Issue 13-1, January 6, 2013
1) PLANETARY DIVISION MANAGEMENT RESPONDS TO COMMUNITY CONCERNS
2) CHANGES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE MARS EXPLORATION PROGRAM AT NASA
3) COMMUNITY URGED TO HEAR NASA¹S JIM GREEN PRESENTATION ON 10 JANUARY
4) REMINDER : 2013 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
5) INVITATION TO APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP IN EXOPLANET MISSION CONCEPT STDTS
6) JOB/POSITION OPPORTUNITIES
7) UPCOMING MEETINGS
PLANETARY DIVISION MANAGEMENT RESPONDS TO COMMUNITY CONCERNS
By James L. Green, Director, Planetary Science Division
The President’s FY13 budget for the Planetary Science Division (PSD)
was reduced by 21% from its FY12 level. This reduction has not been
equally distributed throughout the program. For instance our flight
programs have taken the greatest reduction with the withdrawal of
significant NASA participation in ESA¹s Mars 2016 and 2018 missions,
and significant changes in the Discovery and New Frontiers flight
rates. It is a fact that a reduction in Planetary Division funding will
reduce science with the additional expectation that there will be
increased proposal pressure in many of the Research and Analysis
(R&A) programs as missions wind down with no new mission selections and
participating scientist calls to take their place.
The projected R&A funding for FY13 is planned to be $228M, which is
more than 19% of the entire Planetary Science budget (a historic high
percentage). The PSD is following closely previous recommendations and
findings of the Planetary Science Subcommittee (PSS) to better manage
its R&A program consistent with funding constraints while addressing
critical R&A issues such as slow notification and budget stability. It
is important to note that NASA is currently being funded under a
continuing resolution whose procedures are to provide partial funding
at regular intervals. Therefore, many of the PSD Program Officers (PO)
do not currently have all their R&A program funding to meet their
current commitments and selections. To take this situation into
account, the following are the PSD R&A management principles:
1. FY13 funding targets have been provided to all program officers
(PO) for each of the PSD ROSES program elements.
2. All POs will meet current ongoing grants commitments before new
selections can be made.
3. Awards will be made and announced beginning one month after the
review panels have met.
4. Section announcements will be either: selected, notselected, or
5. Proposals in the selectable category will be selected as funding
becomes available throughout the fiscal year. This means that selection
rates for a program will increase as additional selections are announced.
As an example, recent selection announcements in the Planetary
Astronomy and Planetary Atmosphere R&A programs did not report the “selectable”
letters that went out to many proposers that would be funded as funds
become available later in the year.
Contrary to statements being made by some individuals in the science
community, the recent announcement of the Mars 2020 rover has nothing
to do with the current R&A selection rates nor has it impacted the
current or projected amounts to be spent in the R&A program. The Mars
2020 rover will be designed to “conduct mobile surface-based science at
a site selected for its ability to preserve evidence of life, and
prepare for the future return of samples per the NRC Planetary Decadal
Survey.” A call for the membership of the Science Definition Team
(SDT) for the Mars 2020 rover has just been release. For more
information on this SDT please see:
[copied from the PEN SPECIAL EDITION – Vol. 6, Nr. 57]
CHANGES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE MARS EXPLORATION PROGRAM AT NASA
By James L. Green, Director, NASA Planetary Science Division
With the retirement of Doug McCuistion, Director of the Mars Exploration Program (MEP) at the end of December, I would like to announce the following:
– Acting MEP Director: James Green
– Lead MEP Program Executive: Lisa May
– Lead MEP Program Scientist: Michael Meyer
Doug has worked tirelessly for the Federal Government for over 30 years and as the Director of MEP for 8 and 1/2 years. His dedication to the program is legendary. As a good friend, I will miss our daily interactions and his very steady hand on the Mars program. I am sure I speak for everyone in wishing him the very best in his future endeavors.
COMMUNITY URGED TO HEAR NASA¹S JIM GREEN PRESENTATION ON 10 JANUARY
There has been much discussion of NASA¹s Planetary Science Division (PSD) budget in recent weeks (about R&A in particular). Next week, Jim Green will give a presentation at the OPAG meeting in Atlanta about this, at 8:30 am on 10 January 2013. We strongly encourage our membership to call in via webcast to hear what he has to say, and to educate themselves about the current and upcoming PSD budget, including R&A. You can register for the webex and see the agenda at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/.
Rosaly Lopes (DPS Chair) & Heidi Hammel (DPS Vice-Chair)
REMINDER : 2013 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
You should have paid your 2013 membership dues online at https://members.aas.org/ by 31 December 2012. 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 2013. 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].
INVITATION TO APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP IN EXOPLANET MISSION CONCEPT STDTS
The NASA Astrophysics Division is soliciting applications for membership in two Science and Technology Definition Teams (STDTs) for exoplanet direct-imaging missions. The Dear Colleague letter is being distributed via the NSPIRES distribution list. Applications (via e-mail) are due by February 15.
One team will study a concept based on a telescope with an internal coronagraph to generate the ultra-high contrast images needed for directly detecting and characterizing exoplanets. A second study will use a pair of spacecraft flying in formation – a telescope and an external occulter (starshade). The STDTs are supported by a Concept Study Office staffed by the Exoplanet Exploration Program.
You can find more information on the STDTs, including the Dear Colleague invitation letter and a draft Charter for the teams, on the new STDT web pages on the Exoplanet Exploration Program’s website: https://exep.jpl.nasa.gov/stdt/.
If you have questions about the studies, please contact Douglas Hudgins, NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program Scientist ([email protected]<[email protected]<jobs
for more information and also consider posting a job by filling out the jobs submission form at:
You can send any comments, questions, or suggestions to the DPS Jobs Czar at: [email protected]]
A) SENIOR AND POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER POSITIONS
in electromagnetic wave scattering with Solar System application
The Planetary-System Research group at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki invites applications for two senior researcher positions and one postdoctoral researcher position. The positions are funded by the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant entitled Scattering and absorption of electromagnetic waves in particulate media (SAEMPL).
In SAEMPL, electromagnetic scattering in complex particulate media is studied numerically using multiple-scattering theory based on the Maxwell equations, with a sophisticated treatment of the leading interaction diagrams. The numerical methods are validated using a nanotechnology-based scattering experiment that utilizes Atomic Force Microscopy. The numerical and experimental methods promise to have an impact on how knowledge is accrued on objects in our Solar System based on their scattering characteristics. Furthermore, the methods promise to have immediate applications in Earth observation, including remote sensing of the atmosphere, land, and sea.
Senior researcher A (scattering theory, numerical methods)
Senior researcher A will carry out theoretical and numerical research for multiple scattering in particulate media. The position will be filled for three years with a tentative starting date of March 1, 2013. There will be an option for a two-year extension of the employment.
Senior researcher B (scattering experiments)
Senior researcher B will develop experimental measurements in scattering at visible to near-infrared wavelengths. The position will be filled for three years with a tentative starting date of March 1, 2013. There will be an option for a two-year extension of the employment.
Postdoctoral researcher (scattering theory, numerical methods)
The postdoctoral researcher will focus on theoretical and numerical advances in multiple scattering. The position will be filled for two years with a tentative starting date of September 1, 2013. There will be an option for a one-year extension of the postdoctoral period.
For more detailed information about the positions, see
Applications should have the following two enclosures (in English):
1) curriculum vitae (four pages at maximum);
2) list of publications.
Applications are to be delivered, together with the required enclosures, to Professor Karri Muinonen either electronically via e-mail to [email protected] or, alternatively, via ordinary mail using the following address: Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a), FI-00014 U. Helsinki, Finland.
The closing date for applications is January 28, 2013 at 16.00 local time in Helsinki.
More details can be obtained from Professor Karri Muinonen,
+358 9 191 22941, [email protected].
B) POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER POSITION IN ”EXOPLANETARY MAGNETOSPHERES” PROJECT WITHIN KEY NATIONAL RESEARCH NETWORK PROGRAM S116.
Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
The Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Graz, Austria, announces the availability of a Postdoctoral Researcher position in the “Exoplanetary Magnetospheres” project which is a part of a Key National Research Network program “Pathways to Habitability” (S116) supported by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF). The research scope of the project includes (but not limited) the investigation of plasma processes and self-consistent magnetic field structure in the magnetospheres of giant exoplanets in the presence of a rotating magnetized planetary body and an escaping ionized atmospheric material flow.
The position will be given initially for 2 years, with a monthly brutto salary 3.382 €. Prolongation of the position up to full 6 years may be possible, depending on the project performance and availability of funds. An early starting date, February 1, 2013 is encouraged.
A successful candidate is expected to have an advanced knowledge of space plasma physics with an expertise in plasma kinetic and MHD theories. Research experience in the field of planetary magnetospheric physics, planetary radio emission, as well as competence in numerical simulations would be an advantage.
Further details regarding the position may be requested from the project leader Dr. Maxim Khodachenko at Space Research Institute in Graz ([email protected]).
Applications include a CV, a publication list, a summary of previous and current research (max 3 pages) submitted electronically as a PDF file to the project leader. Applicants also should arrange for three letters of reference sent by the referees directly to the same contact. Applications review begins in January 2013 and will continue until the position is given.
A) 44TH LPSC
18-22 March 2013, The Woodlands, Texas
URGENT : Abstract deadline: 8 January 2013.
B) 47th ESLAB SYMPOSIUM : THE UNIVERSE AS SEEN BY PLANCK
2-5 April 2013, ESTEC, Noorwijk
URGENT :Abstract deadline: 10 January 2013.
C) EGU 2013 GENERAL ASSEMBLY
7- 12 Apr 2013
You are cordially invited to browse through the Planetary Sessions programme at: http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2013/sessionprogramme/PS
and submit an abstract. Each Session shows the link Abstract Submission. Using this link you are asked to log in to the Copernicus Office Meeting Organizer.
Detailed information on how to submit an abstract can be found at: http://www.egu2013.eu/abstract_management/how_to_submit_an_abstract.html
URGENT : The deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 09 Jan 2013.
D) THIRD IAA PLANETARY DEFENSE CONFERENCE
April 15-19, 2013, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Topics include planetary defense; recent progress and plans; NEO discovery; NEO characterization; mitigation techniques and missions; impact effects that inform warning, mitigation and costs; and consequence management and education.
The conference will include an exercise where participants will simulate the decision-making process for developing deflection and civil defense responses to a hypothetical asteroid threat.
A field trip to Meteor Crater is also offered.
The abstract deadline has been extended to January 18 2013.
See www.pdc2013.org for more information.
E) HABITABLE WORLDS ACROSS SPACE AND TIME
The 2013 STScI Spring Symposium
April 29 – May 2, 2013
Abstract submission deadline: March 15, 2013
On-line registration deadline: March 29, 2013
Within a matter of years, humanity will know for the first time the frequency of terrestrial planets in orbit around other stars. This knowledge will pave the way for joining research from astronomy, Earth science, and biology to understand the past, present, and future of the Earth within its larger context as one of many habitable worlds. Such work seeks to understand the formation and fate of the Earth as well as predict where and when different bodies will be suitable for life. In this four-day symposium, scientists from diverse fields will discuss the formation and long-term evolution of terrestrial bodies throughout the various phases of stellar and Galactic evolution. A particular focus will be in how the specific conditions and challenges for habitability on Earth extend to other bodies in the Solar System and beyond. The existence of these overlooked environments may provide motivation for novel astronomical observations with existing and next generation ground and space-based observatories.
For more information on the Symposium, please check the website:
F) VENUS SCIENCE CONFERENCE
10-14 June 2013, Catania, Italy
With a wealth of new data from Venus Express and ground based telescopic observations, enhanced with significant progress in theory and modelling the interest in Venus is higher than in many years. We are organising an International Venus Science conference in the ancient town of Catania, Italy, 10-14 June 2013. Topics covered include all aspects of Venus research from the interior through the atmosphere out to the magnetosphere and the interaction with the solar wind. The format of the conference will follow that of the three past conferences held in La Thuile and in Aussions in 2007-2010, with a mix of invited talks/tutorials, contributed talks and posters. An excursion to Mount Etna, as an analogue of a Venusian volcano is foreseen.
Please have a look at the meeting web site for additional information:
On behalf of the Scientific Organising Committee,
G) AOGS 2013 ANNUAL MEETING
24-28 June 2013, Brisbane, Australia
Abstract deadline: 29 January 2013.
10th Anniversary Meeting and First Time in the Southern Hemisphere- Join Us!
H) DAVOS ATMOSPHERE AND CRYOSPHERE ASSEMBLY (DACA-13)
8-12 July 2013, Davos, Switzerland
Abstract deadline: 31 January 2013.
This conference is a joint assembly organized by The International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS) and the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS), will bring together some 1’200 scientists from both fields to present and discuss the latest research in separate or joint sessions. A large variety of topics will be covered, from ice-sheet modelling to extreme climate events, from solar UV radiation to avalanche formation and permafrost – be sure to contribute and benefit from the possibility to extend your network and meet excellent scientists from a wide range of fields.
DACA-13 will be held from July 8 – 12 in the mountain resort of Davos, where the exciting outdoors join culture, lifestyle and an invigorating climate in the middle of the magnificent alpine landscape.
The schedule for the week is now online. We hope to se you there!
I) COMETS AS TRACERS OF SOLAR SYSTEM FORMATION AND EVOLUTION
July 9-11, 2013, Toulouse, France
Abstract submission deadline: March 31, 2013
On-line registration deadline: April 30, 2013
Maximum number of participants: 60
We are pleased to announce a workshop on the role of comets in understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System. This meeting will take place in a three-day science program comprised of themed sessions, and featuring a mixture of invited reviews, invited and contributed talks and posters.
The workshop will cover topics ranging from the dynamical and chemical evolution of the solar nebula during formation, to the techniques for measuring the composition of comets. Invited speakers include some of the community leaders in cometary science, measurements and technology development. We will discuss the role that Rosetta measurements will play in understanding the origin of Solar System bodies, and what future missions to comets are being planned. Abstract submissions for posters and for talks are encouraged, although the number of talks available is limited in order to keep the meeting to three days. Register early, as space is limited to no more than 60 participants! There will be a special issue of the journal Planetary and Space Science devoted to the works presented at this meeting.
From Kathleen Mandt and Olivier Mousis
Send submissions to:
Athena Coustenis, DPS Secretary ([email protected])
LESIA (Bat. 18)
Observatoire de Paris-Meudon
5, place Jules Janssen
92195 Meudon Cedex