Issue 12-1, January 17, 2012
1) UPDATE FROM THE CHAIR
2) REMINDER : ELECTIONS OF OFFICERS AND COUNCILORS OF AAS
3) REMINDER : 2012 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
4) PARTICIPATE IN GLOBE AT NIGHT!
5) SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION AT 50!
6) JOB OPPORTUNITIES
7) UPCOMING MEETINGS
UPDATE FROM THE CHAIR
Greetings for the New Year! 2011 was a banner year for planetary science with the launch of several new missions, the continuation of the number of successful missions, the publishing of the planetary sciences Decadal Survey, an excellent DPS-EPSC meeting in Nantes France, the announcement of DPS meeting venues for the next four years, and the continuing improvement in the health of the DPS finances (thanks to the leadership of Melissa McGrath). This year also saw the passing of a good planetary science budget by Congress that starts the funding for some of the priorities stated in the Decadal Survey.
But there are challenges for planetary science on the horizon, not the least of which is the push for deficit reduction in Congress during this presidential election year. While planetary sciences have delivered great results and enjoy strong bipartisan support in Congress, we’re not immune from budget pressures in 2012. Last year’s five-year planning budget forecast a substantial drop in planetary science funding starting in 2013. This year’s version of the five-year plan (to be released with the President’s proposed budget in February) will probably be even worse. The reality is that within NASA’s science budget, planetary science is nowhere near the Administration’s top priority and that does leave us vulnerable to budget pressures. A sharp reduction in NASA planetary science funding will endanger the goals of the Decadal Survey, preclude flagship missions in this decade, eliminate many collaborations with our European colleagues, reduce the rate of Discovery and New Frontiers missions, and seriously reduce R&A. But while the President proposes, and Congress disposes. Planetary science has a lot of friends on both sides the aisle in Congress. Congress likes the results the planetary science program, they like the consensus plan in the Decadal Survey, and they want to see it continue. While Congress is a potentially friendly forum, it’s going to be up to us, the planetary science community, to make the case for continued priority support. We have a powerful tool in the Decadal Survey because Congress likes nothing better than a clear statement of the community’s preferences and priorities. But we need to stand behind the Decadal and push Congress to provide adequate funding to achieve its goals and priorities. So expect an interesting year and probably more than one call to write your congressman and express your support for planetary science and the Decadal Survey. It is the community that can make this happen!
Dan Britt, Chair
REMINDER : ELECTIONS OF OFFICERS AND COUNCILORS OF AAS
The Elections of Officers and Councilors of our parent organization, the American Astronomical Society, for terms beginning in 2012 are now under way. Statements are available for all candidates on the AAS web site. Note that a candidate for councilor, Amy Simon-Miller is a DPS member.
Cast your ballot at: http://aas.org/vote/
You will need your login and password to vote.
Voting closes at 11:59pm EST, 31 January 2012
Vice-President: Margaret M. Hanson, Paula Szkody
Councilor: Nancy S. Brickhouse, Todd J. Henry, J. Todd Hoeksema, Steven D. Kawaler, Dara J. Norman, Amy Simon-Miller
Education Officer: Edward E. Prather
Nominating Committee: Elizabeth Blanton, Arne A. Henden, Jacob Noel-Storr
USNC-IAU Representative: Arlo U. Landolt, Smita Mathur
Any member wishing to use a paper ballot may request one by phone (202) 328-2010 ext. 115, fax (202) 234-2560 or by email to [email protected]. Include your member number with your request.
REMINDER : 2012 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
You should have paid your 2012 membership dues online at https://members.aas.org/ by 31 December 2011. But there is still time to renew by logging in to your membership record (today !) and in any case before the membership lists are updated within a month or two from the beginning of 2012. By renewing online and not receiving a paper renewal, you will help your Society save enormous costs.
Also, please take a moment to update your personal DPS member file.
Thank you for your attention.
Send general replies to [email protected].
PARTICIPATE IN GLOBE AT NIGHT !
More stars. Less light. Calling all Earthlings! Take a few minutes to get involved in the GLOBE at Night campaign to preserve dark skies! GLOBE at Night is a citizen-science campaign open to people all over the world to raise awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and report their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health. Through 2011, people in 115 countries contributed 66,000 measurements, making GLOBE at Night one of the most successful light pollution awareness campaigns to date. Please join us to participate in the 2012 campaign an hour after sunset till about 10pm January 14 through 23, February 12 through 21, March 13 through 22, and April 11 through 20. For information and resources, visit us at www.globeatnight.org.
SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION AT 50!
James L. Green, Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA HQ
In August 1962 NASA launched Mariner 2 to Venus and a new era in solar
system exploration began. NASA invented planetary science. It took it
out of the realm of just seeing planets through telescopes, to the era
of ‘up close and personal’ with flybys, orbiters, landers, rovers, and
The NASA History Program Office, the Division of Space History at the
National Air and Space Museum, the NASA Planetary Science Division, and
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory invite papers relating to the history of
planetary exploration to a symposium that will be held in Washington,
D.C., on October 25-26, 2012. A subset of the papers will be published.
Come join us in this retrospective to celebrate 50 years of fabulous
planetary science, entitled ‘Solar System Exploration @ 50.’ The
deadline for abstract submissions is February 21, 2012.
For more information see:
[from the PEN Vol. 6, Nr. 3]
1) BARRINGER GRANT APPLICATIONS FOR 2012 NOW BEING ACCEPTED
For graduate Students and Postdocs :
This year’s application deadline for grants from the Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research is April 6, 2012. This program provides 3 to 5 competitive grants each year in the range of $2500 to $5000 USD for support of field research at known or suspected impact sites worldwide. Grant funds may be used to assist with travel and subsistence costs, as well as laboratory and computer analysis of research samples and findings. Masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students enrolled in formal university programs are eligible. Over the past 10 years, 34 research projects have been supported. For additional details and an application, please go to
For a flyer to post at your institution, please go to
2) POST-DOCTORAL POSITION IN PLANETARY SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research associate
position in planetary science at the University of Michigan in Ann
Arbor. Research will be on composition, origin and evolution of
planetary atmospheres. Successful candidate will be expected to assist
with surface science operations of Mars Science Laboratory rover,
analysis and interpretation of atmospheric trace gas and evolved gas
measurements at Mars, and develop, refine or test algorithms for
retrieving Jupiter’s water and ammonia abundance with Juno. Research
on atmospheric chemistry of Venus is envisioned also, time permitting.
Certain software tools and codes are in place, while others will need
to be developed as needed. Travel to JPL and GSFC and science team
meetings will be necessary. The position is currently for one year with
very good likelihood of second year extension and beyond, barring any
unexpected change in funding profile. Please send (1) CV including
highlights of recent relevant publications (3-page maximum), (2)
contacts of three individuals familiar with your research, and (3) your
citizenship or permanent resident status, information required by JPL
and GSFC for accessing their facilities.
Email all material to Sushil Atreya <[email protected]>, with “UMJob” in Subject line.
3) CANADA RESEARCH CHAIR FACULTY POSITION IN EXOPLANETS
The Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Centre for Planetary
Science and Exploration at The University of Western Ontario, Canada,
invite applications for a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in the area of
Exoplanets. The appointment will be at the rank of Assistant or
Associate Professor, within the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
The selected candidate will be nominated to a Tier 2 Canada Research
Chair and appointment to the faculty position will not be conditional
on the candidate being awarded the Canada Research Chair.
Expressions of interest are invited immediately. Consideration of
applications will begin on February 15, 2012 and the position will
remain open until filled.
Full details of the announcement can be found here:
4) POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE – EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCES
The Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at The University of
Tennessee invites applications for a postdoctoral research position in
planetary remote sensing/astronomy. Research areas of interest include
analysis of thermal emission spectra of asteroids, observations and
analysis of reflectance spectra of asteroids, and analysis of
hyperspectral spacecraft data of icy bodies. Experience in one or more
of these areas is required. Candidates must have a PhD in the physical
sciences (planetary science, geology, astronomy, physics, or related
The initial appointment is for one year, but the appointment is
renewable for an additional year. Review of applications will begin
February 1, 2012, and the position will remain open until filled.
Applicants should submit (electronic submission is preferred) a resume,
statement of research experience and interests, and names and addresses
of three references to Professor Joshua Emery ([email protected]),
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, The University of
Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.
5) POSTDOCTORAL POSITION WITH MRO’S HIRISE
Applicants are invited for a postdoctoral position associated with
MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), located at
the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona. The
research emphasis will be on Mars geology and surface processes that
are relevant to HiRISE. Work on terrestrial or other planetary
analogs and quantitative studies using digital topography, spectral
imaging, and other data are encouraged. Experience in analysis of
data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars
(CRISM) is highly desirable. Other useful skills and experience
include remote sensing, image processing, and lab-based measurements
and experiments. Researchers with primary experience and training in
terrestrial geology are welcome.
6) LPI SUMMER INTERN PROGRAM IN PLANETARY SCIENCE
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) invites undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit to experience research in the planetary sciences. As a summer intern, you will work one-on-one with a scientist either at the LPI or NASA Johnson Space Center on a research project of current interest in planetary science. Furthermore, you will participate in peer-reviewed research, learn from top-notch planetary scientists, and preview various careers in science.
The 10-week program begins June 4, 2012, and ends on August 10, 2012. Selected students will receive a $5000.00 stipend plus a travel stipend of $1000.00 (U.S. students) (foreign nationals will receive a $1500.00 foreign travel reimbursement).
Applications are only accepted via the electronic application form found at the LPI’s Summer Intern Program website:
Faculty members: Please pass this information on to any of your students who might be interested.
1) LAST CHANCE (TODAY !) TO SUBMIT AN ABSTRACT FOR THE EGU GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2012 (EGU2012),
22 – 27 APRIL 2012, VIENNA, AUSTRIA
The Planetary and Solar System Science Division of EGU is happy to announce that the call for papers is now open.
Detailed information on the planetary programme and meeting organization can be found on the EGU meeting website:
Each Session shows the link Abstract Submission. Using this link you are asked to log in to the Copernicus Office Meeting Organizer. Please pay attention to the First Author Rule as described at: http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2012/abstract_management/how_to_submit…
The deadline for the receipt of Abstracts is 17 Jan 2012 (today!)
2) NORDIC-NASA SUMMER SCHOOL “WATER, ICE AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE”
The summer school “Water, Ice and the Origin of Life in the Universe”, which will be held in Iceland from 2 to 15 July 2012, aims to give participants a thorough high-level introduction into the role of water in the evolution of life in the cosmos, starting from formation of water molecules in space and ending with the evolution of the first organisms. It will bring together students and researchers from a multitude of different science branches, making it a truly multidisciplinary event. The event will be organized by the Nordic Astrobiology Network together with the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Field studies on the colonization of lava fields and glaciers will complement the lectures. The program of the summer school includes:
• lectures by internationally leading scientists covering a broad range of subjects in astrobiology
• investigation of colonization of volcanic rocks and glaciers with in-situ life detection techniques
• excursions to geologically and biologically interesting sites (lava caves, new lava fields)
• 2 poster sessions for students and early career scientists
• participant-led discussions about hot topics.
The event is intended for graduate students and early career scientists (up to 5 years after their first Ph. D. in a related field) in fields related to astrobiology. Undergraduate students can also apply, and will be accepted under exceptional circumstances. The event is open to applicants from all nationalities.
Detailed information about the summer school and the application procedure (deadline 31 January 2012) can be found at http://www.nordicastrobiology.net/Iceland2012 .
Successful applicants accepted by the Scientific Committee as participants will receive free lodging, meals and excursions, but will have to organize financial means for their travel to and from Iceland themselves. Course credit awards (ECTS points) for undergraduate and Ph. D. students will be applied for by the course organizers.
3) B0.6 “ASTROBIOLOGY: LIFE SIGNS DETECTION WITHIN PLANETARY EXPLORATION” FOR THE 39TH SCIENTIFIC ASSEMBLY OF THE COSPAR
submission of abstracts is now underway. COSPAR 2012 will bring together approximately 2500 scientists and engineers from allover the world to present the latest results in 120 symposia covering all areas of space science.
14 – 22 July 2012
– Early registration deadline: 30 April 2012
The program for distinguished interdisciplinary lectures is now
available and may be consulted at:
– Visit www.irs2012.org for more information & submit an abstract
– The abstract submission deadline is 19 January, two days from now ! We won’t decide about an extension for abstract submittal until then, so get your abstract in now.
– The International Radiation Symposium happens only once every 4 years!
Contact : Robert Cahalan, NASA GSFC
5) 67TH OSU INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON MOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY
June 18-22, 2012, Columbus, OH, USA
email: [email protected]‐state.edu
For additional details, visit the Symposium website
6) SUMMER SCHOOL ALPBACH 2012
Students can now apply and submit applications online until March 31, 2012.
Contact: Michaela Gitsch
Aeronautics and Space Agency
7) CHARACTERIZING & MODELING EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES – THEORY & OBSERVATION”
MPIA SUMMER CONFERENCE 2012.
WHEN: Heidelberg, MPIA, July 16 – 20, 2012
Abstract deadline: April 15 2012
Registration opens: Jan. 15 2012
It will be a great opportunity to discuss recent results in theory and
observations in a lively setting.
The initial website is at http://www.mpia-hd.mpg.de/exoplanets2012/
Registration will open Jan 15 via the updated website.
contact: [email protected]
conference venue: House of Astronomy at MPIA
This meeting will accommodate a maximum of 90 participants