DPS ELECTIONS 2021 : PROCEDURE AND HOW TO VOTE
The 2021 election for DPS Vice-Chair and Committee is now open, and will close at 11:59pm ET on July 29, 2021.
To vote you should have already received an email asking you to cast your ballot. If you do not see this email in your inbox, please check your spam/junk folder. If you still do not see it, contact the secretary.
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:
- Gonzalo Tancredi
- Catherine Neish
The Vice-Chair will become the DPS Chair in October 2022.
You should vote for two of the four candidates for DPS Committee:
- Joseph Masiero
- Seth Jacobson
- Brian Jackson
- Serina Diniega
The successful candidates will serve on the DPS 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 BIOS AND STATEMENTS
Candidate biographical notes and statements follow in reverse alphabetical order.
CANDIDATES FOR VICE-CHAIR (Vote for 1)
A) GONZALO TANCREDI
Born and living in Montevideo, Uruguay, South America.
1989: Licentiate in Astronomy – Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Universidad de la Republica (UdelaR), Uruguay.
1993: Ph.D. in Astronomy, Uppsala Observatory, Uppsala University, Sweden.
2015: Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Management, UdelaR, Uruguay.
2008 – present: Full Professor and Director of the Dept. of Astronomy, Faculty of Sciences, UdelaR, Uruguay.
2004 -2012: Director of Observatorio Astronomico Los Molinos (Ministerio de Educacion y Cultura, Uruguay).
1993 -2008: Associate Professor at the Dept. of Astronomy, Faculty of Sciences, UdelaR, Uruguay.
1985 -1989; 1996 -2000: Lecturer and Scientific Advisor at the Planetarium in Montevideo.
1989 -1993: Fellow of the Swedish Institute.
Physics and dynamics of small solar system bodies, with special attention to the impact processes.
2018 -present: President of IAU Division F Planetary Sciences and Astrobiology
2015 -2018: Vice President of IAU Division F
2012 -2015: Secretary of IAU Division F
2006 -2012: Member of the Organizing Committee of the IAU Commission 15 Physical Study of Comets & Minor Planets
2021 -present: Member of the Steering Committee of the International Asteroid Warning Network
Member of IAU Comm. F1 Meteors, Comm. F4 Asteroids, Comets and TNOs, WG Near Earth Objects, WG Small Bodies Nomenclature.
Member of the American Astronomical Society, American Geophysical Union, Royal Astronomical Society (UK), Meteoritical Society.
2015 -2018: President of Sociedad Uruguaya para el Progreso de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia (SUPCYT)
2002 -2004: President of Sociedad Uruguaya de Astronomia.
Organizer and member of SOC and LOC of over 30 national, regional and international conferences and workshops.
Reviewer for Icarus, PSS, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Planetary Science Journal, Astrobiology, Earth, Moon, and Planets, ApJ, AJ, A&A, MNRAS, Advances in Space Research, and some regional journals.
Member of the board of several commissions at my university and the research system in Uruguay and internationally (Faculty board, reviewer panels, etc.).
PI of several research projects and observational runs at different local and international agencies, including two projects from the US Embassy in Uruguay.
Education & Public Outreach
Advisor of over 20 graduate, master and PhD students.
Organizer and teacher at training schools for high-school teachers and graduate students.
Over 200 interviews for national and international media.
Author of the scripts of four shows for the Montevideo’s Planetarium.
In 1989 I became the first undergraduate in Astronomy in Uruguay in over 15 years. This was possible because of two facts: I got a position as a lecturer at Montevideo’s Planetarium; and my early mentor, Prof. Julio A. Fernandez (Kuiper Prize 2019), came back to the country after a long, but a very academically successful, exile. Then, I went to the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (Sweden) to continue my PhD studies in the planetary sciences group led by C.I. Lagerkvist and H. Rickman, first organizers of the conference series *Asteroids, Comets and Meteors* (ACM). My stage in Uppsala allowed me to make connections with the international community in Europe, US and Japan.
After finishing my PhD studies in 1993, I came back to Uruguay with two objectives: work together with Julio to consolidate a recognized planetary research group; and promote the scientific collaboration in our region. Both objectives had been achieved. There are very active planetary science groups in several South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay), all with strong ties, who participate every 2 years in a regional Planetary Science Workshop. In 2017, Montevideo hosted the ACM conference, with about 500 participants (490 from abroad).
My participation in international organizations started from the beginning of my career. I participated in many Commissions and Working Groups of the IAU. In 2015, in an open election to all the members, I was elected Vice-President of the IAU Division F *Planetary Sciences and Astrobiology*; and most recently in 2018, I became President. It was the first time that a Latin American astronomer became President of one of the 9 IAU Divisions. Division F has at present almost 2500 members from the 5 continents. During my leadership, Division F has a prominent participation in the IAU news, a new Commission was created (Asteroids, Comets and TNOs), and a new Working Group (Exoplanetary System Nomenclature) was established.
I have been a member of AAS and DPS since 1999; I have participated in many annual meetings, especially those joint ones with EPSC. It was a great honor and surprise when the DPS Nominating Subcommittee invite me to run for Vice-Chair. To be the first Vice-Chair residing outside North America is a great challenge, but it reflects the open spirit of the AAS and DPS. As someone coming from a developing country and a minority group in terms of the scientific community, I am strongly in favor of the statement made by the last elected Vice-Chair Diana Blaney: *DPS needs to prioritize the elimination of racist barriers in our field.* In the same line of argument, it is worth to recognize the recent advance in gender balance among the DPS officers. After many years of majority male representation, 8 out of 10 Chairs in the last decade have been female. A natural step forward to continue in this equity and diversity process is to open up DPS leadership to other groups.
If elected Vice-Chair, I will make use of my international experience in the IAU to lead the DPS with the following key objectives:
Foster the collaboration between US planetary scientists and the rest of the world, in particular those in the Americas.
Make the DPS-EPSC joint meeting THE worldwide meeting of the planetary sciences community, with participation from around the world.
Continue the support to students and young planetary scientists.
Promote a deeper engagement in outreach activities of the Division members.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught several lessons and it will have enduring consequences in our way of doing science in an inter-networked world. Virtual meetings will not replace the more intimate in-person ones, but they allow us to strengthen collaborations among widely spread colleagues. We must continue in this line.
B) CATHERINE NEISH
Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences, The University of Arizona, 2008
B.Sc. in Honours Physics and Astronomy, The University of British Columbia, 2004
Associate Professor, The University of Western Ontario, 2021 – present
Research Scientist, The Planetary Science Institute, 2016 – present
Assistant Professor, The University of Western Ontario, 2015 – 2021
Assistant Professor, Florida Institute of Technology, 2013 – 2015
Postdoctoral Fellow, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 2012 – 2013
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2009 – 2012
Co-Investigator, NASA’s Dragonfly Mission, 2019 – present
Associate Team Member, NASA’s Cassini RADAR Science Team, 2010 – 2018
Co-Investigator, Mini-RF on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, 2009 – 2014, 2017 – present
Planetary geology, astrobiology, remote sensing, synthetic aperture radar, impact cratering, volcanism, field analogues.
DPS, Chair of the Publications Subcommittee, 2020 – present
GAC-MAC, Chair of the Finance Committee for the 2021 Meeting, 2020 – present
DPS, Member of the Publications Subcommittee, 2019 – present
IAU, Outer Solar System Task Group, Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature, 2018 -present
DPS, Chair of the LOC for the 2022 Meeting, 2017 – present
DPS, Committee Member, 2016 – 2019
I am running to be your DPS Vice Chair because I want to help build a diverse, welcoming, and engaged community of planetary scientists. I have been involved with the DPS since 2005, when I attended my first meeting in Cambridge, England. Over the years, I have come to see the DPS as my larger family of planetary scientists. I’ve always felt that the DPS plays an important role in advocating for planetary science and planetary scientists. We need that support more than ever now, as the world struggles forward under the restrictions of a year-long pandemic, and the systematic societal problems that plague our world. I would like to help to continue the broader mission of the DPS, and work to strengthen our community. To do this, I have several ideas I would like to implement if elected as Vice Chair, informed by the work I have done over the past five years as a member of the DPS Committee and Publications Subcommittee.
1. PUBLICATIONS: The Planetary Science Journal has been successfully operating for over a year now, providing opportunities for open-access publications and dual-anonymous reviews. However, the issue still remains that reviewers are providing unpaid labour for the community, a problem that is magnified for scientists in more precarious employment situations. When the PSJ starts to turn a profit, I would advocate that we use those funds to pay PSJ reviewers by providing free or reduced page charges for their next paper.
2. PRESENTATION AWARDS: As a community, we need to celebrate our successes. We also need to promote clear and open communication. Many societies addresses these goals by offering presentation awards at their annual meetings. If elected, I would advocate for the introduction of presentation awards at our annual meeting, for both students and professionals. This would provide one of the few avenues for student members to be recognized in our community, since the current prizes only recognize professionals in the field.
3. ACCESSIBILITY: The virtual meetings that have been held over the past year have clarified the benefits of making conferences more accessible to the wider community. Science is stronger when we hear everyone’s voices, and we do not exclude those whose disabilities present barriers to inclusion. I would seek to adopt some of the strategies that have been implemented in virtual meetings, in order to make in-person meetings more accessible. For example, we could provide captioning for plenary presentations, and online platforms where attendees can ask and answer questions.
These are just a few ideas, but I am open to feedback from the community. If elected, I will work towards building a community where everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone feels included. Thank you for your consideration.
CANDIDATES FOR COMMITTEE (Vote for two)
A) JOSEPH MASIERO
Asteroid physical properties using thermal modeling, photometry, and polarimetry; numerical simulations of asteroid family evolution; hazards from near-Earth objects
2009: PhD (Astronomy), Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa
2006: MS (Astronomy), Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa
2004: BS (Astronomy & Astrophysics), The Pennsylvania State University
2020-present: Scientist, Caltech/IPAC
2017-present: NEOWISE Deputy Principal Investigator
2012-2020: Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
2009-2012: NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Selected Honors and Awards:
Asteroid (8255) Masiero named in honor
2019: JPL Lew Allen Award for significant accomplishment in research
2016: NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal
2015,2018: JPL Voyager Awards
2014,2016: NASA Group Achievement Awards
2021-present: IAU Commission F4 Organizing Committee
2020-present: DPS Professional Culture & Climate Subcommittee
2020-2021: NASA Planetary Data Ecosystem Independent Review Board
2016-2019: Organizer, SOC Chair, and Proceedings editor for the IAU 2018 Focus Meeting 1 *A Century of Asteroid Families*
2014-2017: NOAO Solar System TAC
2013-2015: Asteroids IV SOC
2012-present: Member on NASA TACs, ROSES panels, NSF panels
2010-present: mentor or co-mentor for 26 student interns
It is my honor to be nominated for DPS Committee. DPS has been my scientific home since I began working in planetary science in graduate school, and the annual meeting is always my go-to conference. It would be my privilege to help guide our community and ensure that the DPS is supportive of all our members, fosters scientific engagement within the community, and helps to spread the interesting and amazing research we do to the public. Planetary science is fortunate to have an ongoing slate of research programs and missions that regularly captures public interest and produces amazing discoveries, and this looks to continue going forward.
As we as a community and society begin to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world slowly returns to normal, it is incumbent on us to take the lessons we have learned from recent events and not just return to the old normal but to improve upon it. For example, virtual conferences have dramatically expanded the ability to reach researchers and students for whom conference travel is an undue burden. However, they have also resulted in lost opportunities for networking that fall most heavily on early career scientists. Our goal going forward should be to find a way to optimize future events to have the best scientific impact while also being available to as many members as possible.
We also cannot ignore the societal inequalities that have been laid bare in the last year, and as a community must work to see them and address their effect on all of us. The first steps in this are to ensure that the ongoing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion activities that DPS engages in are continued and expanded. This includes blocking time for DEI speakers and work force presentations and town halls at the annual meeting; reaching out to faculty and students at HBCU and MSI institutions; providing conference attendance grants to underrepresented students and researchers to expand access to our meetings. These programs are ongoing, and need to be nurtured and grown.
It is critical that going forward the DPS focuses on helping the members of our community that have been most impacted by recent events, as well expanding the reach of DPS to welcome everyone doing planetary research. Early career scientists and those in transitionary positions lost important opportunities due to COVID, and the DPS must work to ensure that they are not lost from the field as a result of this. In the same vein, DPS members who were already marginalized before the pandemic faced the most struggles during it, and so DPS must work to ensure that we are always acting on our ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. If I am elected, I will do my best to help DPS move forward with these important activities.
B) SETH JACOBSON
History of the solar system, planet formation, asteroids, comets, moons, planetary evolution, cosmochemistry, exoplanets, celestial mechanics
2019-present: Assistant Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
2017-2019: Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
2013-2017: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany and Cote d’Azur Observatory, Nice, France
2012: PhD Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
2010: MS Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
2008: BS Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Selected Awards and Achievements
2017: Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Sciences from AGU
2014: Asteroid 8618 named Sethjacobson at ACM
2010-2012: NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship
Selected Service to the Community
2015-2020: AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy leadership including committee member, vice chair, chair, and past chair roles
2019-present: AGU SEDI Prize Canvassing Committee
Science organizing committee chair for 2018 DDA annual meeting
Science organizing committee member for 7 internationally attended meetings including the DPS annual meeting
Associate editor, JGR Planets special issue on Exoplanets
Journal referee of 67 articles across 26 publications
Grant review chair, panelist and/or external reviewer on 27 panels across 5 nations and 15 programs
Public presentations at observatory open houses, planetarium shows, astronomy on tap, and other events
Thank you for considering my nomination to the DPS committee. My first academic conference was the 2007 DPS annual meeting in Orlando, FL as an undergraduate. Ever since then, I have considered myself a planetary scientist and the DPS as my primary professional organization. The continued success of the planetary science community and DPS, in particular, means so much to me. If elected to the DPS committee, I would work to ensure a successful annual meeting, awards selection process, and community advocacy.
I would work to increase the inclusivity of our annual meeting, awards, and other DPS processes and activities. For instance, when I was a committee member for the Division on Dynamical Astronomy of the AAS, we implemented a so-called Rooney Rule for the division’s highest honor, the Brouwer Award, which has a poor track record of women awardees (1 out of 36 at the time of the rule change) compared to the division’s membership (about 20% women). This rule states that if there are no women nominated, then the membership should be made aware and until at least one woman is nominated, no award can be made. While this rule is not a quota or an affirmative action plan, it counteracts the simplest reason why qualified women may not be winning the award, they are just not being nominated. Similar rules have worked for groups like the NFL and Facebook to increase diversity in hiring, and the rule is now in place across all of the DDA awards. While the DEI challenges facing the DPS are not identical to those at the DDA, those challenges can be met with inspired thinking and pro-active policies. The DPS can lead the planetary science community into a more inclusive future.
I would also work to increase the accessibility of our annual meeting and other DPS-hosted events. I am an advocate for affordable meetings, recognizing how cost is one of the primary barriers to increased participation. I also am an advocate for maintaining a hybrid option for the DPS annual meeting going forward. This last year has shown us that while online meetings are different, they can achieve many of the same goals as in-person meetings while including many attendees that are not typically able to attend. A hybrid option that encourages presenters to share their work both in-person and through an online platform will maximize impact of their presentations, engage more planetary scientists in discussion, and allow a more diverse set of participants going forward. Lastly, as we return to in-person meetings, we must consider how academic travel, particularly by airplane, can be a dominant source of carbon emissions in our own lives. Hybrid meetings allow personal commitments to reduce travel to not have negative effects on careers, particularly those of early-career scientists. Hybridizing our annual meeting on a regular basis will require time and energy as new procedures are developed, but I am confident that we can create a sustainable hybrid annual meeting that delivers a high-quality meeting experience to a broader group of participants.
Thank you again for considering my nomination to the DPS committee.
C) BRIAN JACKSON
Detection, characterization, and analysis of extrasolar planetary systems; Planetary analog field studies; Aeolian processes
2019-Present: Associate Professor, Boise State University, Dept. of Physics, Boise ID
2014-2019: Assistant Professor, Boise State University, Dept. of Physics, Boise ID
2011-2014: Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Dept. of Terrestrial Magnetism, Washington DC
2009-2011: NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, NASA Goddard, Greenbelt MD
2009: PhD (Planetary Science), University of Arizona, Lunar and
Planetary Lab, Tucson AZ
2004: BS (Physics), Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA
2018-Present: NASA Solar System Workings Program
2018-Present: Idaho Space Grant Consortium
2017-2020: NASA Exoplanets Research Program
2014-2018: NASA Astrophysical Data Analysis Program
Selected Service to the Community
Planetary Science Journal Editor — 2020-Present
Co-Convener of the Planetary Allyship — 2017-Present
DPS Education Sub-Committee — 2015-Present (deputy chair since 2019)
DPS Meeting Virtual Organizing Committee Member — 2020
NASA Discovery Mission Program ($500M budget) panelist — 2019
DPS/EPSC Meeting Socal Organizing Committee Member — 2019
DPS Sciences Prize Sub-Committee Member — 2017-2019
I am humbled to be nominated to serve on the DPS committee and would be deeply honored to contribute to the DPS’s important and growing work. I feel profoundly connected to DPS as it has been my scientific home since 2005, when I attended my first major scientific conference as a graduate student in Cambridge UK, and I have served DPS in several capacities since then. If elected to the committee, I would concentrate on two areas: expanding the DPS’s scientific outreach efforts and supporting the committee’s work on equitable access and leadership. In my time as a member of DPS, I have contributed to several efforts in these two areas, but serving formally on the committee would allow me to help broaden and deepen those efforts.
There are few scientific endeavours that move the public in the same way as planetary science, as evidenced by the extraordinary and extraordinarily personal connections the public makes with past and ongoing missions. As compelling as this work is for the public, though, DPS could do even more, and as a committee member, I would hope to expand our connections with the public and with educators in particular. One project I would like to take on would be to make more aspects of the annual DPS meeting accessible to the public. For example, DPS could arrange to live-stream the plenary presentations over YouTube and Facebook. We could organize question-and-answer sessions with schools across the US and around the world. At my home institution, Boise State University, we have run a monthly virtual astronomy lecture series since last year, and so I have considerable experience with some of the relevant logistics. Creating more virtual components to the DPS meeting would be one way to broaden our society’s public engagement.
Incorporating more virtual components to the meeting would also help to address issues of accessibility and equity for the society. The recent creation of the DAIS (Disabled for Accessibility In Space — https://spacedais.mn.co/) group shows there is mounting interest in making the DPS meeting more accessible. Expanded virtual offerings are one way to engage with planetary scientists who experience disabilities. Moreover, the covid pandemic makes it likely that, even once in-person conferences take place again, virtual conference attendance will be commonplace. It would also allow scientists and aspiring scientists who are not able to afford travel and lodging to more easily participate in society events and activities, addressing multiple issues of accessibility, equity, and public engagement all at once. Specific and focused outreach to groups that represent folks under-represented in planetary science would also allow the society to better serve our community and address historical and ongoing inequities in science.
Through my long experience with the society, I have come to know that, at its very best, DPS is among the most warm and supportive, as well as innovative, scientific societies. If I were elected to the DPS committee, I would hope to contribute my own brand of service-centered science and help not just to do good science but also to do good.
Thank you for considering my nomination.
D) SERINA DINIEGA
Research and Professional Interest Areas
– Using analysis, laboratory experiments, & simulation, determine connections between environment, processes, & planetary geomorphology -including observable surface activity.
– Promote the education/interest of the next generation in mathematics, engineering, & science, with a focus on increasing equity and inclusion.
– Facilitate, develop, & implement program- and community-level strategies for the engagement of the planetary science community, towards scientific progress within robotic planetary exploration.
2013-present: Scientist, JPL, CA, USA
-Notable present work: Mission Development for Europa Clipper, Planetary Geosciences Group Supervisor
-Notable past work: NASA Mars Program Office lead science systems engineer, MEPAG Ice & Climate Evolution Science Analysis Group (ICE-SAG) Co-chair, Science leadership in mission concept development/proposal activities, Operations for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
2010-2013: NASA Postdoc, JPL
2010: PhD (Applied Mathematics), University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
2003: BS Honors (Mathematics), Caltech, Pasadena, CA, USA
Selected Awards and Achievements
JPL Voyager Award for Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity work (2021)
Report from the Ice & Climate Evolution Science Analysis group (ICE-SAG), Chaired by S. Diniega and N. E. Putzig, posted by MEPAG, 2019.
NASA MDAP grant (PI): Quantifying polar-aeolian activity rates within the North Polar Erg, Mars (2014-18)
JPL Team Award for Europa Clipper Investigation Scientists (2017)
Prockter, L, et al. (2017), The Value of Participating Scientist Programs to NASA’s Planetary Science Division. Posted by LPI, 2017.
Selected Service to the Community
NASA Planetary Science Advisory Committee (PAC) member (2020-pres.)
AAS DPS, Professional Climate and Culture Subcommittee (PCCS) Chair (2020-pres.), Co-chair (2018-19), member (2017-pres.)
Steering committee member of the cross-AG Inclusion/Diversity/Equity/Accessibility (IDEA) Working Group (2019-pres.)
Led four white papers for the Planetary Science & Astrobiology Decadal Survey: (1) A Critical Gap: In situ Measurements of Planetary Surface-Atmosphere Interactions Beyond Earth; (2) Mars as a “Natural Laboratory” for Studying Surface Activity on a Range of Planetary Bodies; (3) Ensuring a Safe & Equitable Workspace: The Importance & Feasibility of a Code of Conduct; (4) White Paper Summary of the Final Report from the Ice & Climate Evolution Science Analysis group (ICE-SAG), and co-author for numerous others on science and State of the Profession topics (2020)
Member/co-author of NASA Roadmap for the Ocean Worlds (ROW) group (2017)
Conference Convener: 9th Internat. Conf. on Mars (2019), Amazonian & Present-day Mars Climate Wkshp (2018)
SOC member: Planet. Dunes Wkshp (2020, virtual), 7th Internat. Conf. on Mars Polar Sci. & Explorat. (2020), AAS DPS Fall meeting (2018), Late Mars Wkshp (2018)
JPL Education, mentor for 25 undergraduate students (2011-pres.), incl. 3 undergrad theses
Scientific manuscript and research proposal reviewer (numerous, each year), including Top Reviewer recognition from Icarus (2015)
I am honored to be considered as a candidate for the DPS Committee. I am a relative newcomer to DPS, joining in 2016 when the meeting was held in Pasadena, CA. Since then I’ve been a regular attendee of DPS meetings and have been deeply involved in equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) efforts within this organization. In particular, I have served in the Professional Climate and Culture Subcommittee (PCCS) since 2017 (including presently as Chair) and as an organizing member of the inaugural Conduct Response Team (CRT) for the virtual DPS meeting in 2020. Through these and other efforts within DPS (as well as many efforts outside of DPS), my focus is on finding ways to improve inclusivity and equitable access/opportunity within planetary science activities, communications, and recognitions. Should I become a voting member of the DPS Committee, I would continue to focus my energies in these areas -with the ability to much more directly and officially integrate considerations of EDIA and community building within all DPS planning and decision-making, and with a firmer connection in such work to AAS policies and activities.
My goal is to help the DPS be a more welcoming and useful professional society, including for (but not limited to) a planetary explorer who has a minoritized identity, has accessibility concerns, and/or studies planetary topics not yet well represented at our meetings. In particular, should I be elected, I seek to help the DPS Committee continue to take a critical look at our institutional culture, policies, procedures, and documentation, and identify updates that could improve DPS activities and broaden our sense of community. As the PCCS Chair, I have been heavily involved with the development of partnerships with national professional societies serving underrepresented racial minority communities, and development of additional ways to include and support scientists and students of color. This year, the PCCS has also been paying attention to formal and informal DPS ways of doing business so as to identify those that may -intentionally or unintentionally -create barriers. From what we’ve noted so far, some of these can be addressed with small and easy changes (such as gender-inclusive language updates) and some of these would require larger and more careful effort to address as the practice/culture of interest is encoded in the bylaws or has solidified through history. But now is an opportune time for this type of introspection, and for even large changes to be considered, as so much in normal life has been thrown off-kilter and so many issues have been brought to light because of COVID and increased awareness of injustices and unfair expectations.
For this work, I bring much experience with consideration of diverse, cross-disciplinary, and cross-planet perspectives, and with communication and consensus-development efforts. I have served as Co-convener or on the SOC for numerous large conferences and workshops (virtual and in-person). I also am a grass-roots organizer within the planetary aeolian/dunes community, helping to organize related sessions and informal community meetings at major conferences. My work within the Mars Program Office and with MEP/MEPAG has honed a solid understanding of NASA priorities and programmatic considerations, as well as much experience running community meetings and studies. For the Planetary Science & Astrobiology Decadal Survey, I convened several diverse and excellent groups for generation of science and State of the Profession white papers, which led to presentations and recommendations to DS panels, JPL, and NASA. I recently began serving on the NASA Planetary Science Advisory Committee (PAC) and so am learning more about the range of issues faced within the full planetary science community while seeking out ways for NASA to improve their practices and communications (such as providing closed captioning at virtual public meetings).
In all of my planetary science work, I carry a goal of improving the health and inclusivity of our community – through individual reflection and action as well as institutional change. Our best science is done when every contributor can focus on doing the science, as they are able to be their authentic selves and know that their ideas will be heard. I look forward to bringing this perspective and my experience to the DPS Committee’s work. Many thanks for your time and consideration!