Newsletter 14-10

Issue14-10, May 2nd 2014



The 2014 election for DPS Vice-Chair and Committee is now open, and will close on July 31st 2014.

To vote, go to 
You will need your AAS member login ID (which defaults to your membership number), and your password. If you haven’t registered or renewed your DPS membership recently, you are getting this e-mail because we are using large recent DPS lists, but you may actually not be an active member anymore… So, please take a moment to check your status now and renew if you haven’t done so already. This will allow you to vote and benefit from all membership advantages.

If you have trouble voting on line, the AAS can do a proxy vote and vote on your behalf (send an e-mail to [email protected]). You will still get an automated email confirmation and a separate manual email, both with who you voted for and a confirmation number.

You should vote for one of the two candidates for Vice-Chair:
o Jason W. Barnes, University of Idaho
o Stephen J. Mackwell, LPI, Universities Space Research Association

The elected Vice-Chair will take his/her functions in October 2014 and will become the DPS Chair in October 2015.

You should also vote for two of the four candidates for DPS Committee: 
o Maria Antonietta Barucci, LESIA, Paris Observatory
o Joshua Emery, Dept of Earth & Planet. Sci., University of Tennessee
o Amy Lovell, Dept of Physics & Astronomy, Agnes Scott College  
o Gerald Wesley Patterson, APL, Johns Hopkins University

The successful candidates will serve on the committee for three years after October 2014.

The detailed vitae and position statements for each of the candidates follow.  This information is also linked from the main election page,


Candidates biographical notes and statements follow in alphabetical order.



Associate Professor of Physics
University of Idaho

Research Interests:
– Titan
– Exoplanets

– Ph.D. University of Arizona, Planetary Science, 2004
– B.S. Caltech, Astronomy, 1998

– University of Idaho, Associate Professor of Physics 2013-present
– University of Idaho, Assistant Professor of Physics 2008-2013
– NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, Ames Research Center, 2007-2008
– Postdoc, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, 2004-2006

DPS Service:
– Committee Member, 2009-2012
– Member, Scientific Organizing Committee, 2014 Annual Meeting (Tucson)

As the largest professional planetary society, the DPS is the primary voice of
the community of planetary scientists.  In terms of organizing our scientific
communications and advocating our interests to the US government, the DPS
remains an essential organization.  As Chair my priority would be to modernize
and streamline the DPS’ finances, meetings, and online systems to ensure its
continued effectiveness for a long and fruitful future.

Our greatest concern today is the NASA budget for planetary science.  The
Federal Relations Subcommittee (FRS), led by Makenzie Lystrup, has done an
amazing job these past few years under trying circumstances.  Thus I see the job
of the Chair to be ensuring that Makenzie and the FRS have all the resources
that they need continue to engage with Congress and, particularly, the
administration regarding funding priorities.  I will also work closely with our
parent organization, the AAS, to ensure that we do not work at cross-purposes
with one another.  To help the FRS do its job, however, we all need to keep
doing ours by reaching out to the public to communicate the discoveries that are
the fruits of public funding to the taxpayers.

To continue to serve the planetary community the DPS must keep its own house —
particularly its finances — in order.  The DPS nearly went under in 2009, only
to be rescued by a $250,000 federal bailout.  That is embarrassing.  And it is
not a sustainable way to run a professional society.  Although we are in good
financial health today, we must never be put in such a position again,
regardless of the state of the economy.  To that end, we need to be careful to
prevent inertia toward overly cavernous venues for the annual Meetings
that comprise the overwhelming majority of our budget.  The Committee should
always consider at least two venues when deciding on each meeting location.  And
we also need to look more closely at holding meetings in small-to-medium sized
cities that could be more cost-effective for the size of our gathering. 

But the best thing that we can do for the financial health of the DPS is to
diversify our revenue base.  Right now over 90% of our annual income derives
from the yearly meeting, with dues providing a small but important supplement.
We need an extra source of money to provide stability in the case of a
money-losing meeting, to enable new initiatives, and to allow the DPS the agency
to pursue its interests.

Icarus  the Division-sponsored journal, should provide us that new revenue.
As a DPS Committee member, I initiated the currently ongoing reevaluation of our
relationship with the Division-sponsored journal.  While other societies own
their journals (AAS owns ApJ and AJ, AGU owns GRL and JGR), Icarus is owned by
Elsevier, a private company.  As such Elsevier runs Icarus to maximize its
profit.  As a professional society, I think that the DPS needs to have some
control over its own journal, including a share of those profits.  Therefore I
support continued efforts by the DPS to negotiate with Elsevier to tie our
continued sponsorship of Icarus to (1) direct revenue payments from Elsevier
to the DPS general fund, and (2) complete autonomy and authority for the
DPS-appointed editor of Icarus (presently Phil Nicholson).

I would like to address two other issues that could be supported by any
additional revenue.  First, I want to fix our voting system.  Turnout in DPS
elections hovers around 20%, well lower than back when we mailed paper ballots.
We all know why this is:  the email that you get to vote is not a direct link,
but rather it requires that you either remember or look up your DPS ID number
and log in before you can vote.  When we asked the AAS to fix this issue in the
past, they blew us off.  Now we will have money to contract to or hire whomever
we need to solve the problem ourselves.  The other use of money that I propose
is to implement an online forum for DPS issues.  Right now the DPS leadership
communicates with the membership by way of the Member’s Meeting at the annual
conference.  Unfortunately the meeting has historically been sparsely attended,
and the attendees skew heavily to established scientists.  To help address these
problems, I propose to complement the Member’s Meeting with a web-based
discussion system that would both increase and broaden membership participation
in Division matters.

Since its inception as a Division in 1968, the DPS has served its membership
through both flush and trying circumstances.  I would like the chance to
implement the ideas that I have described here to help ensure that the DPS can
continue to serve us all for the foreseeable future.



Ph.D., Australian National University, Geophysics, 1985
M.Sc., University of Canterbury, Astrophysics, 1979

Lunar and Planetary Institute, Director, 2002-present
Rice University, Adjunct Professor, Earth Sciences, 2005-present
Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Uni. Bayreuth, Professor and Director, 1998-2002
Pennsylvania State University, Professor, Geosciences, 1988-1996
Cornell University, Research Fellow, 1984-1988

Selected honors, awards:
Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2010
Stipendiat der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bayreuth, Germany, 1996
Fellow, Mineralogical Society of America, 1996

Major editorial roles:
Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets, Univ. Arizona Press, 2013
Oxygen in the Solar System, Min. Soc. Am.: Rev. Min. Geochem., 2008
Editorial Board, Phys. Chem. Min., 1996-present
Editor in Chief, Geophysical Research Letters, 2001-2005
Editor (Solid Earth), Geophysical Research Letters, 2000-2001
Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth, 1992-1997

Selected service to the community:
NRC Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science (2012-present)
NRC Planetary Decadal Survey (Vice Chair – Inner Planets, and Steering Committee) (2010)
NRC Committees: Assessment of NASA Science Mission Directorate 2014 Science Plan (2014); Lessons Learned in Decadal Planning in Space Science (2012); Review of Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies (2010); New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration (2008)
NASA Review Panels: multiple PG&G (panelist, group chief, panel chair), Astrophysics Senior Review (2010), Human Tended Suborbital Science Program (2008), NIAC (2013)
NSF – Program Director (Geophysics) (1993-1994)

For the past decade, my primary role as director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute has been to support and advocate for the planetary community. Our community has been hit hard by drift in the direction of NASA’s programs and the low priority of Planetary Exploration within the Administration. The promise of the planetary community’s Decadal Survey remains largely unfulfilled because planetary science funding does not match planetary science vision. The key challenge for DPS is to strongly and effectively advocate for planetary science in the halls of Congress, NASA, and the Administration. Our goal should be to have a planetary science budget that matches the vision of our Decadal Survey.

I spend a lot of time in Washington at NASA, on the Hill, and in other Administration offices as part of various analysis and advisory groups. I know how the process works and how to advocate effectively for our goals. As the Chair of DPS, I will be able to build on this foundation and advocate strongly for the key components of the Decadal, including Research and Analysis, Technology, Discovery, New Frontiers, and Flagship activities. My work in support of the planetary science community has given me a balanced perspective on the broader needs of our community. As your representative, I can bring your concerns to policy makers, advocate forcefully for the resources to bring our vision to reality, and continue the outstanding work of past chairs.



Senior Astronomer (Exceptional Class) at the Laboratoire d’Etudes Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique – Paris Observatory, France

– PhD in Mathematics at the University La Sapienza – Roma (Italy), 1982
– “Habilitation à diriger des recherches” in Astronomy- University of Paris VII (France), 1993.

Main research topic:
Exploration of the Solar System from ground and space to understand the physical and chemical nature of primitive small bodies and to investigate the accretion and evolution processes of the protoplanetary disk(s). More than 680 scientific publications and several books.

Professional Background:
– Professor of “Solar System science” at Master1 and Master2 level (1995-present)      
– PI of the MarcoPolo-R mission in study at ESA in the framework of CosmicVision M class program (2007-2013)
– Co-I of the OSIRIS-REx (NASA) and Hayabusa2 (JAXA) mission (2011-present)
– Member of RSSD advisor Committee of ESA (2007-2008)
– Member of AHG of ESSC-ESF for the European Space Exploration  Roadmap (2006-2008)
– Co-I of several instruments: SIMBIO-SYS for BEPI COLOMBO (ESA) (2004-present); VIRTIS  and  OSIRIS for ROSETTA ESA mission (1995-present); AMIE camera on SMART-1 ESA mission (1998-2006); CIRS on the orbiter  and of HASI for Huygens probe on CASSINI/Huygens NASA-ESA mission (1990-present).
– Member of the ESA Solar System Working Group Committee (2006-2009)
– Deputy Director of LESIA-Paris Observatory (2001-2005)
– Member of the Science Definition Team at ESA of ROSETTA mission (ESA) (1992-1994)

Selected honors, awards:
2011-2014: Prix for excellence in science from the French Research Minister
2009: American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE-2009) for the book “The Solar System beyond Neptune”, Univ. Arizona Press
2004: ESA achievement award for OSIRIS-Rosetta Mission
2004: ESA achievement award for VIRTIS-Rosetta Mission
2000: NASA achievement award for HASI-Huygens/Cassini Mission
2000: NASA achievement award for CIRS-Huygens/Cassini Mission
1994-2010: Award for research and doctoral tutorial.

We live in a worldwide uncertain period for science and space exploration. The Division for Planetary Science of the A.A.S. plays and has to continue to play a fundamental role to focus and promote planetary research activities. If selected for the DPS committee, I will strive to support these goals toward the main objectives of planetary exploration.  I dedicated a large parte of my career in planetary science and space missions with involvement in ESA, NASA and JAXA projects and I will continue to work toward a common international effort to increase the planetary science activities, searching to improve the ways to collaborate among fellow scientists and engineers in order to optimize the results.

Planetary science is a major player in space agencies all over the world, and in particular in Europe and in the US. It is essential to maintain the momentum gained and the interest of the communities behind common projects in which constructive exchanges between the two continents (via collaborations, communications, multi-agency forums, etc) will play a major role.  The future of planetary science and exploration requires a lot of attention, especially in these difficult budgetary times, and it is my wish to work together with the DPS committee to develop plans to strengthen these activities and promote space exploration. I believe that joint meetings between the DPS and other countries (such as with the European Planetary Science Conference) are beneficial and I will certainly help to organize such joint venue opportunities.

I am very sensitive to science education and outreach to form and promote future generations of scientists and engineers and it will be my duty to be vigilant that young people and teachers will benefit from the DPS guidance and networking. I will help in any possible way the DPS E/PO officer to maintain and enhance the outreach activities and promote the science to the public.
If elected in the DPS committee, I would like to hear the opinions and ideas from the community for improving our goals and ensuring a bright future for planetary exploration through the generations to come.


Assistant Professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences; University of Tennessee

Research Focus:  Planetary Astronomy
The goal of my research is to contribute to the understanding of the formation and evolution of the Solar System and the distribution of organic material.  As an observational planetary astronomer, I apply the techniques of reflection and emission spectroscopy and spectrophotometry of primitive and icy bodies in the near- (0.8 to 5.0 mm) and mid-infrared (5 to 50 mm) to address these topics.  The Jupiter Trojan asteroids have been a strong focus of my research because they are a key group for distinguishing several models of Solar System evolution and for understanding the prevalence of organic material.  I also regularly observe Kuiper Belt objects, icy satellites, and other asteroid groups to understand the state of their surfaces as related to these topics.  I am a Co-I on the OSIRIS-REx mission.

PhD in Planetary Sciences (minor in Geosciences); Univ. Arizona, Tucson, 2002
Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Physics; Boston University, 1995

Employment History:
2011 – present: Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee.
2010 – 2011: Research Associate Professor, University of Tennessee.
2008 – 2010: Research Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee.
2005 – 2008:  Principal Investigator, SETI Institute. 
2002 – 2005: Research Scientist, SETI Institute (NASA Ames contractor).
1998 – 2002:  Graduate Research/Teaching Associate, University of Arizona.
1995 – 1998:  Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, University of Arizona.
1992 – 1995:  Undergraduate Research Assistant, Boston University.
Professional Organizations
    • American Astronomical Society / Division for Planetary Sciences
–      Federal Relations Subcommittee, 2008-2012
    • American Geophysical Union
Professional Service
    • Group chief, panel member, and external reviewer for various NASA programs
    • Journal reviews (Icarus, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Astronomical Journal, Astrophysical Journal, Nature, Journal of Geophysical Research)
    • Keck Next Generation Adaptive Optics Working Group, 2006
    • Spitzer Warm Mission, Planetary Science Goals team member, 2007
    • NASA Infrared Telescope Facility Time Allocation Committee, 2007 – 2009
    • Spitzer Space Telescope allocation committee (2010) and DDT external reviewer (2007 – 2010)
    • Session chair at Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, AAS/DPS, and AGU
    • Contributed substantially to 5 white papers for NASA Planetary Science Decadal Survey

Professional organizations such as the DPS provide critical roles in advocating for the interests of the membership and facilitating communication of science among members and to the broader community.  Over the years, the DPS committee has been very successful, helping to build the robust international planetary science endeavor we enjoy today.  The annual DPS membership meeting is my favorite conference – the right size to fill a full week with exciting science and still enable plenty of personal interaction.  The DPS support of Icarus continues to provide the community an excellent venue for publishing results that span the broad scope of planetary science.  The committee must be vigilant to ensure that the annual meeting and Icarus continue to have the resources to serve the membership, while thinking broadly to identify avenues for improvement. Support for students and early career scientists, in terms of both meeting attendance and access to Icarus, is particularly important.

It is clear that, in the current and foreseeable budget climate, the DPS leadership must continue strong and strategic advocacy for planetary science.  During my recent 4 year tenure on the DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee, including several trips to Washington to meet with members of Congress, OMB, and NASA management, our advocacy needs changed.  The importance of open dialog with all of the stakeholders in planetary exploration, in order to overcome the challenges posed by recent presidential budget requests, cannot be overstated.  The DPS committee and chairs have done an excellent job stepping up this communication and coordinating with other relevant professional organizations, and we have seen tangible results of their hard work.  Yet the absence of several important elements of the balanced program put forth in the Decadal Survey from the latest presidential budget request highlights the need for continued dialog.

The DPS membership is international, and each of us benefits tremendously from the global nature of this field.  Just as we in the US have specific advocacy issues right now, our members in other countries may also, from time to time, need the backing of a large community.  The DPS should continue its efforts to improve coordination with relevant international organizations for worldwide support of planetary science.

As a DPS committee member, I would be honored to serve the planetary community to help preserve and expand the vibrant and exciting scientific exploration that we all have been blessed to participate in.


Professor of Astronomy, Agnes Scott College

– Scientific Focus 
Radio Spectroscopy of Comets and Thermal Emission from Asteroids

– Education:
Ph.D. Astronomy, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1999.
B.A. Physics-Astronomy, Agnes Scott College, 1990.

– Professional Positions:
Agnes Scott College Department of Physics & Astronomy, 2000-present
Arecibo Observatory Visiting Scientist 2006-2007
Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) Visiting Scientist, spring 2004
Amherst College, Five College Astronomy Science Education Fellow, 1998-2000

– Recent Service Roles:
DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee (2007-2011)
DPS Professional Development Subcommittee (2012-)
Committee on Radio Frequencies (2013-)
Arecibo Science Advocacy Partnership (ASAP) Board Member 2008-
NSF Astronomy Portfolio Review Committee 2011-2012
AAS Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy (2010-2011)
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Comets10 Workshop SOC, 2010

I would be honored to serve the DPS as a committee member, and hope to draw on an array of scientific and professional experiences to keep the Division strong.  I am pleased to see DPS membership has been increasing in diversity in a variety of ways — in national and international geographical representation, in differing professional paths of planetary science, at all career levels including students, in broader racial & ethnic representation, and towards a more equal gender balance.  I will strive to help the Division keep in mind and broaden our diversity of membership, and how we can stay relevant and supportive of our wide variety of members.  I have also been pleased to see a more active stance of the DPS in science advocacy, in the legislative process, in professional development, and in education.  Building on a strong subcommittee structure, and in partnership with the AAS, I want to continue the work to keep our voices heard by policymakers and the public both in our local areas and in Washington.  I would urge all DPS members to take a more active role and voice, within the acceptable parameters of their employment, to increase support for planetary science research, solar system missions, and rational science education.

The DPS has been my professional home for 20 years, and as the only planetary scientist on the faculty at a small undergraduate institution, I value highly the professional and scientific interactions of our annual meetings. Given the importance of international collaborations and partnerships in planetary science, I also value the geographic diversity of our membership and am eager to see international members at meetings both in the US and abroad. While recent meetings have opened increased opportunities in professional development both for students and early-career scientists, I would like the DPS to strengthen these and other professional development initiatives, including mentoring and networking.  Any attempt to increase professional networking or mentoring, however, needs a full array of DPS members at meetings, and such efforts are harmed when civil servants have restricted travel, when US planetary scientists have trouble attending international meetings, or when funding limitations of many sorts interfere.  This is another area where I believe DPS advocacy and action is needed, and can have positive impacts on the field of planetary science.


Research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Research Focus  
I use remotely sensed data to understand the formation and evolution of planetary surfaces. Current research involves understanding the radar scattering properties of lunar surface materials and the tectonic histories of Europa, Ganymede, and Enceladus.

– Education:
Ph.D., Geological Sciences, Brown University, 2007
B.S., Geology, University of Florida, 1997

– Positions:
Senior Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab., 2009–present
Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab., 2007–2009

– Missions:
Cassini Participating Scientist, February 2014 – present
Co-Investigator, RIME on Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer, February 2013 – present
Deputy PI, Mini-RF on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, June 2013 – present
Co-Investigator, Mini-RF on LRO, 2011 – 2013
Associate Pre-Project Scientist, Europa Mission Concept, May 2010 – present
Science team member, Mini-RF on LRO, 2008–2011
Science team member, Mini-SAR on Chandrayaan-1, 2008–2009

– Service:
Local organizing committee, The Habitability of Icy Worlds, February 2014
Co-organizer, DC-area Europa Workshop, April 2014
Science organizing committee, Planetary Data Users Workshop, June 2012
Member, NASA Europa Science Definition Team, May 2012 – present
Associate member, NASA Europa Science Definition Team, 2011 – May 2012
Co-organizer, ISIS Users Workshop, October 2011
Co-organizer, Planetary Science session, AGU December 2010 – 2013
Fellow, NASA Graduate Student Research Program (GSRP), 2004 – 2007

In my view, any professional society should play two primary roles for the community it serves. It should promote growth within the community and advocate for that growth to decision makers external to the community. These two important principles are something the DPS does extremely well and something its members should be proud of. I would be honored to serve this community as a committee member and would strive to maintain, and build upon, the great work that the DPS current does.

As a member of the community for more than 10 years, I have had the opportunity to serve on several panels/organizations that advocate for missions, particular planetary bodies, and planetary science in general. As an active member of the organization Young Scientists for Planetary Exploration and DC-area resident, I have also had the privilege of both attending congressional committee meetings pertinent to planetary science and advocating for planetary science with specific congressional representatives on a number of occasions. That experience has been very educational and eye-opening for me and I would be honored to continue making such visits as a DPS committee member. Finally, I have had the opportunity to organize a number of meetings, workshops, and sessions (small and not so small) that deal with specific topics ranging from the discussion of specific solar system bodies to techniques for analyzing planetary data in general. I believe the experience gained from these efforts would help me serve the community well as a committee member.

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

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