Newsletter 11-06

Date : 15 April 2011 19:16:47
Subject : [DPS Members] DPS Mailing #11-06 : In memoriam: B.S. Blumberg, DPS for its Japanese colleagues, DPS candidate Slate, “Discovery in Planetary Science” slides, etc

Issue11-06, April 15th 2011




Baruch Blumberg, who headed the NASA Astrobiology Institute from 1999 to 2002, and won the 1976 Nobel Prize in Medicine for identifying the Hepatitis B virus, has died, at the age of 85, on April 5, 2011.
The DPS recognizes the loss of a remarkable person and his contribution in several scientific communities, from Medicine to being the first permanent NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Director.

He will be sorely missed.


Greetings Colleagues!

Activities continue at a rapid pace with the DPS in 2011 (see hereafter).

The financial books have been closed out for 2010, and the financial news for the DPS continues to improve. Look for a detailed report from our Treasurer Diana Blaney during out annual Members Meeting in Nantes.

The DPS organized Decadal Survey Town Hall meetings held across the country over the last month have been a great success, with good attendance and animated discussion at each. Many thanks to our member sponsors at each of the various locations.
The DPS Committee will be maintaining the momentum behind the Decadal roll out with Congressional visits on May 10, following a 1/2 day mid-term Committee meeting in Washington DC on May 9 at AAS Headquarters. Please let us know if you have items that you will like the DPS leadership to be considering.

Thanks to our outgoing and incoming Webmasters Ross Beyer and Tony Roman, the DPS has migrated our web pages to a new more modern and easy to maintain software system called “druple”. The look of our pages may be slowly changing as we take advantage of this new more flexible system. Your input on our web page content and style is welcome.
You can find contact information for the DPS Committee and Officers under the “Leadership” link on the left hand side of our web pages, and a link to the webmaster at the bottom of each web page.

We have set the venue and dates for the 2013 DPS meeting. It will be held at the Sheraton in downtown Denver from October 6-11, 2013. The DPS Committee is now turning its attention to setting the dates and venue for the 2014 meeting.

We have received some comments on the length of the meeting announcements in the DPS enews letters. Some people appreciate the more detailed information, while some do not. After several months of experimenting with the longer format, we are now returning to the shorter format so as to allow for more information to be included in a concise way. Please limit both meeting and job announcements to a few lines. Further details can be provided via links in the shorter announcements. With the exception of the DPS meetings, we will also limit such announcements to once per month, so not all of the e-news will contain meeting descriptions (as in the present case). We refer you to the archives for information on a particular meeting. The next e-news in early May will include meetings advertisements as received.

I call your attention in particular to the item below concerning our Japanese colleagues, and encourage you to remember them in whatever way you can.

Finally, the Nominating Subcommittee has finalized an excellent slate of candidates for this year’s election (see also hereafter).

The DPS extends its sympathies to all those affected by the recent disasters in Japan. The institution with planetary ties most affected by the earthquake and tsunamis is Tohoku University in Sendai. Faculty, staff and students are reported safe, though some facilities have been damaged and communication disrupted. The safety of some campus buildings is still in question. Optical and radio telescopes near the Fukushima reactors may have to be abandoned due to radiation hazard.
Our colleagues would welcome aid in replacing damaged computers, printers, furniture, instrumentation and other equipment. To donate towards the recovery of Tohoku University, see, specifying the donation is for Planetary Plasma and Atmospheric Research Center or the Graduate School of Science. For disaster relief for the region in general, see
The DPS will work with our Japanese colleagues to identify additional ways to support them as the nation recovers, and is open to suggestions from the membership.

Nick Schneider, [email protected], for the DPS Committee

The DPS Nominating Committee has identified the following candidates for the 2011 DPS elections for Vice-Chair and Committee:

Vice-Chair (1 to be elected):
Rosaly Lopes, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA
Alan Stern, SWRI, Boulder, USA

Committee (2 to be elected):
Ralph McNutt, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel MD, USA
Patrick Michel, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, France
Ingo Mueller-Wodarg, Imperial College London, UK
Bob Pappalardo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA

Thanks to these candidates for being willing to serve, and to the Nominating Committee for their work.

Additional candidates, supported by a petition of at least 20 DPS members, may be nominated within the next 30 days. Please send any nominations to the DPS Secretary, Athena Coustenis, at [email protected], by May 20th 2011.


La Cité Internationale des Congrès Nantes Métropole
03 – 07 October 2011, Nantes, France

Abstract deadline: 31 May, 2011.

We invite the world-wide community of planetary scientists to submit an abstract for presentation of their recent work at the joint EPSC-DPS 2011 Meeting, which will take place at La Cité Internationale des Congrès Nantes Métropole in Nantes, France, 3-7 October 2011.

The current list of over 70 sessions is organized around the following topics:

Please browse the list of sessions and identify the session that most closely matches your area of interest; your abstract can then be submitted directly to that session.
The session conveners, together with the Scientific Organizing Committee, will finalize the science program shortly after the abstract deadline.

Travel funding will be available for students: EPSC will make a contribution to a large number of European PhD students to support their attendance; DPS will provide support to recipients of the Hartmann Student Travel Grant (see hereafter).
Information on registration, accommodation, travel routes, visa requirements and social events will also become available shortly on the meeting web site.

Some specifications of the EPSC-DPS Joint meeting:
– The five-day meeting will be organized in parallel sessions of oral and poster presentations as well as workshops related to research, teaching and outreach in the planetary sciences.
– There is no limitation in the number of abstract submissions per author and no abstract fees will be levied.
– You will be asked to prepare your abstract as PDF file locally on your own computer, using the templates supplied on the web site, and then to submit the PDF you have generated. You are encouraged to make use of the two pages available. The abstracts will be available on line and to search engines.
– You will be able to edit and update your abstract after submission

Please forward this message to colleagues who may be interested.
We look forward to seeing you in Nantes.

Manuel Grande and Renu Malhotra
on behalf of the Scientific Organizing Committee
Mario Ebel
on behalf of Copernicus Meetings

Hartmann Travel Grants for the join DPS/EPSC meeting
Starting with a generous contribution from William K. Hartmann, followed by member contributions and matching funds from the DPS Committee, a limited number of student travel grants are made available to assist toward participating at the annual DPS meeting. Travel grants are primarily intended for students, but post-doctoral scientists without other means of support will also be considered. Travel grants for the Nantes meeting will be no more than approximately five hundred dollars and are intended to provide a supplement that makes the difference on whether or not a student is able to attend the annual meeting. In some cases the travel grant may be requested to cover the meeting registration fee. Preference is given to students who have not received a Travel Grant in the past.
Because of the joint meeting there will be several changes to the DPS travel grant program for this meeting only:
· DPS travel grants will be limited to students or post-docs attending US institutions only. We have a reciprocal agreement with the EPSC that they will fund European (and other foreign) students.
· The deadline for applications will be will be very early this year:
9:00 PM PDT, Friday May 20, 2011.
Late applications cannot be accepted. All notifications will be made on or before June 3, 2011.

Please see the Hartmann Travel Grant page at the DPS web site (meetings/travel_grant_application) for detailed information on submittal and format.


The DPS Education Subcommittee announces the 4th release of “Discoveries in Planetary Science” Classroom Powerpoints, covering six new topics:

– A Thousand New Planets
– Buried Martian Carbonates
– The Lunar Core
– A Six Planet System
– Martian Gully Formation
– Propellers in Saturn’s Rings

These are succinct summaries of discoveries too recent to appear in “Intro Astronomy” college textbooks; each set consists of just three slides to be shown: the discovery itself, a basic explanation based on good planetary science, and the “big picture” context. Another page for further information is provided as well. Powerpoints and pdf’s can be downloaded from education/dpsdisc.

Feedback from the community on how these slide sets are used and received is welcomed, and will be used to improve future releases. Planetary scientists with recent or upcoming results of broad interest are encouraged to submit them for consideration by providing an initial draft using the template provided on the website. For more information, contact Nick Schneider & Dave Brain at [email protected]


You can hear more DPS Professional Development Subcommittee News on Twitter and Facebook. Follow the Twitter feed for information about fellowships, jobs, and career advice, or join the Facebook group to be part of the discussion.!/DPSdevelopment

Thank you to the Professional Development social networking team:
Götz Galuba
Sarah Hörst
Kelsi Singer
POC Rachel Mastrapa [email protected]


Dear Colleagues:
As you may know, Brown University has recently been implementing a “Plan for Academic Enrichment” designed to build research and teaching capabilities in new areas and broaden and deepen areas of existing strength. As part of this undertaking, the Department of Geological Sciences is currently in the midst of searches for two new tenure-track faculty appointments, one in Early Planetary Processes and another in Climate Modeling, as we look to deepen and broaden the base of our existing program.
In addition, we are announcing a new opening in the area of Remote Compositional Analysis. Please see the position description below.
Would you please take a moment to advise me of potential candidates in this area and to also post and distribute this announcement in your department and to potentially interested colleagues?
Thanks in advance for your advice and assistance.

Best Regards,
Jim Head
[email protected]

* * * * *
Tenure-Track Faculty Appointment
For Planetary Remote Compositional Analysis
At the Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University

The Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University ( invites applications for a tenure-track faculty appointment in Planetary Remote Compositional Analysis. The emphasis of this position is on the application of experimental and quantitative analytical approaches to the characterization, analysis and understanding of remotely sensed spectroscopic data to address critical problems in planetary sciences. Such problems might include the composition of materials comprising planetary bodies, the physical and chemical weathering of surfaces, and the nature of planetary processes. Analysis of field data and spacecraft data in addressing such problems is also strongly encouraged. Available facilities for such research include the Reflectance Experiment Laboratory, a facility permitting high-quality emission and reflectance spectroscopic measurements from 0.3-50 microns. Candidates should complement our current planetary science strengths in planetary evolution, volcanism, impact cratering, climate history, and remote sensing, as well as departmental focus areas of Earth system history, solid Earth dynamics, and Earth and planetary materials and processes. The successful candidate will maintain an active, externally-funded research program and enjoy a commitment to teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Appointment is expected at the Assistant Professor level, although exceptional circumstances could warrant appointment as Associate Professor. A Ph.D. degree is required, and postdoctoral experience is considered important. Applicants should forward a curriculum vita, descriptions of research and teaching interests, and a list of at least three potential referees to: James W. Head, Chair, Search Committee, Department of Geological Sciences, Box 1846, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912-1846 at [email protected]. Inquiries and other communications may be directed to the same addresses. Applications received by June 15th, 2011 will receive full consideration, but the search will remain open until the position is closed or filled. The start date for this position is July 1st, 2012, pending final administration and budgetary approval. Brown University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.