Newsletter 13-24

Issue 13-24, September 27, 2013




Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as DPS Chair during the last year. It was challenging but also very rewarding and instructive and I urge others to take the opportunity to serve as officers or committee members. I am very happy to welcome the next DPS Chair, Heidi Hammel, and the next Vice-Chair, Bonnie Buratti, as well as the new committee members. A big thank you to those departing, including former Chair Dan Britt. It was wonderful to work with you.

Planetary science is having tough fiscal times, but we have made some progress. Thank you for your letters and visits to Congress, our message was certainly heard. I also want to thank the efforts of AGU, GSA, and The Planetary Society. Coordinating our efforts makes us stronger and The Planetary Society brings in many thousands of members of the public who are supportive of our science and exploration.

As of now, thanks in part to your efforts over the past year, both the House and the Senate are working towards bills that will provide NASA’s Planetary Science Division with some $100 million more than requested by the Administration for FY14. While this level of budget restoration is deeply appreciated and will help alleviate the damage that the Administration’s budget cuts would inflict, it is insufficient to fully achieve the balanced goals of the Vision and Voyages Decadal Survey. However, we believe that our supporters in Congress intend to restore the planetary budget back to its historic $1.5B in the following year. Our continued united support for the Vision and Voyages Decadal Survey, and for budget restoration to the $1.5B annual level, will help Congress greatly in achieving this outcome.

You may have noticed that DPS has not urged you to write letters recently. This is because we are working closely with the AAS to target our campaigns at the most appropriate times. I am grateful to Joel Parriott from the AAS (who formerly worked at OMB) and Makenzie Lystrup (our new FRS chair and a former staffer) for their guidance and insight into how the US government works.

Thank you to all those of you who visited Congress, particularly the members of the FRS committee and of the young planetary scientists informal group, many of whom came to DC at their own expense and using their vacation time. Your dedication is inspiring.

Keep an eye on messages in the DPS newsletter – when we next ask you to write letters, it means the time is right. Best of luck to Heidi and Bonnie, and see you at the DPS meeting in Denver.

Rosaly Lopes


Denver, CO, 6-11 October 2013 – – a fantastic program of planetary science!

From the LOC:
Colorado is getting back to it’s usually dry and sunny weather.
Come enjoy the science and the scenery!

More reminders hereafter

1. Registration (never too late !)
You can still register for the meeting and you can also register at the meeting.
Due to the difficult situation some NASA colleagues are facing this year, we will not reinforce the prior registration policy. Note then that you will be able to also register on site !
Volunteers that sign up to work a minimum of 16 hours receive complimentary meeting registration, volunteer t-shirts, and access to the Exhibit Hall and all the sessions. We also provide complimentary lunch and parking on the days you work 4 or more hours.
If interested, please contact Kathy Cox at [email protected] or 202-328-2010 x117.

2. Local Travel Information:
Logistics for getting around Denver – lots of good local transport.…

3. Preparing your DPS oral presentation
The demand for oral talks at DPS this year was so high that only 70% of requests could be granted. If you were lucky enough to get an oral talk, here are some tips from the organizing committee for how to make the most of your good fortune:
* 1 slide per minute is a good pace for content-rich slides. Contributed talks should be about 7 minutes long (or about 12 minutes long for PhD talks). Do the math.
* Focus on why you did the work and what you learned. You won’t have time for extensive introductory material, or detailed descriptions of techniques.
* Make sure there’s a “take home” message on the final slide, and leave up your conclusions during questions so the audience can absorb them- don’t replace them with a “Thank You” or “Any Questions?” slide.
* Graphics:
– Simplify! Show only the essential stuff on your graphics
– Label your axes with text large enough to be legible from the back of the room. Don’t label axes with symbols you defined a couple of slides back- spell out whenever possible.
– Don’t use bright green, yellow, or cyan, on a white background. You might be able to see them on your computer screen but they tend to disappear on a projected image.
– Similarly, don’t use blue on a black background

There’s more good advice from Emily Lakdawalla at…

See you soon!
John Spencer, Andrew Steffl

4. Panel Discussion on the Future of Education & Public Outreach (E/PO) at the Denver DPS Meeting
You’re invited to attend a lunchtime panel discussion on “The Future of Education & Public Outreach” to be held during the Denver DPS meeting. Massive changes to E/PO have been proposed that impact the way that our work as planetary scientists makes its way to the classrooms and to the general public. The panel discussion will include a review of those plans, their current status, and a discussion on what lies ahead. Panelist include Jim Green, NASA/SMD; Heidi Hammel, incoming DPS chair; Maria Womack, NSF, and other members of the E/PO community to be confirmed. The event will take place on Wednesday, 9 October from 12:30-1:30 in the Governors Square 15 meeting room in the Sheraton. The event will be recorded and made available online after the event for those unable to attend in person.

-Nick Schneider, DPS Education & Public Outreach Officer ([email protected])

5. Banquet
Come to Denver Museum of Nature & Science for the DPS Banquet on Wed. Oct. 9th
Fun evening of good food, music (in planetarium, featuring surprise planetary musician) and a free roam of the Space Odyssey and Gems & Minerals (including spectacular gold from the Colorado hills). No speeches!
Student Ticket: $60
Regular Ticket: $80
Please sign-up for the Banquet using the online registration form. If you have already registered for the meeting but would like to attend the Banquet, please call our Registrar Tracy Beale at 202-328-2010 ext. 106.

6. Student/Post-Doc Reception
Sun. 6 Oct. 2013, 4:30-6:00pm. DPS meetings are great places for students to network among other scientists, to learn about how other scientists encounter scientific problems, and get new ideas. However, there are so many great presentations, talks, events, and information in a short time that the students rarely find time to network among other students and get advice close to their own level. This event will help students meet other students, in particular those who work on similar topics, to discuss their scientific views and general issues, and encourages the students to participate in brain storming conversations and joint projects. Since the post-docs were graduate students not so long ago, their advise and experience is valuable to graduate students, and for that reason this event will include post-docs as well. With these grounds, the goal of the student and post-doc reception is to prepare an icebreaker environment for students and post-docs to get familiar with each other on the first day of the meeting and use the rest of the meeting to enhance those connections and get involved with other activities.
Contact Al Khayat <[email protected]>.

7. Pro-Am Workshop
Thurs. Oct. 10th at 6:00pm. DPS is experimenting with a professional-amateur workshop where professionals present what opportunities are out there for collaborations with NASA missions and amateurs show samples of their observations. Examples: observing Pluto during New Horizons flyby, observing Jupiter’s clouds while Juno flies over the poles, taking images of comet ISON to find time-variability, light-curves of asteroids, follow-up on NEOs, searches for Moon impacts (perhaps related to LADEE), Mars observations during MAVEN, etc, etc, etc). Participants wishing to present (5 mns, 5 slides) send title & description (<200 words) to [email protected]. Organizer: Fran Bagenal, University of Colorado.

8. Exhibiting at DPS
Exhibitors at the DPS Meeting have an opportunity to speak directly with the customers they are serving. If your institution, observatory, company, lab or university is doing business in astronomy…you need to be exhibiting at the DPS Meeting in Denver. Contact Debbie Kovalsky, [email protected] or 202-328-2010 x110.…

9. Sponsorship Opportunities
Are you looking for more exposure for your company and a way to support astronomy? Look no further than a DPS Meeting Sponsorship. We can customize packages to fit your budget and needs. Contact Debbie Kovalsky, [email protected] or 202-328-2010 x110.…

10. Donations
Please also remember to donate to the new professional development award for planetary scientists, the Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund. The fund will provide financial assistance to qualifying DPS members to facilitate their attendance at the annual DPS meeting by offsetting dependent-care costs, either at the meeting location or at home during the week of the conference. In this, its inaugural year, the Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund will support Dependent Care Grants for the 45th annual meeting of the DPS in Denver, Colorado, 6-11 October 2013.

To apply, please fill out the online form by Sept. 2, 2013 at:

More information about the new fund, including how to donate:



For all Job opportunities, please visit jobs
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]


Greetings from Washington,

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress is now accepting applications for the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. The deadline is December 1.

Created in collaboration with NASA’s Astrobiology Program, the Astrobiology Chair conducts research into the humanistic and societal implications of astrobiology and the study of life in the universe. As scientific advancements now enable us to assess the possibilities for life in the universe, the implications for our relation to the universe and our conceptions of human life may be profound. Would a universe full of life enhance or detract from the value of life here on earth? The Kluge Center invites scholars and thinkers from the humanities and the sciences to explore the complex societal issues related to how life begins and evolves, and to examine the religious, ethical, legal, cultural and other concerns arising from scientific research on the origin, evolution, and nature of life.

The Astrobiology Chair position is open to scholars in any academic discipline or field–astrobiologists, as well as philosophers, religion scholars, ethicists, historians, scientists and humanists. During the year-long appointment, the Chair lives and works here in Washington, D.C., conducting research and organizing outreach activities to engage the broader academic community and the public. The Chair is provided with an office at The John W. Kluge Center, staff support, and access to the LoC’s unparalleled collections.

The Position: Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology

Who We Want: A leading thinker with distinction in a relevant field (or fields), such as philosophy, religion/theology, ethics, cultural studies, astrobiology, astronomy, planetary science, the history of science, paleontology, Earth and atmospheric sciences, geological sciences, etc.

Where: In the heart of the magnificent Thomas Jefferson Building, in the Library’s central position on Capitol Hill, amid a community of scholars, practitioners and policymakers in Washington, D.C.

Apply today, or go online to learn more: Deadline for applications is December 1. We are hoping that you or members of your community will apply, and that you will share this unique opportunity with your networks via email or social media.

The NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology is a joint project between the NASA Astrobiology Program and The John W. Kluge Center. Learn more at

All the best,

Jason Steinhauer
Program Specialist
Office of Scholarly Programs
Library of Congress

p: 202.707.0213
f: 202.707.3595
e: [email protected]

Be a scholar at the Library of Congress
Applications are currently being accepted
Visit for eligibility, instructions, and application forms

Take advantage of the rich holdings of the Library of Congress as a scholar-in-residence at The John W. Kluge Center


The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides opportunities for
scientists and engineers to conduct research largely of their own
choosing, yet compatible with the research opportunities posted on
the NPP Web site.

Selected by a competitive peer-review process, NPP Fellows complete
one- to three-year Fellowship appointments that advance NASA’s
missions in earth science, heliophysics, planetary science,
astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics and engineering, human
exploration and space operations, and astrobiology.

A sample research opportunity is posted at:

Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in hand before
beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing the degree
requirements. U. S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and
foreign nationals eligible for J-1 status as a Research Scholar
may apply.

Stipends start at $53,500 per year, with supplements for high cost-
of-living areas and for certain academic specialties. Financial
assistance is available for relocation and health insurance, and
$8,000 per year is provided for professional travel.

Applications are accepted three times each year: March 1, July 1,
and November 1.

The latest NPP Newsletter:

For further information and to apply, visit:

Questions: [email protected]


Astromaterials Research Office, NASA Johnson Space Center

We are pleased to announce a new opening for a civil servant position
within the Astromaterials Research Office (KR). The Incumbent serves
as a Planetary Mission Research Scientist in KR. The Incumbent conducts
fundamental planetary science research, participates in planning and
operations of robotic planetary exploration missions such as those in
the Discovery and/or New Frontiers programs, and provides expertise
on small-sample handling, curation, and analysis to the Astromaterials
Acquisition and Curation Office on an as-needed basis (combining to
90% time). The Incumbent also supports overall Directorate and Center
needs as assigned (10% time). The position is expected to be filled
at the GS-13 level.

Application period: Monday, 23 September 2013 to
Monday, 4 October 2013.

All applications must be completed using the website.
The job announcement number to search on is JS13D0035.
The full announcement can be viewed at:

I will provide upon request the HR-authored guide for compiling
competitive applications in; just email me if you’d
like a copy ([email protected]).

[From the PEN : edited for length.]

Boost your career and do your PhD in one of the largest centers for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Europe! Work with the leading scientists in the field to accelerate your scientific career!!
The International Max Planck Research School on Astrophysics (IMPRS) is soliciting applications for its PhD program. Located in the beautiful Munich-Garching area in southern Bavaria (Germany), the school offers a unique environment for graduate students due to the presence of four internationally renowned institutes which form the school:
* The Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics (MPE)
* The Observatory of the University of Munich (LMU/USM)
* The Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA)
* The European Southern Observatory (ESO)
IMPRS offers a highly competitive PhD program, including lectures, seminars and a research project supervised by leading scientists at one of the participating institutions. Course language is English.

Applications for the PhD-program are open to students from all countries. Successful applicants will get a fellowship and we will assist you with all administrative matters. This means “Concentrate on your research — we do the rest!”
For more details see:
The closing date for applications for the program starting in September 2014 is November 15, 2013.

For questions please contact the IMPRS admission office
or call us on Skype

With best regards,
Prof. Werner Becker
International Max-Planck Research School on Astrophysics
at the University of Munich I * M * P * R * S
Giessenbachstrasse 1
PO BOX 1312
85741 Garching Phone: +49 89 30000 3650
Germany Fax: +49 89 30000 3655




Posted at


Monday October 7th, 12-1:30pm, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) cordially invites you to a NRAO Community Event at the 45th DPS meeting. This event is specifically designed for the planetary science community, and in particular for those who do not regularly utilize radio data in their research. If you would like to learn more about the science that is possible with NRAO facilities for Solar System research and the proposal / observations process – this session is for you!

We will provide a brief overview of the NRAO facilities and their instruments followed by broad talks describing the variety of submm, mm and cm observations possible for Solar System bodies by I. de Pater (Berkeley) and M. Kelley (U. Maryland). We will discuss practical information on how to design and optimize proposals, focusing on the recent call for proposals for ALMA Cycle 2 proposals. We will also provide hands-on demonstration of the NRAO proposal tools.

No registration is required to attend the event but we will provide
lunch for those registering early on our website ( We strongly encourage early registration on our website so that we can best organize the event and add you to the event e-mail list for further communication.

We look forward to seeing you at the DPS!

The organizers,
Kartik Sheth & Arielle Moullet
Contacts : [email protected]; [email protected]


When: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12-1pm
Where: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Plaza ABC
How: Email stefanie.n.milam (at) to register.

NOTE: Northrop Grumman will sponsor a free lunch for pre-registered
attendees only.

Last year we held a workshop to provide the community details about
the current instrument specifications and observing modes for solar
system targets, as well as the observatory constraints such as
brightness limits on planets, moving targets, tracking, and others.
All details can be found online at:

This Town Hall meeting will bring the community up to speed on the
accomplishments and status of the recommendations provided to the
JWST team last year regarding solar system observations and solicits
the community for further input. We will feature a short science
presentation by Andrew Rivkin (JHU/APL).

Join us for an informal meeting and discussion hour over lunch at the
Division of Planetary Sciences Meeting in Denver, CO. This year’s
overall topic will be leadership. We will have a brief presentation,
but are planning for a very interactive program with lots of time for
discussion among participants. Please feel free to bring any
information/announcements related to women in astronomy and planetary
science to share. Due to the generosity of the DPS committee, we will
be able to provide boxed lunches this year. All are welcome! RSVPs are
requested due to space limitations and for planning the lunch order:

Important: I have just been alerted that the catering order needs to
be placed by Sept. 15th, so please RSVP if you think you might attend,
and please pass this invite and RSVP page on to interested persons!

Kelsi Singer and the Professional Development Committee of the DPS


The PDS Small Bodies Node is pleased to announce that it will be
offering a hands-on workshop in PDS4 data standards and data set
development at the upcoming DPS meeting in Denver:

Getting Acquainted with PDS4 Standards in Time for Comet ISON

Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
Date: Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Location: Governer’s Square 17

Observations of Comet ISON destined to be archived in the PDS will
be coming in under the brand-new PDS4 data standards. In this workshop
we will provide a brief intro to the new standards, and then provide
sample files and real-time help getting you set up to work with XML,
schemas, and the new PDS standards. PDS personnel will be on hand to
answer questions and guide you through the process of creating basic
labels for the most common data types. Bring your laptops and a
thumbdrive. Sample data of your own is welcome!

A web page for posting sample data and additional information of
interest is available at:

No registration is required for this free workshop. For questions or
more information:

Anne Raugh
PDS Small Bodies Node, University of Maryland
[email protected]
(301) 405-6855

B. Scott Gaudi, Ohio State Univ.

NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group holds its 8th meeting just prior to, and at the same venue as, the upcoming DPS meeting in Denver. ExoPAG meetings offer an opportunity to discuss scientific and technical issues and to provide input to NASA.…

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission will arrive at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in summer, 2014. We are soliciting ground- and spaced based observations of 67P/CG in support of the mission as the spacecraft approaches rendezvous at ~4 AU, into perihelion at 1.24 AU and outward again to beyond 3 AU. Please join us for an Observers Workshop at the DPS meeting at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 6, 2013. The planned agenda of talks is as follows:
2:00 p.m. The Rosetta Mission Paul Weissman
2:15 p.m. Comet 67P/CG Stephen Lowry
2:30 p.m. The ESA Observers Program Colin Snodgrass
2:45 p.m. Observers Program for Deep Karen Meech
Impact and EPOXI
3:00 p.m. Amateur Observers Program Elizabeth Warner (read by TBD)
3:15 p.m. Open Discussion
4:00 p.m. Adjourn

Paul Weissman



Send submissions to:
Athena Coustenis, DPS Secretary ([email protected])

To unsubscribe visit or email [email protected].
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Athena Coustenis
LESIA (Bat. 18)
Observatoire de Paris-Meudon
5, place Jules Janssen
92195 Meudon Cedex
Tel: +331 45077720
[email protected]