Issue 16-37, September 25, 2016
- MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR: WHERE DO MY REGISTRATION FEES GO?
- IMPORTANT UPDATES TO NSF GRANT PROGRAMS
- DPS 48/EPSC 11 EARLY CAREER PRESENTER’S REVIEW
- TRICK-OR-TREAT AND TELESCOPES
- UPCOMING MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS
- JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR: WHERE DO MY REGISTRATION FEES GO?
With the Pasadena DPS/EPSC meeting forthcoming in just a month now,
I thought that I might throw out some numbers with respect to where your
money goes when you register for a DPS meeting. The Full Member, early
registration this year was $588. It was $478 for the previous Pasadena DPS,
in 2010. That’s a bit above inflation (which would have sent it at $536), but
not too far off. However registration at the 2006 Pasadena meeting was just
$225! What happened between 2006 and 2010?
We grew. It used to be that a DPS meeting was small enough that a volunteer
Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Chair could run the whole meeting. The
LOC Chair used to negotiate contracts with venues, hotels, and such. As the
DPS attendance has grown, the LOC Chair job became too big. It is just too
much to ask for a scientist to volunteer a year of their time to keep registration
Since then we have professionalized DPS meeting planning. Our parent
organization, the American Astronomical Society (AAS), now has a team of
people whose job it is to run meetings. They take care of us here at the DPS
as well as the AAS Summer and Winter meetings. This professionalization
comes at a price, of course: just under a quarter of the total meeting allocation
($144,000, or $156 per person) goes to the AAS in exchange for running the
meeting (staff time, travel, and overhead).
I think that this cost is money well spent: I want meeting professionals
bearing the brunt of the burden for planning the DPS meeting, and I want
our scientists doing as much science as they can with their time. We get
significant value from the AAS’ organizational skills, too, including a huge
increase in the amount of sponsorships to over $95,000 this year that we
receive from our generous sponsors but also due in large part to the diligence
of Debbie Kovalsky, the Sponsorship Coordinator up at the AAS.
The single biggest meeting expense that we have is food. You wouldn’t
believe how much planetary scientists eat! We have budgeted over $192,000
($207 per person) this year for catering alone — itself almost as much as the
entire 2006 meeting cost us ($199,390). Catering is where meeting spaces
make their money; technically the facility rental was just $35,000 for the
Pasadena Convention Center, provided we spent enough on food.
The rest of our estimated $650,000 meeting budget this year derives from
‘small’ charges: $25,000 for internet; $62,500 for A/V; $35,000 for the
exhibition setup contractor. Security, program books, credit card processing
fees. It all adds up.
As the vast majority of our revenue comes from your registration fees, the
DPS Committee will be making a minor change to our fees policy moving
forward. We have started adding in an on-site registration surcharge as
insurance. The idea is to offset the possibility that all of you NASA folks
who don’t get travel approval until 2 days before the meeting end up having
to cancel your plans due to a government shutdown (at least 5% probability
Thanks to Kelly Clark, the AAS CFO, for her help providing the budget
numbers for this Fall’s meeting and for inspiring this Message. I look
forward to seeing you all in Pasadena,
Jason W. Barnes
IMPORTANT UPDATES TO NSF GRANT PROGRAMS
Below, the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST) provides information
regarding a number of our individual investigator funding opportunities.
For all programs, prospective proposers should pay close attention to the changes
this year in the Grant Proposal Guide, NSF 16-1
which describes all requirements except for those superseded specifically
in an individual solicitation:
· AST is beginning a pilot “no-deadline” program for proposals in solar and
planetary astronomy. Proposals that address topics related to planetary systems
— including exoplanets, our own solar system, and solar physics — should be
submitted in response to the new “Solar and Planetary Research Grants (SPG)
solicitation NSF 16-602 (http://nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16602/nsf16602.htm.
These proposals may be submitted at any time. Previously, these proposals
were submitted to the Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants (AAG)
program (see below). Although SPG proposals may be submitted any time
throughout the year, proposals submitted to SPG after November 15, 2016,
but judged to be more appropriate for the AAG program may be returned
without review. If you are unsure whether your proposed research fits into
SPG, please contact one of the program officers listed in the SPG solicitation
· The Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Grants program (AAG) considers
proposals in support of observational, theoretical, laboratory, and archival data
studies in all other areas of astronomy and astrophysics. Proposals submitted by
November 15, 2016 (5 PM local time of the submitting institution) will be
considered for funding in FY2017. Please see the solicitation NSF 16-574
· Proposals for the Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI) program
are due by November 1, 2016, also at 5 PM local time of the submitting institution.
· The Partnerships in Astronomy and Astrophysics Research and Education (PAARE)
program is not accepting new proposals this year. For a description of the PAARE
program, please see http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=501046 .
· NSF will not issue a second solicitation for the Theoretical and Computational
Astrophysics Networks (TCAN) program. Given the realized budgets so far this
decade, any funding for TCAN would come from a matching reduction in AAG
funding, which would be contrary to the 2010 decadal survey recommendation.
Prospective TCAN proposers should instead propose to the AAG or SPG programs
described above. They may wish to designate their proposal as being responsive to the
NSF emphasis area of Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering
(CDS&E) if the proposal satisfies one or more of the special CDS&E criteria. See
http://nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504813 for a description of CDS&E.
DPS 48/EPSC 11 EARLY CAREER PRESENTER’S REVIEW
Are you an early career scientist preparing to present your research
at the DPS 48/EPSC 11 meeting? Are you nervous? Are you looking for
advice? Join others like you to receive feedback from seasoned
presenters! Participants in the Early Career Presenters Review have
the opportunity to present their DPS 48/EPSC 11 oral or poster
presentation and receive feedback before presenting during the
regular meeting. In addition to presenting their research,
participants have the opportunity to network with their peers and
future colleagues. The review will be held Sunday, October 16
from 1-5pm in Conference Building C107. Register at:
The deadline to register is 5:00pm Central Time, October 12, 2016.
Registration is limited to 20 presenters. Scientists wishing to
participate by providing feedback to the early career presenters
should contact Andy Shaner at [email protected].
TRICK-OR-TREAT AND TELESCOPES
Based on an activity that DPS member Richard Schmude Jr. has been doing
for years, with over 5000 children reached, DPS is initiating the program
Trick-or-Treat and Telescopes. We are encouraging people to put out their
telescopes during trick-or-treat time on Halloween, in their own lawns or in
a neighbor’s lawn with better viewing (or more traffic). The following website
gives advice and connections to resources.
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS
A) DAP-2017 CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
The Dust, Atmosphere and Plasma environment of the Moon and Small
Bodies (DAP-2017) workshop will be held at LASP in Boulder, Colorado on
January 11-13, 2017. The workshop will be a forum to (i) discuss
current understanding of the surface environment of the Moon, the moons
of Mars, and comets and asteroids, (ii) share new results from past and
ongoing missions to airless bodies and comets, and (iii) describe
expectations for planned upcoming missions to airless bodies and
comets. The meeting web site is hosted at:
DAP-2017 is a NASA/SSERVI follow up on two previous NASA/NLSI-SSERVI
workshops, LDAP-2010 and DAP-2012. Contributions to LDAP-2010 and
DAP-2012 were published in special issues of Planetary and Space
Sciences. A similar volume is planned to report the contributions to
The workshop is hosted by M. Horanyi and A. Stern, and supported by
NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI):
Institute for Modeling Plasma, Atmospheres, and Cosmic Dust
(IMPACT), the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), and
the Center for Integrated Plasma Studies (CIPS) of the University of
The DAP-2017 abstract deadline is Sept. 30th, 2016; submit your
abstract to [email protected]
B) NASA ADVISORY COUNCIL PLANETARY SCIENCE
SUBCOMMITTEE (PSS) MEETING
September 29-30 2016
The meeting will be open to the public up to the capacity of the room.
The meeting will be available telephonically and by WebEx.
Any interested person may call the USA toll free conference call
number 1-877-918-9234, passcode 4532334, on both days, to participate
in this meeting by telephone. A toll number also is available,
1-630-395-0299, passcode 4532334, on both days.
The WebEx link is https://nasa.webex.com/;
the meeting number on September 29 is 996 721 448, password is PSS@Sep29;
and the meeting number on September 30 is 999 540 202, password is PSS@Sep30.
C) BREAKTHROUGH LISTEN WORKSHOP
The Breakthrough Listen Project and the Green Bank Observatory
(GBO) are sponsoring a Breakthrough Listen North American Community
Workshop that will be held 5-6 October 2016 at the GBO in Green Bank,
West Virginia, USA. This Workshop will discuss the goals, strategies and
capabilities of the Breakthrough Listen Project, including commensal and
ancillary science opportunities, and will broadly explore the search for
extraterrestrial intelligence in the modern era.
To attend, please register by 30 September at the Breakthrough Listen
The Breakthrough Listen Initiative was launched 20 July 2015 at the
Royal Society in London, U.K., with a charge to conduct the most
comprehensive and sensitive search for advanced life in humanity’s
history. Observations are currently being conducted at radio and optical
wavelengths, in part using the Green Bank Telescope from 0.3 – 100 GHz.
We look forward to seeing you in Green Bank!
D) ARIZONA – JAXA WORKSHOP 2016
The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) of the Japan
Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Lunar and Planetary
Laboratory (LPL) of the University of Arizona will hold a workshop
dedicated to planetary science enabled by missions launched by the
Epsilon launcher of JAXA on November 15 and 16, 2016, at LPL in
Given the nature of the workshop described below, participation will be
limited to the first 50 registrants.
ISAS has defined three mission classes by which space science will be
(A) ISAS strategic L-class missions to be launched by the H-IIA/III
launcher (such as the Martian Moons eXplorer (MMX), the mission
under consideration to return samples from Phobos);
(B) ISAS competitive M-class missions to be launched by the Epsilon
launcher (the topic of this workshop); and
(C) Participation in large-class missions to be led by foreign agencies.
The focus of this workshop is to exchange ideas on how to make the
Epsilon class missions fruitful for the world-wide planetary science
community. The planned cadence of these small missions is a launch
every other year. Due to resource limitations (launch capability, budget,
technology for a key instrument not available in Japan), however, it is
not necessarily easy to construct a good planetary mission plan if a team
is to be limited to domestic members. Before fully internationalizing
M-class missions, ISAS wants to evaluate whether the Epsilon-class
planetary missions are attractive to the international communities.
Three specific mission candidates in different phases will be subject to
discussion among the participants of the workshop. The Epsilon-class
missions to be discussed are:
SLIM is a small-scale technology demonstration mission of precise
(100m-level) landing on the lunar surface. It has been selected already
and is planned for launch in FY2019. The severe limitation in resources
allows only a multi-band camera to be onboard for scientific observations.
In APPROACH (Advanced Penetrator PRObes Applied for a Challenge
of Hard-landing), two miniaturized penetrators would be dropped to the
lunar surface at 100-300 m/s for technology demonstration as well as for
three months of seismic and heat flow observations.
The DESTINY+ (Demonstration and Experiment of Space Technology
for INterplanetary voYage, Phaethon fLyby with reusable probe) mission
would fly by asteroid 3200 Phaethon, the parent body of the Geminid
meteor shower. During the cruising phase, physical and chemical properties
of background dust (interplanetary and interstellar dust particles) and
meteoroid dust in the dust stream will be measured in-situ. In-situ dust
measurements will also be made near Phaethon.
To register, or to see more details of the workshop plans and objectives,
please see the workshop website at
E) ICES IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM WORKSHOP
23-27 January 2017 at the European Space Astronomy Center (ESA/ESAC),
near Madrid, Spain. Even if you have done a pre-registration to this
workshop, you need officially register at:
The topics will include:
* Experimental research and associated modeling (preparation of
ice analogs and experimental weathering in the lab, analysis and
modeling techniques to infer optical, thermal, mechanical,
electrical, thermodynamical, structural and compositional
* Mission data revealing ices and their properties, composition,
geological context and history in the Outer Solar System (Rings,
icy moons, KBOs and Kuiper Belt), Asteroid Belt, Mars (polar
caps, ground ice) or well within the snow line (Mercury, Moon).
* The astrobiological potential of ices and their role and transport
during the Solar System evolution- including the connection to the
interstellar medium, proto-solar nebulae, icy giants and
Abstract submission deadline: November 15th
Session program available: November 29th
Note that there may be the possibility to include your contribution
into a special workshop publication issue.
Sponsorship for students, in the form of lump sum payment,
will be available, upon review of the submitted abstract
by the Science Organizing Committee. See details at:
F) ASTROMETRY AND ASTROPHYSICS IN THE GAIA SKY
IAU Symposium 330
24-28 April 2017
The first release of the Gaia data has been made publicly available
on September 14, 2016. Besides a catalogue of 1.1 billion source
positions and broad-band G-magnitudes, this DR1 also includes the
positions, G-magnitudes, parallaxes, proper motions for 2 million
stars in common between the Tycho-2 Catalogue and Gaia (TGAS). Light
curves for 3194 Cepheids and RR Lyrae are also part of the release
as well as a special astrometric solution for 2152 ICRF quasars.
The goal of this IAU symposium is to ensure the world-wide sharing of
the Gaia mission results that will cover the following topics:
astrometry and reference frames, Milky Way galaxy and stellar physics
and the Solar system bodies.
The next close deadlines are:
November 1st: IAU grant application
December 4: Abstract submission
Registration to the symposium is open. Space is limited.
More details are available at the conference website:
Alejandra Recio-Blanco, Anthony Brown and Timo Prusti (for the SOC)
Patrick de Laverny (for the LOC)
Contact: [email protected]
G) VEXAG MEETING #14 – Call FOR PRESENTATIONS
Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) Meeting #14 will be held
on Tuesday-Thursday, November 29 – December 1, 2016 at NASA
Headquarters, James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium, 300 E Street SW,
Current plans are:
November 29, 2016 (Tuesday) – NASA and Mission reports
Poster/Social Event (PM)
November 30, 2016 (Wednesday) – Venus Science and Technology reports
December 1, 2016 (Thursday) – VEXAG activities (adjourn at mid-day)
Presentations on all aspects of Venus science and technology are
solicited. Presentations on upcoming Venus mission opportunities
and high-temperature operations are of particular interest. Please
email your title, a short summary, preference for oral or poster
presentation to Bob Grimm [email protected], and Tommy
Thompson, [email protected], by October 28th. Posting of the
full program is anticipated in early November.
If you’ll be attending in person and haven’t done so already, please
enter your name on the Meeting Registration/Intent to Attend Form
on the VEXAG Web-Site:
JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
A) ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ASTRONOMY
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
B) 2017 EXPLORATION POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP
IN EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE
School of Earth and Space Exploration
Arizona State University
C) ASSISTANT OR ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR –
EXPERIMENTAL SPACE PHYSICS
University of Iowa
The Department of Physics and Astronomy (http://www.physics.uiowa.edu/)
at the University of Iowa seeks a space physics experimentalist with a
record of involvement in spaceflight hardware.
Interested applicants should apply at:
and refer to requisition #69613. The Department and the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences are strongly committed to diversity; the
strategic plans of the University and College reflect this commitment.
All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive
consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of
race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual
orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion,
associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a
disability, or status as a protected veteran. The University of Iowa
is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
D) RESEARCH POSITION AT THE SWEDISH INSTITUTE
OF SPACE PHYSICS
The Solar System Physics and Space Technology research programme at
the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) invites applications
for a temporary research position in Space Physics, related to the
ESA Rosetta mission to comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Applications
are invited both for a 2-year post-doc position and for shorter
periods for senior guest scientists.
The advertised position is a research position for studies of the
cometary plasma environment and its interaction with the solar wind
primarily using ion data from the Ion Composition Analyzer on board
Rosetta but also using data from the other instruments that form the
Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC).
Previous experience of working with plasma and/or particle data from
space missions is required. The position, placed in Kiruna, is
funded by the Swedish Research Council. Post-doc candidates should
have completed a PhD during 2013 or later. Candidates planning to
obtain their PhD degree no later than January 2017 can also apply.
A post-doc candidate should not currently be an active researcher
Closing date is 7 October 2016.
Send submissions to:
Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected])
To change your address email [email protected].