Issue 16-17, May 22, 2016
- MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR: FUTURE OF THE PLANETARY BUDGET
- SPITZER CYCLE 13 PROPOSAL DEADLINE JUNE 8
- JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR: FUTURE OF THE PLANETARY BUDGET
I wanted to relay to you a brief note on the budget situation. The NASA
Planetary Science budget has recovered from the hard times in 2013 and
2014 when we suffered a 20% cut in the President’s proposed budget.
But even though Earth Science and Planetary Science had nearly the same
enacted budget back in 2006, this past year PSD got $1.631B and Earth
Science was up at $1.931. We want to grow the Planetary budget by
increasing the topline numbers, not by cannibalizing other science programs.
And with our strong support from Congress, continued Planetary budget
increases are entirely within the realm of possiblility. The new House
language mandates a 2022 Europa Clipper launch and a 2024 launch of a
Europa Lander, and puts its money where its mouth is by allocating $260M
for Europa. But the disconnect between the legislative branch and the
executive branch is making for an inefficient way forward.
Congress has consistently supported Planetary Science over and above
Presidential budget requests in recent years. But the disconnect between
enacted budgets and executive future budget runouts leads to a less than
optimal use of money from an efficiency standpoint. To illustrate the issue,
we’ve put together this graph of requested and projected versus enacted
budgets (real-year dollars, not inflation adjusted) since 2013:
http://tinyurl.com/PSDbudget . These projections force NASA to plan
assuming that it will get less money in the future, when its nearly certain
that Congress will pass higher numbers. These low projections make it
hard to, for instance, plan for Europa Clipper’s development or choose a
healthy number of competed missions.
This administration has made it clear that Planetary Science is not their
priority. But a new administration will come into the picture for the next
budget cycle. Hopefully their outlook will be more in tune with that of
Congress and supportive for us, whoever it is that ends up in the White
House in 2017.
Jason W. Barnes
SPITZER CYCLE 13 PROPOSAL DEADLINE JUNE 8
The Cycle-13 proposal deadline is less than a month away.
** Proposals are due by 8 June 2016, 4:00 PM PDT **
This is Spitzer’s last big proposal call and solicits all proposal sizes,
including the new category Frontier Legacy for programs requesting
> 2000 hours. 14,000 hours of new observations are solicited for
execution between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2018.
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.
All programmatic and technical information for Cycle-13 is available
electronically from the Proposal Kit section of the Spitzer Science Center
If you have any questions please contact us at the Spitzer Helpdesk at
The details of the execution of Spitzer Cycle-13 are contingent on the
results from the 2016 NASA Astrophysics Senior Review. We will
notify the community when NASA has finalized the details.
JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
A) PLANETARY GIS SPECIALIST
Mountain View, CA
The Planetary GIS Data Specialist is responsible for producing
“research ready” cartographic and geospatial data for various projects.
This work involves interfacing with the supervisor to determine the
data processing strategy for a particular project and then executing
- Image processing of experimental data records up to map projected images
- Mosaicking of images
- Production of digital terrain models from stereo pairs of images
- Production of other data products derived from the above
- Production of visualizations of the above data products
- Work with supervisor to find the best ways to perform various kinds of cartographic analyses
- Masters degree or equivalent experience in geographic information systems
- Experience working with planetary data
- Experience with Unix operating systems
- Experience with the Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers software
- Some programming experience (any language)
- Frequent to continuous sitting
- Frequent to continuous use of computer monitor, mouse and keyboard
- Frequent use of standard office equipment
- Occasional bending, reaching, kneeling
For consideration, please send resume and cover letter to: https://home.eease.adp.com/recruit/?id=15252021
B) POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH SCIENTISTS
The Planetary Science Institute (EOE/M/F/Vet/Disability) in collaboration
with The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility is interested in hiring two
Postdoctoral Research Scientists with concentrations in (1) earth and
planetary science and (2) astrophysics and heliophysics, to work closely
with scientists, educators, and the general public through CosmoQuest.
CosmoQuest provides the general public and educators opportunities to
learn through classes and web content, and to contribute to NASA SMD
related science in meaningful ways. These postdocs are research-focused
positions. Postdocs will collaboratively work to ensure that citizen science
results can be used to advance the understanding of the universe, and will
be expected to aid in or lead projects that produce peer-reviewed science
publications. The official job(s) description and application can be found at
http://www.psi.edu/about/hr under “Science Support Staff – Current Openings.”
C) STAFF SCIENTIST IN GEOPHYSICS, GEOCHEMISTRY,
The Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) at the Carnegie Institution
for Science seeks applicants for the position of Staff Scientist in the broad
categories of geophysics, geochemistry, and/or cosmochemistry. We are
particularly interested in innovative researchers whose observations help to
constrain the role of fluids (e.g., water, other volatiles, melt) in: the past and
present evolution of the solid Earth; the formation and early development of
Earth’s atmosphere; and/or the origin of volatiles on Earth and other rocky
planets. Subfields of interest include, but are not limited to, geodesy, geo/
cosmochemistry, magnetotellurics, noble gases, remote sensing, seismology
and/or astrochemistry. Applicants who integrate across traditional boundaries
are particularly encouraged to apply. The applicant should complement
existing strengths within the Department (http://dtm.carnegiescience.edu/research).
We especially encourage applications from early career scientists and from
members of traditionally underrepresented groups.
The Carnegie Institution is a basic research organization with a history of
innovative instrumentation development. DTM staff scientists hold 12-month
salaried appointments and pursue independent research supported by a
combination of endowment and federal funds. DTM staff scientists do not
have teaching duties, but we place considerable emphasis on the mentoring
of postdoctoral scholars.
Applications should be submitted online at
https://jobs.carnegiescience.edu/jobs/dtm/ and should include a curriculum
vitae, a brief statement of research plans, and abstracts from the applicant’s
three most important papers. Please also provide the names, email addresses,
and phone numbers of three professional referees, whose letters may be
requested by DTM. Review of the applications will begin on August 1, 2016.
Please contact the chair of the search committee Lara Wagner with any
questions regarding this position by email at [email protected].
The Carnegie Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified
applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be
discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, protected
veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.
Send submissions to:
Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected])
To change your address email [email protected].