leaders who directly maintain sections of the website relevant to their areas of responsibility
      • Develop new website capabilities as needed
      • Maintain the DPS photo archive
    • Maintain email distribution lists of DPS leaders
    • Provide semi-annual reports to DPS committee on website status using Google Analytics
    • Communicate with AAS IT staff whenever their assistance/advice may be needed to accomplish above tasks
    • Attend DPS committee meetings


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