Issue 16-05, February 12, 2016
- MESSAGE FROM THE FRS CHAIR: THE PRESIDENT’S FY2017 BUDGET REQUEST
- REMINDER: CALL FOR DPS 2016 PRIZE NOMINATIONS
- SBAG ANNOUNCEMENTS
- SPITZER CYCLE 13 CALL FOR PROPOSALS
- OPAG ROADMAPS TO OCEAN WORLDS (ROW)
- ASTROBIOLOGY/PLANET FORMATION EDUCATION PROJECT
- UPCOMING MEETINGS
- JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
MESSAGE FROM THE FRS CHAIR:
THE PRESIDENT’S FY2017 BUDGET REQUEST
On Tuesday the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request was released.
The request is consistent with the Administration’s past requests and stated
priorities. Links are included below to details and commentary. Although there
are few surprises in this request, there is some confusion. If you read the request
you will see that it includes “discretionary” and “mandatory”, resulting in two
interpretations of the request: For example, NASA either has a top line of $18.3B
or $19B. The $18.3B number fits within the budget caps but the $19B does not.
The argument is that $19B, though over the budget caps and would require additional
legislation, is what NASA needs to continue with plans that were funded in FY2016.
(Mandatory spending requires specific legislation to add/change — for example
entitlements — while discretionary spending is where most federal science and
R&D funding resides.) You may recall that back in the President’s FY2015 budget
request, the numbers included “Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative (OGSI)”
money that went above budget caps. Congress ignored those numbers back in the
FY2015 process and are highly likely to again in FY2017.
As in recent years, the Administration and Congress are at odds on a number of
priorities, planetary science being one. The President’s planetary request for
FY2017 is $1.52B, only $1.39B of which is in the “discretionary” bucket. Congress
appropriated $1.63B for FY 2016. Given the ongoing conflicts between the priorities
of the President and Congress, this being the lame duck stretch of this Presidency,
and the fact that this Administration will be gone the second quarter of FY2017,
this budget request in general could have limited impact. We will encourage Congress
to continue its consistent, strong support for planetary during the upcoming
appropriations process. Keep in mind that (primarily) due to the election this year,
it is likely that we will see a Continuing Resolution to fund at least part of FY2017.
Read the NASA materials at http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/index.html
Perspective from the AAS forthcoming at https://aas.org/policy/policy-blog
Read opinion from The Planetary Society at http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreier/
Please feel free to contact Makenzie Lystrup at [email protected]
REMINDER: CALL FOR DPS 2016 PRIZE NOMINATIONS
DEADLINE MARCH 15, 2016
Every year the DPS recognizes exceptional achievement in our field.
It is time to consider nominating a respected colleague for one of the annual
The Gerard P. Kuiper Prize honors outstanding contributions to the field of
The Harold C. Urey Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in planetary
research by a young scientist.
The Harold Masursky Award acknowledges outstanding service to planetary
science and exploration.
The Carl Sagan Medal recognizes and honors outstanding communication
by an active planetary scientist to the general public.
The Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award recognizes
and stimulates distinguished popular writing on planetary sciences.
Detailed descriptions of each of the prizes and the criteria for nominees for
each can be found at prizes. The nomination form and
instructions can also be retrieved from this website. The completed nomination
form and supporting material should be emailed to [email protected].
Starting this year we are requiring that the nomination package with all
supporting material be submitted as a single document of less than 20 mbytes;
.pdf is highly preferred. If you have a nomination from a past year that is
being carried over, you do not need to resubmit unless you are including new
Anyone except current DPS Committee members may submit a nomination.
A completed nomination will be retained and considered by the Prize
Subcommittee for three years, or as long as the nominee is eligible, whichever
is less. Past nominees may be re-nominated after the expiration of a prior
nomination. A posthumous nomination is allowed for a limited time after the
nominee’s death, except for the Sagan Medal. For specific details, see the URL
The deadline for nominations this year is March 15.
Dear SBAG community,
A few SBAG announcements:
Draft Findings from the SBAG 14 Meeting
Thank you for a productive SBAG 14 meeting! A draft document with findings
from the meeting is now posted online and comments from the SBAG community
are welcomed. Please provide any comments by February 19, 2016. Comments
can be emailed to [email protected] or any SBAG steering committee
SBAG Goals Document
As presented at the SBAG 14 meeting, the SBAG Goals Document is currently
available on the SBAG website for community comments. Committee members
are particularly thanked for all their efforts to produce this document! Comments
should be directed to [email protected] and are also due by February 19, 2016.
SBAG 15 Agenda Suggestions
SBAG 15 Meeting
June 28-June 30, 2016
The SBAG 15 meeting is quickly approaching. Suggestions for agenda items
are welcome and will be considered by the SBAG steering committee as the
agenda is developed. Please email them to [email protected] or any
SBAG steering committee member.
SBAG 16 Meeting Dates
We try to set dates for SBAG meetings about one year in advance. Discussions
among the steering committee led to the suggested dates below for the SBAG
16 meeting, but we’d like to know if there are known issues or conflicts with
these dates before finalizing them. Please email [email protected] or
any SBAG steering committee member if so.
SBAG 16 Meeting
January 11-13, 2017
SPITZER CYCLE 13 CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Release Date: 9 February 2016
Frontier Legacy & Exploration Science Letters of Intent Due: 24 March 2016
Proposal Deadline: 8 June 2016, 4:00 PM PDT
On behalf of NASA and the Spitzer Space Telescope Project, the
Spitzer Science Center (SSC) at Caltech is pleased to announce
the release of the Cycle-13 Call for Proposals (CP). This is the final CP
for the Spitzer mission that will solicit all proposal sizes. 14,000 hours of
observations are solicited for execution between October 1, 2016 and
September 30, 2018. The NASA Science Mission Directorate budget currently
supports Spitzer operations through September 2016. Both the Astrophysics and
the Planetary Science Divisions are supporting Spitzer operations.
The execution of Spitzer Cycle-13 is contingent on the results from the
2016 NASA Astrophysics Senior Review and the allocation of operations
funding for FY17-18. An update will be issued to this CP prior to the deadline
Major changes in the Cycle-13 call for proposals, compared to previous
cycles, are summarized in the Executive Summary of the CP. A new proposal
category, Frontier Legacy, is introduced for programs requiring > 2000 hours.
All other proposal sizes are also solicited.
Priority in the selection of Cycle-13 will be given to programs that highlight
— Astro2010 science themes
— Planetary science programs observing targets in our Solar System.
• — Investigations that concentrate on developing the scientific landscape
that JWST will explore, or will help maximize the JWST scientific return.
Innovative investigations with scientific high risk/gain are encouraged.
All programmatic and technical information for Cycle-13 is
available electronically from the Proposal Kit section of
the Spitzer Science Center website at
Investigators worldwide from all types of institutions are
eligible to submit proposals subject to the guidelines provided
in the CP. Joint HST or Chandra observations can be proposed
as part of a Spitzer Cycle-13 proposal.
All proposals must be submitted electronically using Spot, the
SSC proposal planning and submission software. The S19
version of Spot is available from the SSC website and
via the auto-update feature in Spot. Proposers must use
this version of the software to submit their proposals.
The required Cycle-13 proposal templates are available at the
Proposal Kit website and the proposal submission system
Any questions should be addressed to the Spitzer Helpdesk at
Spitzer Science User Support
OPAG ROADMAPS TO OCEAN WORLDS (ROW)
OPAG is forming Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds (ROW) to develop
recommendations for NASA’s Ocean Worlds Exploration Program
and is accepting submissions for participation.
Anyone interested in the ROW team should send an email to OPAG Chair
Alfred McEwen at [email protected]. Include in the email a
paragraph about how you would contribute to the roadmap work, a CV,
and any schedule constraints that you may have over the next 11 months.
More details are available on the OPAG website:
ASTROBIOLOGY/PLANET FORMATION EDUCATION PROJECT
My name is Molly Simon and I’m a 3rd year graduate student at The University
of Arizona working with Dr. Chris Impey on an astrobiology/planet formation
education project. If you teach an astrobiology course for non-majors and could
send me your syllabus and the list of topics you teach in the course that would
Additionally, if you teach planet formation in any course (not just astrobiology)
if you could provide me with a short explanation as to how you teach it
(powerpoint slides, videos etc…) I would greatly appreciate it!
Email: [email protected]
A) JAPAN GEOSCIENCES UNION (JpGU) AND AGU JOINT SESSIONS AT
JpGU ANNUAL MEETING
Abstract Deadline 18 February 2016:
The Japan Geosciences Union (JpGU) and the American Geophysical
Union (AGU) will hold joint sessions at the JpGU annual meeting in
May 2016, and a joint JpGU-AGU meeting in May 2017. The 2016
JpGU meeting will be held in greater Tokyo region from May 22-26,
where six planetary science sessions have been designated as Joint
JpGU-AGU sessions with presentations in English. The final abstract
deadline is 18 February 2016. You can find all relevant information
on the meeting, venue and the program at the following JpGU 2016
JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
A) FACULTY POSITIONS IN ASTROPHYSICS AT INSTITUTO
DE ASTROFISICA DE ATACAMA, COPIAPO (CHILE),
The Instituto de Astrofisica de Atacama (IAA) at the Universidad De
Atacama (UDA) in Copiapo (Chile) invites applications for two faculty
positions to join the IAA team. The successful candidates will join a
group of five faculty working on a broad range of research topics and
will have access to the Chilean Time in a broad array of facilities,
including ALMA, VLT, Gemini, Magellan, LSST, GMT and the E-ELT.
We are particularly interested in candidates with strong experience in
one or more of these fields:
-Origin, structure and evolution of planets, satellites, and minor bodies
in the Solar System;
-Formation, structure and evolution of stars;
-Milky Way: stellar populations, star clusters, variable stars, galactic structure;
-Terrestrial Mars analogs;
The positions carry teaching duties in astronomy at the undergraduate
level, with a load of 6h per week. The working language is English.
While knowledge of Spanish is not required (teaching can be done in
English), the successful candidates are expected to teach in Spanish
within two years. The appointment at UDA will be for three years, with
a first probation year, and the position is further extendable subject to
Applicants should have a PhD in astronomy or physics or related sciences
completed at least 3 years prior to the starting day of the contract.
To receive full consideration, applications must be sent by Friday 18 of March
2016, although the position will remain open until filled. Start date is expected
to be October 2016.
Applications must be submitted by e-mail to Mauro Barbieri
(mauro.barbieri @ uda.cl), and they should include:
1) Cover letter,
2) Curriculum Vitae,
3) List of publications,
4) Statement of recent research achievements (max. 2 pages),
5) An outline of future research (min. 2 pages, max. 10 pages),
6) The contact details of three referees (one needs to be the last employer, the
others needs to be aware of the recent work of the candidate).
Questions may be addressed to the previous e-mail address.
Universidad de Atacama
Instituto de Astrofisica de Atacama
Convocatoria Programa de Insercion de Investigadores en la UDA
Send submissions to:
Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([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