DPS 2019 Elections



The 2019 election for DPS Vice-Chair and Committee is now open, and will close on July 31st 2019.

To vote you will receive an email asking you to cast your ballot. Each email contains a link with a unique code that will bring you to the ballot site. There is no need to enter your AAS login information this year. You will be able to review the candidate statements and cast your vote.

You should vote for one of the two candidates for Vice-Chair:

  • Amy Mainzer
  • Matt Tiscareno

The Vice-Chair will become the DPS Chair in October 2020.

You should vote for two of the four candidates for DPS Committee:

  • Dana Hurley
  • Franck Marchis
  • Jay Pasachoff
  • Noemi Pinilla-Alonso

The successful candidates will serve on the Committee for three years.

The detailed vitae and position statements for each of the candidates follow.  This information will also appear on the election page when you click on the link in your email sent from the AAS.




Candidate biographical notes and statements follow in alphabetical order.







Ph.D. in Astronomy, UCLA, 2003

M.S. in Astronomy, Caltech, 2001

B.S. in Physics, Stanford, 1995



Professor of Planetary Science, University of Arizona, 2019

Senior Research Scientist, JPL, 2015 – 2019

Principal Scientist, JPL, 2012 – 2015

Research Scientist, JPL, 2003 – 2012

Senior Systems Engineer, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, 1995 – 2003


Principal Investigator, NEOWISE mission, 2011 – present

Principal Investigator, NEOCam, 2005 – present

Deputy Project Scientist, WISE, 2003 – 2011

Lead Engineer for Spitzer Pointing Calibration & Reference Sensor, 1995 – 2003

Graduate work on SOFIA instrument, 2001 – 2003


Community Service:

Vice Chair, NASA Planetary Advisory Committee, 2018 – present

Board Member, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2019

LSST Science Advisory Committee, 2015 – present

NASA Planetary Science Subcommittee, 2014 – 2017

JPL Senior Research Scientist Council, 2017 – present

JPL Senior Research Scientist Council Diversity Subcommittee, 2018 – present

Reviewer for ROSES, Senior Reviews, journals, and various telescope time allocation committees

NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group Steering Committee, 2011 – 2013


Education & Outreach:

Curriculum advisor, host, executive producer for PBS Kids TV series Ready Jet Go!, 2012 – present (274 million views; airing in 176 countries around the world)

Co-hosted 2017 solar eclipse at Homestead National Monument with Bill Nye (~20,000 visitors, ~650,000 livestream viewers)

Interviews for History Channel, Nat Geo, Discovery, BBC, etc.

Mentor for Sally Ride Science Festival, 2007, 2009

Advisor to 5 postdoctoral fellows

Mentor or co-mentor to ~2 dozen high school students, undergraduates, grad students



Thank you for considering me for DPS Chair. My background is in building and using visible and infrared systems for use in astronomical applications; over the last decade I’ve been using them to study our solar system’s minor planets. I’ve learned about the importance of leadership and teamwork from working on the Spitzer Space Telescope, the SOFIA airborne observatory, and from my experience as the principal investigator of both the NEOWISE mission and the Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) proposal to find, track, and characterize potentially hazardous asteroids and comets. Professional societies like DPS play an incredibly important role in advocating for science, and I am motivated to run because I want to do my part to ensure a welcoming and equitable environment for planetary scientists from all walks of life. Public outreach has been as important to me as writing papers because I remember all too well what it was like to be a kid who loved science but had no idea of how to go about becoming a professional scientist.


I am passionate about helping to improve the futures of our earliest career scientists. As someone who has walked between industry, a national lab, and now a new job in academia, I’ve learned that excellent science can be done in a wide variety of arenas. I spent eight years at Lockheed Martin as an engineer leading the development and delivery of the fine guidance sensor for the Spitzer Space Telescope; during five of these years I worked part time on Spitzer while in graduate school. I’ve worked for 16 years as a staff scientist at JPL and am now beginning a new position at LPL as a professor. Working with the PBS Kids network on a science show for children ages 3-8 and on other TV shows and outreach events has also further cemented my commitment to helping others find their way into science, regardless of background. Helping early career researchers learn how to enter the field and make an impact – through industry, national labs, or education – is a priority.


By organizing workshops focusing on non-academic career paths, proposal writing, and project management skill development, I’d like to expand the work of the DPS professional development subcommittee to help early career folks find the many opportunities where they can shine and thrive. From mentoring students, I’ve observed that many do not know how education in science is financed and are consequently afraid to even apply to graduate school. The burden of educational debt is discouraging many fine students. Finding ways for DPS to offer counseling for our earliest career students on the “business” aspects of how to obtain an education in planetary science without accruing punishing debt is also a high priority.


Finally, doing science requires an environment that fully supports everyone regardless of their background, and one that is free from all types of harassment, professional or otherwise. My top priority is to review the DPS policies with regards to harassment and diversity/inclusion to ensure that they are equitable for all. The DPS is an organization devoted to promoting the health of our profession, and it can play a big role in setting a standard of excellence for our home institutions for fairness and equality. I want to ensure that our policies with regards to meetings, publications, and outreach reflect our values so that others feel inspired to advocate for their adoption elsewhere. The DPS professional culture climate subcommittee has laid the groundwork, and I’d like to ensure that their recommendations are given full consideration. My goal is to help remove some of the barriers that prevent talented and deserving people from achieving their dreams of working in planetary science.





Ph.D. in Planetary Science, University of Arizona: 2004

B.S. in Planetary Science, Caltech: 1998



Senior Research Scientist, SETI Institute: 2015–present

Senior Research Associate, Cornell University: 2011–15

Research Associate, Cornell University: 2004–11


Team Memberships and Associations:

Planetary Data System (PDS) Ring-Moon Systems Node, Team Member: 2015–present

Cassini Participating Scientist: 2013–19

Cassini Imaging Team Associate: 2004–19


Selected Honors and Awards:

NASA Group Achievement Award (Cassini Imaging Team): 2009, 2018

Certificate of Excellence in Reviewing, Icarus: 2013

NASA Early Career Fellowship: 2011


Selected Service to the Community:

AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS): 

– DPS Professional Culture and Climate Subcommittee member: 2016–present

– DPS Meeting LOC member: 2008

– DPS Meeting SOC member: 2011, 2014

AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA): 

– DDA Committee member: 2014–16

– DDA LOC Co-Chair: 2018

– DDA SOC member: 2016, 2017

Director, SETI Institute site, NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU): 2017–present

Member, NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) Roadmap Study Team: 201617



I am honored to have been asked to run for DPS Vice Chair.  The DPS is our community, as planetary scientists, and there is much we can do to strengthen the institution and to steer it in the direction we want our community to go.


Our annual meetings have been steadily growing in size, and thanks to the dedication of volunteer organizers and AAS staff, have been consistently successful both financially and as community gatherings.  We must continue to balance cost with convenience while improving accessibility. 


We must continue to faithfully discharge our role as the voice of the planetary science community, particularly in the U.S.  We must consistently and resolutely make our priorities clear to stakeholders in the administration and Congress, including a sensible mix of missions and research with sufficient funding, the integration of excellence with work-life balance for researchers, and attention to the diversity and well-being of the next generation of our workforce.  We must also speak directly to the public, not only as individuals but also occasionally the DPS as an institution, to share our passion for our work and to advocate for sound scientific thinking in public life.


The Planetary Science Decadal Survey will soon go into full swing, and we must ensure that the process is structured to encourage the expression of diverse viewpoints and to fairly weigh the community’s consensus.  The breadth of our scientific interests is among our strengths, and the priorities set by the Decadal Survey should prioritize robust continuation of excellent work in all corners of our community.


I believe we should strive for a community that is not only diverse but also equitable and inclusive, a community in which everyone is equipped with what they need to flourish.  The DPS as an institution should avoid political partisanship in order to maximize the readiness of all segments of society to value our work and leadership as scientists.  However, we cannot close our eyes to the needs of our own members, especially those who are subject to unjust marginalization.  We have made progress in promoting inclusive institutions and in fighting harassment that may occur during our meetings, thanks in part to the leadership of the DPS Professional Culture and Climate Subcommittee, but much remains to be done. Tasks for the future include 1) posting online a report on the meeting venue’s accessibility, at least several months in advance, so that prospective attendees with specific needs can make informed decisions; 2) developing a method of collecting voluntary demographic information that is both secure and sensitive to the needs of marginalized communities, to enable an informed response to implicit bias; and 3) codifying recent advances, when it seems sensible, so that they become the default for future years.


More important than any specific policy or initiative is to maintain our bonds of community and mutual respect.  Like any community, our members hold divergent viewpoints, and everybody’s perspective is important.  One thing I pledge is to always be ready to listen, and to engage in good-faith dialogue. 


The DPS has been a home for me since I first attended the 2000 meeting as a starry-eyed graduate student.  I have attended every meeting since, except one.  I am also active in another AAS division (the DDA), where I gained experience as a division committee member.  I have served on various committees and have been generally active in community governance discussions.  I would be honored to serve in this capacity. 






Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory


Research Focus:

Inventory and evolution of volatiles at planets: Moon, Mars, Mercury, asteroids

Ambient and transient processes in sparse atmospheres: Moon, Enceladus, Mercury

Solar wind interaction with planetary bodies: Mars, Moon, Venus, comets, asteroids



Ph.D.   Space Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, TX, 1999

M.S.   Space Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, TX, 1996

B.A.   Physics, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1993



Principal Professional Staff, JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, 2016-present

Assistant Group Supervisor, JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, 2016-present

Senior Professional Staff, JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, 2008-2016

Assistant Research Professor, The Catholic University of America, 2001-2008

NRC Resident Research Associate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 1999-2001


Mission Experience:

Mars Global Surveyor, Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer Team        

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lyman Alpha Mapping Project Co-I        

Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, Guest Investigator; Science Definition Team


Selected Service to the Community:

NASA Planetary science Advisory Committee, 2018-present

Friends of Lunar/NEO Volatiles Focus Group Chair, 2012-2018

Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Executive Committee, 2015-2018

Diversity Advisory Team, JHUAPL Space Exploration Sector, 2012-present

Icarus Guest Editor: Lunar Volatiles (2015); Solar Wind Interaction with Mars (2009)



Throughout my career, I have had the privilege to work on exciting science enabled by robust spacecraft missions with highly capable and inspiring colleagues. I believe that it is both my responsibility and an honor to give back to the planetary science community through service. On the DPS Committee, I would work to ensure that the planetary science community remains strong and vibrant.


To be a strong community, we should promote and share our exciting results with the world, including the general public, the funding agencies, and elected officials. On the DPS Committee, I would help the DPS to provide input to the stakeholders that is needed for them to make informed decisions regarding future funding and changes in NASA programs. For example, as the planetary science community ramps up to the next US Planetary Science Decadal Survey, we have a short window of time to organize the community to provide inputs. I would work to use the excellent venue for collaborating that is provided by DPS meetings to build consensus for decadal survey white papers.


To be a vibrant community, we should foster an environment and culture in which all scientists can collaborate and contribute. Our science is inherently interdisciplinary; thus we benefit from the diversity of thought that comes with inclusion of researchers of different backgrounds. On the DPS Committee, I would leverage my experience implementing diversity initiatives at JHUAPL to further the work of DPS and AAS in diversity and inclusion. Of immediate need is to ensure that meetings are environments that are safe from harassment and bullying. In addition, we should highlight the work and contributions of the full spectrum of researchers in our field through invited talks, awards, and appointed positions. 




Education and Career:

  • Jun 2017 –                 Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Unistellar
  • Nov 2012 –               Senior Research and Science Outreach Manager at SETI Institute
  • Mar 2014 – Jan 2017            Senior AO Application scientist at Iris AO Inc.
  • Jul 2007 – Nov 2012             Research Scientist at the SETI Institute
  • Jun 2003 – Jun 2011 Assistant Research Astronomer at UC Berkeley 
  • Nov 2000 – May 2003         Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley Department of Astronomy 
  • October 2000                        Ph.D., Université P. Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  • Nov 1998 – Sep 2000           Ph.D. Student at the European Southern Observatory
  • Jun 1997 – Oct 1998            French National Service at the European Southern Observatory
  • Jul 1996 – Jan 1997  Research Assistant at UNAM, Mexico         
  • June 1996                 Master in Planetary Science, Université P. Sabatier, Toulouse, France                    



  • Planetary astronomer with twenty years of experience in academic, international, and non-profit scientific institutions. Conducted multiple research projects in a wide range of areas.
  • Instrumentation for ground-based telescopes with emphasis on adaptive optics (AO) systems
  • Data-processing and analysis of astronomical and fluorescence microscopy images by deconvolution
  • Research studies including Io volcanic activity, Titan, Uranus, and Neptune, search for moons around asteroids and planets around other stars using a wide variety of instruments, leading to 134 publications in major journals including NatureScienceIcarus, and Astrophysical Journal.


Community service and outreach: 

  • Instructed numerous students, organized and taught academic and professional development courses, gave professional and public conference presentations
  • Consultant and interviewee for several science movies and documentaries (e.g. Incoming!Disaster Playground) for the Science channel, BBC, ARTE and news media in English, French, and Spanish.
  • Peer reviewer for scientific journals and panelist for NASA grants
  • Currently advising two Ph.D. students and have advised more than 20 undergraduate and master students
  • Served at the ESO OPC committee
  • Member of the Thirty-Meter Telescope International Science Definition Team for Solar System since Oct. 2013
  • Member of several ground-based instrumentation science teams, including ERIS, ESO next generation AO system (since 2011), NGAO the Keck next generation AO (since 2006), Gemini Planet Imager (since 2003), GNAO (since March 2019)
  • Organized sessions about asteroid research and exoplanet studies at the AGU Fall meeting since 2009, and at the Astrobiology Conferences since 2014



The Division for Planetary Sciences, which is now 51 years old, is the largest special interest division within the AAS. I have been a member since 2000 and share the energy and excitement that make our community so vibrant, and that have made possible our enormous achievements in fields as varied as missions to explore the solar system, to the deployment of space and ground-based telescopes, to our work on outreach, education, and inclusion. This is truly the golden age of astronomy, especially planetary astronomy. Our hard work and innovation have also made this a golden age for the AAS.


I would be honored to serve on the DPS committee. If elected, I plan to direct my efforts to modernizing the DPS by embracing new tools and ideas to foster communication between and among members, and to initiate new collaborations and conversations during our annual meeting and in our publication portfolio. I want to make sure that the DPS remains a welcoming place for all planetary astronomers, respects their differences, and gives voice to underrepresented groups in all their diversity, including from the LGBTQ community and from scientists with families. It’s important to keep in mind that an institution that reflects the diversity and modernity of our world can produce better results by attracting dynamic people from all backgrounds.


If elected, I will also give a voice to planetary astronomers who, like me, have chosen to fund their research through soft money and/or through public-private partnerships by founding or joining a private company. It’s unrealistic to expect agencies like NASA and science-funding institutions like the NSF in the U.S., and their equivalents in other countries, to fund all planetary research. DPS should encourage and promote new and alternative funding sources by increasing the spirit of entrepreneurship in planetary science. 


My research has focused on the development and use of adaptive optics to study solar system bodies from asteroids to Io and the icy giants, and more recently to the direct imaging of exoplanets. I am involved in numerous concept studies for instruments such as the 8-10m class telescopes (Gemini, VLT), the coming extremely large telescopes (TMT), and the next generation of space telescopes (HabEx, Project Blue). For the reasons described above, I believe that I could well represent the DPS community in its diversity if I am elected.




Solar-system research involvement

Mercury: transit studies 1999 (spacecraft), 2003, 2006, 2016, 2019 (planned)

Venus: transit studies 2004/2012 and historical; use as exoplanet-transit analogue

Earth: infrared volcanic-flame spectra; effect of solar eclipses on terrestrial atmosphere (2001, 2009, 2017)

Jupiter: Hubble observations, 14 orbits, ToV from Jupiter; exoplanet-related publication

Saturn: Cassini VIMS data to detect a transit of Venus

Uranus: occultation ring observations

Neptune: occultation ring-search observations; Triton occultation observations

Pluto: extensive occultation studies, as part of MIT-Williams group; NASA grants

Ultima Thule: part of a NASA/SwRI occultation expedition to Argentina in 2017

Small bodies: historical; art-historical

Sun: 70 solar eclipses (34 totals); coronal studies; other chromospheric/photospheric research

Moon: Baily’s beads eclipse observations with LRO 3D map for eclipse prediction and the implications for solar size; historical and art-historical studies

comets: art-historical studies

exoplanets: testing MCMC method for exoplanet spots on our HST Jupiter observations

SETI: suggested and tested neutrino communication idea



Comment from the floor at 2006 IAU responsible for omitting Charon as a dwarf planet



Bronx High School of Science

Harvard College A.B.; Harvard grad school in astronomy, A.M., Ph.D.

Postdocs: Harvard College Observatory; Caltech and Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories


Long-term position

Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., now Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Hopkins Observatory



Institute for Astronomy, U. Hawaii; Institut d’Astrophysique, Paris; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Caltech Department of Planetary Science; (currently) Carnegie Observatories


Officer and committee member:

Former President, Commission 46 (Astronomy Education and Development) of the International Astronomical Union; U.S. National Liaison to the Commission (now C.C1 Astronomy Education and Development) and its predecessor, The Teaching of Astronomy;

Chair, Working Group on Solar Eclipses of the International Astronomical Union, Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage and Division E Sun and Heliosphere:

Member, Johannes Kepler Working Group, IAU Commission 41 (now C.C3) on the History of Astronomy

Member, IAU Division C Commission C1 (C.C1) Working Group, Theory and Methods in Astronomy Education

Member, IAU Division C Commission C1 (C.C1) Working Group, Network for Astronomy School Education

Past Chair, Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society (2015-17); Chair (2013-2015)

Organizing Committee, International Astronomical Union C.C3 on the History of Astronomy (2015-2018)

IAU Working Group on Star Names (2016–), Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage,https://www.iau.org/science/scientific_bodies/working_groups/280/

American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section D—Astronomy, twice Chair



2003 Education Prize of the American Astronomical Society


2012 Prix-Jules-Janssen of the Société Astronomique de France


2017 Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award, American Association of Physics Teachers

2019 Klumpke-Roberts Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific



Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer

Honorary Membership (foreign citizen): Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (2003–)

 (one of only 15: https://www.rasc.ca/honorary-members)

Fellow: Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (2010–)

Terzian Lecturer, Cornell University, 2013


Asteroid: (5100) Pasachoff, named 1993 by E. Bowell, discoverer (1985 GW)


Photograph: Image (of the Great Barrier Reef from the air) on Voyagers, Golden Record (1977)


Past funding: NSF (eclipse-related; Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division); NASA (solar-system stellar occultations; Planetary Science Division); National Geographic (eclipses; transit; Triton occultation; Hawaiian volcano spectroscopy)


Current funding: NSF (Solar Terrestrial Program, Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division)


Recent diversity-related funding: 

NSF grant supplements for minority alumni to participate in eclipse expeditions



I am honored to be considered for this position to help the Division of Planetary Sciences with its programming and its direction.  I am interested in various types of relevant diversity—diversity in solar-system topics, diversity in research vs. outreach, and diversity in membership, for example, and would work to foster such emphases within the DPS.


I have long been interested in working with students on a wide variety of solar-system topics.  I am particularly proud of the alumni/ae who have done senior undergraduate theses with me and who are now major researchers on their own.  I will be particularly interested in education and outreach within and without DPS.


I have also been interested in writing for students and for the general public.  My survey textbook, now in its 17th version (the fifth edition of Pasachoff and Filippenko, The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium, published in May 2019), addresses a variety of topics relevant to the Division of Planetary Sciences, and I have long kept up-to-date on a wide variety of solar-system studies through my attendance at the yearly DPS meetings.


Since the year of Halley’s Comet, I have been working with an art-historian on matters related to the overlap of art and astronomy.  With twin grants from the Getty Grant Fund, we wrote a book on Fire in the Sky: Comets and Meteors, the Decisive Centuries, in British art and Science, and our magnum opus Cosmos: The Art and Science of the Universe has recently been published (May 2019).


I inherited my Peterson Field Guide to the Stars and Planets from my freshman and post-doc mentor, have rewritten it, and keep the planetary predictions and descriptions up-to-date.


I have long been interested in working with students of diverse backgrounds, and Williams College, with its own emphasis on diversity, has been a good place to sponsor a talented group such students, some of whom have gone on to careers in astronomy and others to careers in other fields.  From the point of view of diversity, I am proud of the female and black Ph.D. alumni, and have included them in expeditions.


Over the years, I have found the DPS meetings to be interesting places to interact with colleagues, now including former students, and as a member of the DPS committee I would be particularly interested in fostering personal interchanges in both formal and informal settings.  I am also interested in international outreach, through the IAU, through eclipse expeditions, and otherwise.  And I would emphasize a full range of solar-system studies for DPS meetings.


In recent years, I have sponsored and organized sessions at DPS meetings jointly with the Historical Astronomy Division, of which I am past chair, and I look forward to fostering continued interchanges with HAD and other AAS Divisions.


I hope I am given a chance through this election to help DPS maintain its wide range of solar-system topics and to help with the continued enhancement of the diversity of its membership.






2009 Ph.D. in Physical Science Cum Laude (A++) University of La Laguna, Spain.

2003 M.S. in Physics of the Cosmos (Astronomy & Astrophysics) Excellent (A) University of La Laguna, Spain. 

1997 B.S. in Physical Science, major in Astrophysics, University of La Laguna, Spain.




Science manager at the Arecibo Observatory, FSI/UCF, Nov 2018 to present

Deputy Principal Scientist at the Arecibo Observatory, FSI/UCF, Apr 2018 to present

Research Associate in Planetary Science at the Florida Space Institute, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA, Oct 2016 – Oct 2018

Visiting Associate Scientist at the Florida Space Institute, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA, Oct 2015 – Oct 2016

Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA, Aug 2012 – July 2015

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Granada, Spain. Programe of excellence “Juan de la Cierva”, Dec 2011 – Aug 2012

Guest Researcher at Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias, IAC, Tenerife, Spain, Aug 2011 – December 2011

Specialist Guest Researcher at Observatorio do Valongo, Río de Janeiro. INCT-A Postdoctoral Fellowship, May 2011 – Aug 2011

NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, CA, USA, Apr 2009 – Apr 2011

Telescope operator at Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, La Plama, Spain, Sep 2002 – Nov 2008

Co-Investigator and on-site operator of passive optics instrumentation for  site testing campaigns at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, Feb 2000 – Sep 2002

Research Assistant with the group of Massive Blue Stars at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, La Laguna, Spain, Sep 1997 – Sep 1998




Asturiana del mes (Asturian of the month: May 2018) honor given by the newspaper La Nueva España, lead of the newspapers in the Principality of Asturias, Spain (2 million inhabitants), 2018

Asteroid 10689 Pinillaalonso named after me by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), 2017

Severo Ochoa Excellence Visiting Professor at the Instituto Astrofísico de La Laguna, Oct – Dec 2016. 

Campus Atlántico Tricontinental – Visiting Professorship to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in La Laguna, Tenerife, funded by the University of La Laguna, 2015

Short Visit Grant at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF) within the framework: “Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training”, 2013

Juan de la Cierva Fellowship, funded by the Spanish Science Ministry, 2011 – 2013

Fellowship for Specialist Guest Researcher at Observatorio do Valongo, Río de Janeiro, 2011

NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Ames Research Center – USA, 2009 – 2011




Chair of the SOC and LOC of the workshop “Pathways to the Future of the Arecibo Observatory”, 2019

Member of the TAC of the CAHA observatory, Almería, Spain, 2018 to present

Thesis Committee of Anicia Arredondo, graduate student, Physics Department, UCF, USA, 2018 to present

SOC of FM: “A Century of Asteroid Families” at the 2018 General Assembly of the IAU. 2018

Judge of the EUReCA (Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA, 2013

SOC of the Workshop: “Organic Material in Planetary Science: nurture or nature?”, Observatoire du Paris, 2010

Referee for international scientific publications and proposals such as Icarus, A&A and NASA/ROSES 2008 to present

Elected member of the Graduate Student Council for the Astronomy & Astrophysics phD program 2001 – 2003

Elected member of the Student Government at the undergraduate level, 1996 – 1997




I am grateful to be nominated for the DPS committee election. The DPS is a community of scientist with a passion for expanding the knowledge of how planetary systems work, and to explore our Solar System seeking for answers about its origin and evolution. It is a small community when compared with the American Astronomical Society, but its discoveries have a strong impact on how society perceives science advances, generally speaking. If elected, my efforts in making the DPS stronger would be focused on facilitating the communication with the broad planetary science community, towards the Planetary Science Decadal Survey 2023-2032; supporting the next generation of planetary scientists and opening new avenues for collaborations with the European and Latin American communities. In the last two years, I have been sharing my time on science with management duties at the FSI/UCF and at the Arecibo Observatory (AO). I feel lucky for the opportunity that the partnership between UCF and AO has given to me, to explore a new set of skills and I want to use those in serving at the DPS committee.

My first DPS meeting was Louisville, in 2004. As a Ph. D student, I felt amazed to share the podium with PIs of promising projects, such as Deep Impact, Cassini or the Spitzer Telescope. This made the DPS, then and forever, my favorite conference. At the DPS committee, I want to be sure that others enjoy the same opportunities. I would work to be sure that graduate students and research assistants, feel welcome and heard, and that their science is given the best space in the agenda, side by side with that presented by career scientists.

In the second stage of my career, after I finished my Ph.D in Spain, I moved to the USA and I have been mostly here for the last ten years. My career has been a continuous effort in developing an independent career while maintaining collaborations with my colleagues in the USA, Europe, and Latin-America. Nowadays, when we see a trend of self-centered communities turning their backs on influences from “outsiders”, planetary science is an example on how a group, if diverse, is always stronger than each of its single members (e.g. ISS, Rosetta, JWST, JUICE, Orion) and the DPS plays a critical role in this. While a DPS committee member, I will take an active part in enhancing and extending the actual collaborations between the DPS, the EPSC, and the Latin-American community of planetary scientists. I would like to explore the possibility of establishing an award, together with the EPS, for international groups or networks that have reached excellence in planetary science and exploration. That award would be used to fund a short visit of a graduate student or postdoc (on each side of the Atlantic) to a hosting institution in the net of collaborators across the ocean.


Finally, at these very same moments, the whole community of planetary scientists is already taking positions for the upcoming Decadal Survey. When I participated in the first one, I just wanted to get to know what that was all about. Now, 10 years after, I really know how influential the white papers can be, and the big impact that the final report will make in our individual and global success in the next decade. Yes, we are a small community, but with a broad scope of research, from dust behavior to giant planets, from laboratory work to observers, from ultraviolet to radar observations, from theoretical models to exploration missions. The DPS can help in facilitating that all the diversity that conforms us, is reflected in this decadal survey by facilitating community-based conversations and workshops, and open discussions.