Newsletter 15-25

Issue 15-25, June 25, 2015










The 2015 election for DPS Vice-Chair and Committee is now open, and will close on July 31st 2015.


To vote, go to  You will need your AAS member login ID (which defaults to your membership number), and your password.


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:


Lucy McFadden, Goddard Space Flight Center

Ralph McNutt, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab


The elected Vice-Chair will begin serving in November 2015 and will become the DPS Chair in October 2016.


You should vote for two of the five candidates for DPS Committee: 


Adrienne Dove, University of Central Florida

Gianrico Filacchione, Institute for Astrophysics and Planetary Science from Space

Paul Hayne, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Carly Howett, Southwest Research Institute

Joe Spitale, Planetary Science Institute


The successful candidates will serve on the Committee for three years after November 2015.


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





Candidate biographical notes and statements follow in alphabetical order.








PhD., University of Hawaii, Geology and Geophysics, 1983

M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Earth and Planetary Sciences, 1977

BA, Hampshire College, Astronomy and Geology concentration, Amherst, MA 1974



Goddard Space Flight Center, 2010-present

            2010-2013 Chief for Higher Education

            2013-present Physical Scientist Co-Investigator, Dawn – Vesta and Ceres

University of Maryland, College Park, Graduate Faculty, 1996-2010

            1996-2010 Co-Investigator, NEAR, Deep Impact, EPOXI, Dawn missions

            1997-2001 Director College Park Scholars, Science, Discovery & the Universe

            1992-1995 National Science Foundation, Visiting Professor

University of California, San Diego, California Space Institute, Research Scientist 1987-1995

University of Maryland, Geology and Astronomy Departments, Research Associate, 1983-1987


Honors and awards:

NASA Group Achievement Awards for Shoemaker-Levy 9 Outreach, NEAR, EPOXI, Dawn, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011

Space Frontier Foundation Vision to Reality Award-Deep Impact Team 2005

National Science Foundation Antarctica Science Service Medal-2009

Asteroid 3066 McFadden


Editorships and Editorial Boards:

Editor, Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 1st and 2nd editions, 1999, 2007

Icarus Editorial Board, 1993-1995


Community Service:

Hampshire College Board of Trustees, 2013-2016

AAS Prize Committee 2013-2016

Concord Academy Board of Trustees, 2002-2008

AAAS Member-at-Large Section D (elected) 2000-2004

Explore-It-All Science Center, Vice-President, 1996-2000

AAS-DPS committee (elected) 1994-1997

American Geophysical Union-Planetology secretary (elected) 1990-1992

National Research Council – Committees on Data Management (CODMAC) 1985-1988 and Planetary Exploration (COMPLEX) 1989-1992



Statement: McFadden

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) is a community of scientists who lead exploration of solar systems. It is one of the World’s most significant channels for disseminating these results and plays a leading role in educating and informing the many groups who enable our discipline to thrive. These include students, teachers, administrators, legislators and the general public. We engage students of all ages in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at local, national and international venues. At our annual meeting, where we present and discuss recent results with our colleagues, program managers, educators and the press, we are heard around the World.  The publication of Icarus is another conduit for communicating our interpreted data and the DPS is responsible for it. The Federal Relations sub-committee communicates with and informs members of Congress and their staff of the planetary science community’s progress toward meeting the goals of the Planetary Decadal Survey and voicing the importance of Congressional support for our research enterprise.  As DPS Vice-Chair/Chair, I will lead the Division for Planetary Sciences focusing on its mission and acknowledging the needs of the community’s constituents from universities and research institutions world-wide and at NASA centers.  I will continue to engage NASA Headquarters leadership in dialogue about our planetary programs and plans for the future.

My background and experiences uniquely span the range of those of the community and include being a past-student, post-doc, research scientist, visiting professor, non-tenured research professor, and now, a NASA civil servant. These allow me to understand the perspectives of most of our community. I remember clearly my concerns as a graduate student and early career scientist. I have served on advisory committees of the National Academy of Sciences and NASA review panels and have led research and education programs in secondary and post-secondary education. I have been Co-Investigator on past missions and am presently co-I of NASA’s Dawn mission working with a team of international scientists. As a NASA employee I am committed to working with my NASA headquarters colleagues who make much of planetary exploration possible.  Together we can meet the goals of Visions and Voyages for the Planetary Sciences for the decade 2013-2022, promote solar system exploration in the public consciousness, address national goals to strengthen STEM and the public understanding of science and advance the investigation of the solar system and other planetary systems.  






Ph.D. (Physics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1980

B.S. (Physics), summa cum laude, Texas A&M University, 1975



2011 – present       Branch Scientist Chief Scientist for Space Science, Science and Analysis Branch JHU/APL

2004 – 2010          Space Physics Group Staff, JHU/APL

2002 – 2004          Space Department Chief Scientist, JHU/APL

1998 – 2002          Assistant Group Supervisor, Space Department Instrumentation Group JHU/APL

1996 – present       Principal Professional Staff, JHU/APL

1992 – 1996          Senior Professional Staff, JHU/APL, Laurel, Maryland

1991 – 1992             Research Associate Professor, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

1990 – 1992             Senior Project Scientist, Visidyne, Inc.

1990                      Sponsored Research Staff, MIT

1986 – 1990          Associate Professor of Physics, MIT

1986 – 1988          Consultant, Visidyne, Inc., Burlington, Massachusetts

1982 – 1986          Assistant Professor of Physics, MIT

1981 – 1987          Consultant, Sandia National Laboratories

1981 – 1982          Sponsored Research Staff, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts

1980 – 1981          Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico



(Curent) Co-Investigator and Project Scientist, MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER); Co-Investigator, Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISIS) – Solar Probe Plus (Institutional Co-I for the EPI-Lo Instrument); Co-Investigator, New Horizons (Principal Investigator for the PEPSSI instrument); Co-Investigator Voyager PLS and LECP instruments; Member, Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer Team, Cassini Orbiter spacecraft.

(Previous) Principal Investigator for (1) NASA “Vision Mission” concept (interstellar probe); (2) NASA Supporting Research and Technology (SR&T) grants; (3) Phase I and II studies of Interstellar Probe architecture-NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC); (4) NASA Solar System Exploration Division Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program (PIDDP); and (5) effort on outer planet radioisotope electric propulsion (under NASA Glenn Research Center). JHU/APL Instrument Scientist: Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS) Facility Instrument. Study Lead: JHU/APL Pre-Phase A study of a solar probe spacecraft. Associate Editor, Geophysical Research Letters, 1994-1996. Deputy Project Scientist, Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP; DoD/SDIO).


Community Service:

  1. Member: NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Heliophysics Subcommittee (2014 – current)
  2. Chair: NASA Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) (2014 – 2015)
  3. Co-Chair (with General William Hoover): Committee on Radioisotope Power Supplies, National Research Council (NRC), 2008-2009
  4. Member: NASA Standing Review Board on Radioisotope Power Systems (2010 – current)
  5. Member: Steering Committee, NRC Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey (2009 – 2011)
  6. Member: NRC Innovations Working Group for the Heliophysics Decadal Survey (2011)
  7. Deputy Chairman: NASA Science Definition Team for Solar Probe (1996-1999)
  8. Member: NASA Sun-Earth Connections Advisory Subcommittee (SECAS) (1997-2001)
  9. Member: NASA Senior Review Panel for the Planetary Data System (2009).
  10. Member: NASA Science Definition Teams (SDT) and Science and Technology Definition Teams (STDT) for Solar Probe (2004-2008), Interstellar Probe (1999), and Pluto Express (1995)
  11. Member: Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) Steering Committee (2005-2007)
  12. NRC Committees: New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration (2007-2008), Assess Solar System Exploration (2007), Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007-2016 (2006), Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion (2004)
  13. Member: NASA Task Force on Technology Readiness (TFTR) (1999)
  14. Member: NASA Sun-Earth Connection Roadmap Team, Galveston Strategic Planning Workshop (1999)

Professional Societies

Committee Member of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) (2011-2014); Full Member and Trustee for Basic Sciences (2013-2015), International Academy of Astronautics (IAA); Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); and Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Sigma Xi, The Planetary Society, and the American Nuclear Society (ANS).

Publications – over 180 published technical papers and over 270 published scientific abstracts; papers can be found at ISI Web of Science™ for Researcher ID E-8006-2010 (

Statement: McNutt

Planetary Science has been, and remains, one of the most recognizable aspects of science, technology, and leadership in these broad areas of human endeavor, both within the United States and around the world. Hard-won accomplishments have provided paradigm shifts in our understanding of the solar system and, most importantly, our home world around us. Despite the advances and importance, the field remains under substantial cost pressure in the current and notional out-year U.S. budgets. The DPS provides a vitally important means for advocating and educating U.S. policy makers on the current accomplishments, the promise for what can come, and the needed technological advances to ensure that future plans, as embodied in the series of Planetary Decadal Surveys, are accomplished. Similarly, timely flow of information to the DPS membership is important as a part of this necessary advocacy. My previous membership on the DPS Committee and work with the Federal Relations Subcommittee has provided an experience base for leading advocacy both with the Congress and Administration. My current and continuing membership as a Trustee for Basic Sciences in the International Academy of Astronautics provides a unique vantage point for many aspects of space science and engineering around the world, and especially with the developing nations, which are embarking on the road to space. My service on various NASA committees and effort in both planetary science and heliophysics has provided me with a unique vantage for examining and identifying synergies between both fields in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, and my recent installation as the Chief Scientist for the Planetary Science Division will enable yet anther channel of communication between NASA and DPS on the topics of data openness and availability, which are of increasing importance. On the side of technology, I have been, and remain, an advocate for providing for radioisotope power systems, as most recently discussed in the newly released Nuclear Power Assessment Study. These systems will be required for carrying out many of the community science goals in the current Decadal Survey, Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013–2022, for which I was a member of the Steering Committee. A clear priority for the DPS in the coming years needs to the continuing advocacy for adherence to this plan and for the funds to do so. If elected your representative of DPS, I look forward to leading a partnership across the DPS membership to continue and advance Planetary Science.









Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, University of Central Florida


Research Area:

My research is focused on dust dynamics and plasma interactions on planetary and spacecraft surfaces. I use laboratory experiments to create analogous environments to study low-velocity collisions between mm- to cm-sized dusty particles, and to create plasma environments similar to those near planetary surfaces and around Earth in order to understand both dust-plasma interactions and the charging conditions on spacecraft.



Ph.D., University of Colorado, Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, 2012

B.S., University of Missouri, Physics and Astronomy, 2006



Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida, starting Fall 2015

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Central Florida, 2012-2015

Graduate Research Assistant, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, 2007-2012



NASA SSERVI Exploration Science Forum 2015 SOC Co-Chair

DPS SOC Member and Panel Chair, 2014

NLSI Lunar Science Forum SOC Member, 2013

Panel Member, External Reviewer, Executive Secretary for various NASA programs

Graduate Student Rapporteur at the Inner Planets Panel Meeting of the Planetary Science Decadal Survey for the National Academy of Sciences, Boulder, CO (April, 2010)

Creator/Co-organizer of the Lunar Graduate Conference (LunGradCon) (2009 – 2011)

Co-organizer Southeastern Conference on Women in Physics

Journal reviews (Planetary and Space ScienceAdvances in Space Research, Physics of Plasmas)

Organizer for International Observe the Moon Nights in Boulder, CO and Orlando, FL



Statement: Dove

As an early career planetary scientist, I will be an advocate for students and other early career researchers, who face unique challenges in our changing community and economy. I am a member of several early-career groups within the community, and was a co-creator of LunGradCon, a conference specifically intended for students and early postdocs. Additionally, it will be very important for me to promote public outreach and education efforts within the community and in the broader community. Outreach is essential in order to educate the public, and also to generate excitement about the amazing science being done by members of our community. The DPS has made great efforts to increase visibility and training in these areas recently, which I will be eager to help continue.

This spring, I participated in the AAS Congressional Visit Day, and was able to begin building relationships with members of Congress who represent my district and others. It was an informative experience, and highlighted to me the importance of that type of advocacy, in order to bring awareness of the importance of planetary science and of having a well-defined planetary exploration program. We are currently enjoying a huge swing in momentum towards funding exciting planetary science research, and we should do everything possible to continue that upswing in interest and excitement. The DPS has done well in recent years with its efforts to invigorate the annual meetings, and with its directed calls to action in order to rally the community around essential issues at key times. I think that DPS should continue to be responsive to the community and promote a balanced program for planetary science and exploration. The DPS committee should continue in its leadership role with these efforts, and as part of the committee, I would work to find ways to be even more effective in organizing our community.





Staff scientist at Institute for Astrophysics and Planetary Science from Space (INAF-IAPS, Rome, IT)


– Research Focus  

I use remotely sensed VIS-IR data to characterize the formation and evolution processes of planetary bodies. 

Current research involves comets, icy satellites, rings and planetary atmospheres. 

I’m involved in the development and calibration of spaceborne instruments (VIS-IR imaging spectrometers and cameras)


– Education:

Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Naples, IT, 2006.

Degree in Physics, University of Rome, IT, 2001.


– Missions:

Cassini/VIMS team member, 2001 – present

Cassini Participating Scientist, (2011-2014)

Deputy PI, Rosetta/VIRTIS, June 2013 – present

Co-Investigator, Juno/Jiram (2008-present)

Co-Investigator, BepiColombo/SymbioSYS (2004-present)

Instrument Scientist, Juice/Majis (2012-present)


– Awards:

(2005) ESA award to Venus Express mission team.

(2008) NASA Group Achievement Award to Dawn team.

(2009) NASA Group Achievement Award to Cassini-VIMS team.

(2012) NASA Certicate of Appreciation to JIRAM team.

(2012) NASA Group Achievement Award to JIRAM team.

(2014) NASA Group Achievement Award to JIRAM team.


– Service:

Icarus editorial board (January 2014-present)


– Statement: Filacchione

In my view, advocate planetary exploration, promote science programs, disseminate results through annual DPS meetings and Icarus journal are the main institutional goals of the DPS.

Our Society must continue to advocate decision makers in governments and space agencies. This is of paramount importance to ensure sustainable planetary exploration and to coordinate international collaborations on new programs. At the same time we need to focus our energies on outreach activities in order to promote planetary science to young students, teachers and general public.

Modern planetary science needs multidisciplinary expertise (observations from spaceborne payloads and from Earth, theoretical studies, computer simulations, laboratory measurements) for which I believe the promotion of new science programs led by DPS is beneficial. 

Through the organization of annual meetings our community has a timely and proficient way to communicate new results but also to mentor the next generation of young planetary scientists. Since DPS membership is international I will support the organization of joint meetings with other european and asian professional societies which can give further global visibility to our Division and establish more strong international relationships. Finally, I will support a more proficient exploitation of Icarus, the Division-sponsored journal, which since 1962 is a well-recognizedl venue to publish planetary science results.

With the aim to serve our community, on these points I’m offering my candidature to the DPS committee nomination.





Staff Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology


Research Focus: Planetary geophysics, volatiles, and climate; emphasis on spacecraft and ground-based remote sensing



PhD – Geophysics and Space Physics, UCLA, 2010

MS – Geophysics, Stanford University, 2005

BS – Geophysics, Stanford University, 2003



2012 – present: Staff Scientist, Geophysics and Planetary Geosciences Group, JPL

2010 – 2012: Postdoctoral Scholar, Geological & Planetary Sciences Division, Caltech


Professional Experience:

Co-Investigator and JPL Science Lead, Lunar Flashlight mission, 2012 – present

Co-Investigator, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Diviner, 2010 – present

Science team member, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter/Mars Climate Sounder, 2012 – present

Science team collaborator, Cassini/VIMS, 2006 – present



Study Co-lead: “New Approaches to Lunar Ice Detection and Mapping,” Keck Institute for Space Studies, 2012-2013

Mentor: Caltech SURF program, 2012 – present

Panel member and external reviewer: NASA (various programs)

Reviewer: IcarusJ. Geophys. Res.GRLPlanet. Space Sci., etc.

Co-founder: Young Scientists for Planetary Exploration, 2012

Raconteur: Planetary Science Decadal Survey, 2009-2010

President: UCLA Earth & Space Sciences Student Organization, 2007-2008

President: Stanford Astronomical Society, 2002-2004


Statement: Hayne

As the foremost professional organization directly serving planetary scientists, the DPS serves a critical role by empowering its members to pursue productive and fulfilling careers. This means long-term vision and advocacy for political and monetary support from the funding agencies, and also the nimbleness to respond quickly to the evolving needs of the community. As an early career researcher, I have witnessed an emerging revolution in both the demographics and career trajectories of planetary scientists, which the DPS has already taken steps to embrace. However, there is still much to be done.

As a member of the DPS Committee, I would advocate strongly for early career and underrepresented groups. I was a founding member of Young Scientists for Planetary Exploration (now an active, international Facebook group with >1,000 members), which started as a vehicle for getting students and young scientists directly engaged in fighting the devastating 21% cuts to the 2013 NASA Planetary Science budget. We collected hundreds of signatures and wrote letters directly to our congressional representatives. We held forums for young scientists at the DPS and LPSC meetings. Although we will never know the true impact of these efforts in restoring the budget, I would like to think that the voices of early career scientists are particularly powerful, especially in such numbers. Engaging these young scientists in DPS activities will be one of my top priorities as a Committee member.

Recently, the DPS has made strides toward fostering an inclusive community, where traditionally underrepresented groups can thrive. As a DPS Committee member, I will work hard to improve and expand these efforts. For example, existing groups such as Women in Planetary Science should be tapped to lead seminars for the broader DPS membership. As another example, representatives from DPS could visit undergraduates at predominantly minority institutions, to present the research and funding opportunities available in graduate school. If we are to preserve the vitality and vision of the planetary sciences, the DPS must take such steps to support a creative and adaptable scientific community. I would be honored to contribute to this goal as a member of the DPS Committee.




Senior Research Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder Colorado USA



  • PhD, University of Oxford , 2005
  • M.Sc., University College London, 2001


Main research interests: Surface Properties of Icy Worlds

Using remote sensing techniques to characterize the surface properties of icy worlds with the goal of understanding their underlying formation mechanisms. My recent focus has been characterizing the heat flow and thermal inertia variations across the Saturnian icy satellites.



Southwest Research Institute, 2008-present

Oxford University, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, 2005-2007


Professional Service:

  • Panel member, and external reviewer for various NASA programs
  • Journal reviews (Icarus, Nature, Science & Journal of Geophysical Research)
  • Division of Planetary Science Meeting official social media account holder (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Local organizing committee for the Division of Planetary Science Meetings 2013 and 2014
  • SwRI-Denver Comic Con Liaison



Cassini CIRS Co-Investigator 2014-present

Cassini NASA Early Careers Fellow 2014-present

Cassini Participating Scientist 2011-2014

New Horizons, Science and Instrument team member on Ralph, 2013-present

Galileo NIMS team member, 2001-2003


Statement: Howett


The proposal pressure that our planetary community faces is our greatest challenge. I have been working as a soft-money researcher over a decade and during this time I’ve witnessed the relentless hurt it’s causing our entire community. This situation will only continue to worsen if we don’t fight back, strongly lobbying NASA, Congress and the Administration for increased support.  If elected I would work with the DPS committee to prove to both the funding-agencies and the public how critical and exciting our research is, and the value they gain from supporting it. I will leverage my experience in both conventional and unconventional techniques (e.g. social media and outreach) in this fight.


I have worked with and for ESA on a variety of missions and have seen how successful and strong foreign collaborations make planetary science.  I will seek to build on the work the DPS committee has already begun in fostering these ever-important relationships.


I am passionate that the planetary committee be one of equal and fair opportunity. I will continue to advocate for female and other minority scientists, for example by insuring that conferences provide affordable childcare and every conference room is completely accessible to all.  I will fight to remove the biases in recruitment and career development that hold women and minorities back from achieving their full potential.


I would be honored to serve on the DPS committee, to fight for everyone in planetary science to get the support, funding and opportunities they need to flourish – so that as a community we can continue exploring.





Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute; Tucson, AZ 


Areas of scientific interest:  

  Planetary Rings, Satellite Dynamics, Enceladus Plumes, Asteroid Dynamics 



  B.S. Caltech; Physics, 1995  

  Ph.D. University of Arizona; Planetary Sciences, 2001 



  Cassini Imaging Team Associate; 2001 — present  

  PSI Senior Scientist; 2011 — present  

  Adjunct Lecturer, University of Arizona; 2011 — present  

  Cassini Participating Scientist; 2012 — present 



  Chair of Local Organizing Committee DPS Annual meeting #46; Tucson AZ. 2014

  University of Arizona, Dept. of Planetary Sciences graduate field studies class  

  R&A panel service  

  Peer review of journal articles and mission instruments  


Statement: Spitale


As the chair of the local organizing committee for last year’s DPS meeting in Tucson, I had a chance to work with the DPS and the AAS to implement a number of ideas to improve the effectiveness of our annual meeting.  Tucson was a great meeting overall, but I think we can do better still and I intend to apply the lessons of our successes and failures toward that objective.  I count the Tucson banquet among our more tangible successes.  The banquet is a critical element of the annual meeting, as it brings scientists together in an informal setting with no regard to discipline.  In Tucson, we were able to increase student participation by offering a half-price reception-only option.  We insisted on vegetarian options of equivalent quality to the non-vegetarian options, and we found that gluten-free constraints could be accommodated with a virtually imperceptible change to one main-course item.  We accommodated the broadest variety of tastes and dietary restrictions possible by providing a buffet instead of plated meals.  We made the banquet menu available at the time of registration to give members a better idea as to what to expect.  Each meetings has its own challenges, but I hope that my experience from the Tucson meeting will be of use for future meetings. 


As a soft-money scientist, I am especially sensitive to the deteriorating R&A funding situation.  Our current predicament, which is perceptibly worse than a year ago, when it was perceptibly worse than the previous year, seemed inconceivable just three years ago, when it was difficult to imagine that the situation could get any worse than it was at that time.  The decadal survey outlined the funding requirements for a healthy planetary program and provided rational priorities for the allocation of funding among the elements of the program in the event that a healthy program could not be maintained.  In particular, the survey provided for the scientific expertise upon which our program is founded to be protected above all.  The program is not healthy, yet the descope survey’s priorities are being ignored.  As a result, the loss of a generation of planetary scientists is becoming real possibility.  That process of attrition has has already begun, but it is not too late to avert a catastrophe for US space science research.  The DPS must continue to play a central role in advocating for the planetary program through outreach to the public and to lawmakers.    



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Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected]


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Anne J. Verbiscer
Research Associate Professor
Department of Astronomy
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4325