Newsletter 15-52

Issue 15-52, December 13, 2015










I’d like to fill you all in on the progress that’s been made by signing

a contract with Elsevier formalizing the DPS’ relationship with Icarus. 

While we like to think of Icarus as ‘our’ journal, it is in reality wholly

owned by the publishing giant Elsevier.  As such, despite being our

‘official’ journal the DPS had no control over editorial staffing, design

decisions, and distribution strategy (i.e., whether or not to go open access). 

Elsevier makes a ton of money off of our free content, free reviewing

labor, and free editorial labor, and we were getting nothing in return.


As a result of a long negotiation inititially spearheaded by Dan Britt

and finalized by Bonnie Buratti, we now have a formal contract with

Elsevier instead of the informal arrangement that we had been operating

under for over a decade.  Elsevier now sends us $28,000 annually to be

used for DPS-led journal and research activities, interpreted broadly. 

Although they wouldn’t budge on allowing the DPS to appoint Icarus’

editor, we agreed that in a case where Elsevier appointed an editor over

our objections we could terminate the agreement.  And because we don’t

own or control the journal, it will henceforth be ‘endorsed by the DPS’

instead of being our ‘official’ journal. 


I promised in my candidate statement to renegotiate our relationship

with Icarus to derive revenue and ensure editorial autonomy.  We’ve

done it.  But consideration of the way that we publish our scientific

results isn’t over.  Elsevier still restricts dissemination of both new

articles and the historical archive, extorting huge sums from libraries

for institutional access and charging for access to individual articles.


At this year’s Members’ Meeting in National Harbor you made clear

your continued interest in publication as a fundamentally important

aspect of how we do our science.  To continue the conversation, I am

appointing a subcommittee led by Ross Beyer to be charged with

broadly canvassing the Membership for ideas and opinions to move

our publications strategy forward.  If you’d like consideration for

appointment to the publications subcommittee, or if you want to read

a more detailed description of the Icarus agreement and its rationale,

please let me know at [email protected] .  Our deal with Elsevier

has a term of three years, so we need to think now about how and

whether to renew the contract in two years’ time.  Keep an eye on this

space for the opportunity to make your voice heard over the

coming months! 


Jason W. Barnes

DPS Chair





With no dues increase and a “stellar” lineup of benefits, there isn’t a better 

time than now to renew your commitment to the AAS/DPS.


AAS emailed members in early September announcing the start of membership 

renewal season, and many took notice. Online renewals are arriving at a steady 

pace. If you have already paid your dues, thanks for your continued support.


To help reduce costs and the Society’s carbon footprint, we encourage you to 

renew online today for fast, easy self-service. Simply log in to pay your dues,

to confirm or update your journal subscriptions and Division memberships, 

and to lock in savings for 2017 by renewing for two years at the current rate.

(Note: That last option isn’t available to junior members, who instead get two

years for the price of one — currently $80 —when first joining the Society,

then renew annually thereafter.)


Renew before 31 December to maintain your benefits and receive additional 

savings: the AAS will extend a one-time 15% discount off your portion of the 

author charges for one paper published in the Astronomical Journal, the

Astrophysical Journal, ApJ Letters, or ApJ Supplement. Eligible members 

can double their savings: if you renew by 31 December for two years, you will 

receive the 15% author discount on one paper each in 2016 and 2017.

The Society has much planned for 2016 — including the 227th meeting of the 

AAS in Kissimmee in January — so you won’t want to miss out on the latest 

science, member communications, and career and networking opportunities. 

Supporting the AAS is supporting your discipline. Renew today!


If you have any questions about your dues or benefits, or need assistance 

when logging in, please contact the membership team by email at 

[email protected]or by phone at 202-328-2010. Thank you!








The Department of Planetary Sciences/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at 
the University of Arizona seeks to fill a tenure-track faculty 
position. Candidates in all areas of planetary science are encouraged 
to apply. The faculty, research staff, and graduate student body draw 
from multiple sub-disciplines in planetary science including geology, 
physics, chemistry, engineering, and astronomy. The faculty member 
will: establish and maintain a distinguished research program in the 
field of planetary sciences; supervise graduate students; teach courses 
at the graduate and undergraduate levels; and contribute to mentoring 
students, including those from underrepresented backgrounds. The 
faculty member will also participate in outreach and contribute to 
departmental, college, and university service. Incoming salary and rank 
will be dependent on the qualifications of the applicant. Go to:

Review of applications begins on January 11, continuing until the 
position is filled. Anticipated start date is August 2016. Apply for 
posting #F20285 at: 

Three letters of reference must be uploaded with application before 
initial review of applications; information for applicant and letter 
writers is included in the online application. Direct inquiries to: 

Professor Timothy D. Swindle 
[email protected] 

UA is an EEO/AA employer – M/W/D/V.





The Department of Planetary Sciences/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory 
(LPL), University of Arizona, seeks to fill a tenure-track faculty 
position in the area of Solar and Heliospheric Physics, defined 
broadly. Theorists, numerical modelers, data analysts, and 
instrumentalists are encouraged to apply. Initial appointment will 
preferably be at the level of untenured Assistant Professor.

The successful candidate will be expected to establish and maintain a 
distinguished research program, including extramural funding, and to 
supervise graduate students. The faculty member will teach courses at 
the graduate and undergraduate levels, and contribute to mentoring 
students, including those from underrepresented backgrounds. The 
faculty member will participate in outreach and contribute to 
departmental, college, and university service. In these and other ways, 
the faculty member will help to develop innovative approaches to 
enhancing student engagement, increasing diversity, and expanding 
collaborations with community and business partners. Go to:

Review of applications begins on January 11, continuing until the 
position is filled. Start date is expected to be August 2016. Apply 
for posting #F20286 at: 

Direct inquiries to: 

Professor Timothy D. Swindle  
(520) 621-4128 
[email protected] 

The University of Arizona is an EEO/AA employer – M/W/D/V.

University of Arizona




The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Postdoctoral 
Scholars Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) invites 
applications for a postdoctoral research position in JPL’s Ice 
Spectroscopy Laboratory (ISL).

The research will involve laboratory simulations to understand surface 
processes on icy bodies such as Europa and on Titan. Dr. Murthy 
Gudipati (Principal Scientist), in JPL’s Planetary Sciences Section, 
will serve as JPL postdoctoral advisor to the selected candidate. 
Candidates should have a recent PhD in Physics, Chemistry, Planetary 
Science, or related scientific area with a strong background in 
advanced laboratory physical chemistry/chemical physics. Experience 
in planetary sciences, astrochemistry, and astrobiology is highly 
desirable. Candidates who have received their PhD within the past 
five years since the date of their application are eligible. 
This positions is for one-year and may be renewed up to a maximum 
of three years based on performance and availability of funds. 
Arrange for 2-3 letters of reference letters to be sent to:

Dr. Murthy Gudipati (+1-818-354-2637)

Caltech and JPL are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers. 
Women, minorities, veterans, and disabled persons are encouraged to 



Send submissions to:

Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected]


To unsubscribe visit or email [email protected].

To change your address email [email protected].

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