Newsletter 18-01

Issue 18-01, January 7, 2018










Happy New Year, everyone! I am looking forward to an exciting year for

planetary science including the launch of Insight and the rendezvous of

OSIRIS-REx with Bennu.


I want to start off the year telling you about a relatively new initiative: the

Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences. DPS is proud to join other

organizations in endorsing this initiative. The purpose of this organization is

to elevate planetary and space sciences across Africa. You can read more about

it here:,

and on the AFIPS web site:


You may be wondering how members of DPS can help support the Africa

Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences (AFIPS). This is an initiative by

scientists in Africa and we can help if we have projects that could be done

in Africa by students there. AFIPS can help identify a talented student and

a collaborator in Africa that you could partner with. You can get more

information from David Baratoux ([email protected]).




Cathy Olkin

DPS Chair




NASA has requested the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering,

and Medicine to investigate and recommend best practices as the Science

Mission Directorate considers whether to establish an open-code policy,

complementary to its current open-data policy. A study committee has

been appointed and solicits white papers. The committee’s statement of

task, membership, activity schedule, and instructions for white papers are at


The goal of this call is to hear broadly from the community on any relevant

issues, situations, or points of view, to ensure consideration of the full set of

possible consequences of any new NASA open source-policy. For the purpose

of this call, “open-code” and “open-source” refer to computer program source

codes released publicly under an open source license, as defined by the Open

Source Initiative ( 


To be considered at the committee’s next meeting, white-paper submissions

are due no later than January 12, 2018. The committee strongly encourages

authors to submit white papers by this deadline, but papers will continue to

be received until midnight on January 31, 2018. 


Send questions about the project or white paper submissions to: [email protected].




Mars has been one of the targets for James Webb Space Telescope from

the outset (see white paper at But

prior to the launch date change, it was only available in Cycle 2.  


With the revised dates, Mars is now available in Cycle 1.  Heidi Hammel,

Webb Interdisciplinary Scientist for Solar System Observations, thus

requested that 5 hours of her guaranteed time be reprogrammed for Mars

observations. Webb will obtain NIRCam images at 2.2 and 4.3 microns, as

well as a full NIRSPEC survey (all gratings), employing a mosaic on Mars

of 4 x 4 with the 0.2 x 3.3 slit.  


Hammel’s Mars team, led by Geronimo Villanueva (NASA GSFC), expects

detections of both H2O and HDO. According to the current Exposure Time

Calculator, Mars will saturate in some cases, but many regions (both on the

disk and in the spectra) the data should be excellent.   This Mars data from

Webb will be made available to the planetary community immediately, in

order to facilitate planning for Mars observations with Webb.





Next meeting: February 20-22 in Hampton VA; registration and hotel

reservations are now open:


The main OPAG meeting will be Feb 20-21, and February 22 will be technology

forum to identify (and ultimately agree on) technologies that support near-, mid-

and far-term outer planetary system missions.


The agenda will be posted soon at  A major topic

of discussion will be revision of the OPAG goals document; a draft will be posted

in advance of the meeting. 


Early Career Participant Support available for OPAG Meeting


NASA’s Outer Planets Assessment Group will provide travel grants for a limited

number of interested Early Career participants to attend the OPAG meeting

February 20-22 in Hampton, VA.  OPAG plays a key role in sculpting the planetary

science community’s input into NASA activities for outer planets science and

exploration.  Thus it is critical for Early Career scientists to attend these meetings

both to learn how NASA and Planetary Science programs operate and to represent

the community that will work on OPAG-relevant projects in the coming decade. 

Selected individuals will present a poster at the meeting on a topic of their choosing. 

Interested graduate students, postdocs, and other Early Career scientists (within 5

years of PhD/MS/BS) should submit a one page letter of interest and a CV to

[email protected] by January 16, 2018.  Recipients will be notified by

~January 20.  For more information, email Britney Schmidt at the address above.





The Space Exploration Sector of The Johns Hopkins University Applied

Physics Laboratory (JHU APL) in Laurel, MD is now accepting

applications for the APL NASA Intern Program. Rising sophomores through

Ph.D. students as of fall 2018 who are selected will contribute to

NASA-related missions and research work. Talks by key mission engineers

and scientists, along with tours of APL and other activities, will be

provided. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, be in high academic

standing (3.0 GPA or higher), and have successfully passed a background

check. Application opens December 15, 2017 and applications are due by

March 30th, 2018; however, selections are made on a continuous basis,

so interested students should apply as early as possible. For more

information, please visit:





The Lunar and Planetary Institute is proud to announce its 11th LPI Career

Development Award, which is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. applicants.

This award will be given to outstanding graduate students who have submitted

a first-author abstract for presentation at the 49th Lunar and Planetary Science

Conference. While all students are eligible for the award, priority will be given

to exceptional applicants who demonstrate a financial need and/or are from

institutions that do not have a well-established planetary science program.


A travel stipend of $1,000 (for domestic students) and $1,500 (for international

students) will be awarded to the top applicants to help cover travel expenses for

attending the LPSC in March. Awards will be based on a review of the application

materials by a panel of planetary scientists.


Application Deadline is 12 January 2018


For more details, see:






     8-13 April 2018

     Vienna, Austria


PS3.1 Outer Planets Systems

Please consider submitting an abstract to the session PS3.1 on Outer Planets

Systems of the EGU General Assembly, to be held 8-13 April 2018, in Vienna,

Austria, see:

The abstract submission deadline is 10 Jan 2018, 13:00 CET. Please note that this

year late abstracts can only be accepted after approval by the Programme Committee;

it also will entail a late abstract fee.

The PS3.1 EGU  session welcomes abstracts on the outer planets and Pluto

systems, including their internal structures, atmospheres, magnetospheres, satellites

and rings and coupling processes within those systems. A significant part of the

session will be devoted to the Cassini-Huygens mission, including the Cassini

Grand Finale Mission. Abstracts on observations from space and from the ground

are also solicited. Supporting laboratory investigations and concepts for future

space missions and Earth-based observations are also relevant to this session.


The Conveners: A. Coustenis, S. K. Atreya , O. Witasse , N. Altobelli ,

D. H. Atkinson , J-P. Lebreton , L. Spilker, C. Plainaki



Also please note the Union Symposium: US3 celebrating the Cassini mission

with invited talks on different aspects of the mission : 


US3: Cassini and future perspectives for the exploration of the outer solar system


The Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn has been an exemplary opportunity

to the success expected from a large space mission built on international

collaboration with ambitious goals. During 13 years, Cassini-Huygens has

returned a huge amount of data that have been analysed and interpreted to

enhance our understanding of the Saturnian system as a whole and not only

(the investigations have bearing to our own planet and the formation of the

Solar System as a whole). The mission ended in a dramatic plunge into Saturn’s

atmosphere on September 15, 2017 sending back in-situ data as long as possible.  

The final year of the mission included 20 “Ring-Grazing” orbits just outside the

rings and a series of 22 highly inclined “Grand Finale” orbits with closest approach

between the innermost D ring and Saturn’s upper atmosphere.   During the last half

orbit, Cassini’s in-situ instruments were configured to collect atmospheric data until

spacecraft signal was lost.  Both mission phases enabled the opportunity for unique

science observations including: probing of gravitational and magnetic field moments

to higher order and precision; determining the ring mass; in-situ sampling of the plasma

environment, upper atmosphere and exosphere; and imaging both Saturn and rings at

high resolution.  Already data obtained on these orbits have led to surprising initial

results.  This Union Session will feature invited reports on the amazing discoveries

that this mission brought and the new understanding we have gained of the Saturnian



Conveners: Stephanie C. Werner, Özgür Karatekin , Athena Coustenis ,

Linda Spilker , Scott Edgington



Please consider contributing to the following session at EGU:


GMPV2.7/PS1.12 Accretion, Differentiation and Volatiles:

constraints on terrestrial planets 


Convenors: Hélène Bureau, Mohamed Ali Bouhifd, Ramon Brasser,

George Helffrich, Vincenzo Stagno 


This session aims to provide a multidisciplinary view on the earliest stage

of the formation, dynamics and chemistry of the Earth and inner planets,

and on the modern volatile cycling in the deep Earth. Session description:

The early evolution of the Solar System witnessed the emergence of

planetesimals, followed by the assembly of differentiated protoplanets and

eventually the coalescence into the embryonic terrestrial planets. Much remains

unclear of the nature of this primordial accretion and evolution. More especially,

about the significant role played by volatile elements (H, C, N, S, halogens) that

are significant ingredients necessary for the habitability of planets. The storage

and cycling of volatiles in Earth and other planetary bodies depend on the structure

and stability of volatile-bearing minerals and fluid/melts at high pressure and

temperature either at mantle or core conditions. The origin and behaviour of

volatiles during Earth’s accretion and its differentiation is determinant but still

not well constrained. 


Submission URL: Deadline: 10 January 2018




The 2018 Southeastern Sectional meeting of the Geological Society of America

includes two planetary-themed sessions, a post-meeting field trip, and many 

opportunities for students and professionals.  The section meeting will be held

April 12th and 13th, in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.  The University of Tennessee’s

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences looks forward to hosting all. 


Conference information, including abstract submission, registration, activities,

may be found at the conference website:


Themed Sessions:


T14. Geologic Mapping from the Appalachians to the Planets:  we seek abstracts

that focus on the variety of techniques, data sets, and findings from terrestrial and

planetary geologic mapping.  This themed session bringing together terrestrial and

planetary geoscientists offers a unique opportunity to share our diverse knowledge

and skills, and an opportunity to create new collaborative efforts.


T15. Planetary Surface Processes:  we welcome abstracts about planetary surfaces

and the geomorphologic processes that shape them (e.g., aeolian, fluvial, impact,

lacustrine, mass wasting, space weathering, tectonic, volcanic).  Planetary data

analyses, laboratory experiments and/or modeling relevant to planetary

geomorphology, and investigations into terrestrial analogs are all welcome. 


Post-meeting Field Trip:


Revisiting the Flynn Creek Impact Structure, Jackson County Tennessee. 

Principal organizer: Steven J. Jaret, Stony Brook University; co-organizer:

David T. King, Jr., Auburn University.


Abstracts are due January 16th, 2018



     3-8 JUNE 2018





Conference website:


AOGS2018 SESSION PS05:  Ring systems of the solar system objects and exoplanets


Session Description: The Grand Finale of the Cassini mission gave us super

close-up views of the Saturnian rings, the best ever achieved. The suite of

scientific instruments including the imaging experiments at different

wavelengths, radio science and particles-and-fields experiments provided 

unprecedented detailed information on the ring structures and ring-satellite

and ring-atmosphere interaction effects. Not to be outshone, the JUNO

mission to Jupiter has also obtained a treasure trove of data on the plasma

and dust environment of the Jovian rings. And the intriguing ring systems

of Uranus and Neptune need to a new look in view of the push for a space

mission to these icy giants. If we add the recent discovery of rings around

some Centaurs and search for exoplanetary rings, there is a wide range of

interesting topics to be explored under the sunny Hawaiian sky.



Dr. Wing-Huen Ip (National Central University, Taiwan),

[email protected]
Prof. Larry Esposito (University of Colorado Boulder, United States), [email protected]
Prof. Keiji Ohtsuki (Kobe University, Japan), [email protected]


AOGS2018 SESSION PS6: Magnetospheres, Atmospheres, Exospheres of

Outer Planets and Their Satellites 


This session welcomes papers about magnetospheres, atmospheres, exospheres

of outer planets and their satellites with special emphasis on observations (both

from space and from the ground), modelling, and theoretical interpretation.

Abstracts on satellite interactions with their neutral and charged environments,

supporting laboratory investigations and concepts for future spacecraft missions

and investigations are also relevant to this session. We especially welcome papers

about the Cassini mission Grand Finale time period as well as results from the

most recent Juno data. 


Conveners: Dr. Norbert Krupp (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany),

[email protected] Dr. Linda Spilker (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States),

[email protected] Dr. Scott Bolton (Southwest Research Institute, United States),

[email protected] Prof. Sushil Atreya (University of Michigan, United States),

[email protected] 


AOGS2018 SESSION PS-12: From Dust to Planets: The first hundred million

years of the solar system


The formation and early evolution of the Solar System has been an active

topic of investigation. Only recently the community has begun to put together

a consistent and coherent picture its first 100 million years. This time span

witnessed the emergence of chondrules, planetesimals, protoplanets and

eventually the coalescence into the embryonic terrestrial planets. The terrestrial

planets were bombarded by leftover material, including the Moon-forming event

on the Earth and a collosal impact on Mars that created its satellites and

hemispheric dichotomy. 


Much remains unclear. Questions arise about the timing of chondrule and

chondrite formation, the amount of material mixing in the disc, the final bulk

composition of the terrestrial planets, the possible migration of the giant planets,

and much more. We aim to integrate views and data from cosmochemistry,

geochronology, thermal modelling and dynamics to formulate a coherent

timeline of the earliest epoch of our planetary system.


AOGS2018 SESSION PS-14: Planetary Data in the Big Data Era


This session is about all aspects related to planetary science data, including,

but not limited to, data collection, cataloging, archiving, sharing, searching,

manipulation, mining, and the related software tools. We welcome abstracts

on any data-related topics. A tremendous amount of data is being generated

every day in planetary science researches. Data technologies are playing

more and more important roles in planetary researches, especially in the big

data era. Archiving and public release of all data from planetary science

exploration missions as well as ground-based observing and laboratory

facilities have been recognized to be of great importance and broad community

interest. Data archives provide long-term preservation of a broad variety

of raw and high-level data products, with the ultimate goal of facilitating

analyses using data covering long time-baselines and multiple observations

for the new phenomena and scientific objectives emerging in future times.

The collection, archiving, and public release of ever-growing amount of

planetary data will ultimately enable the applications of big data technologies

in planetary science research. This session is a forum to discuss the new

developments in activities, technologies, and concepts related to planetary

science data.


Conveners: Jian-Yang Li (Planetary Science Institute, United States),

Ludmilla Kolokolova (University of Maryland, United States), 

Sebastien Besse (ESA, Spain)


AOGS2018 SESSION PS-19: Rosetta, Comets, and Other Icy Bodies 

In this session we aim to understand the formation, evolution and diversity

of icy bodies large and small and place them into context with the rest of

the solar system. These distant, cold worlds are slow in divulging their

secrets. Space missions flying past and orbiting the giant planets have

revealed a diverse icy satellite system, with some clearly showing activity.

The ROSETTA mission revealed many of the secrets of comet 67P/C-G,

and more icy active bodies are regularly found inside of Jupiter’s orbit. In

recent years, ground-based observations have also made rapid progress in

detecting water-related features. It is an exciting time to synthesize what

we have learnt so far, highlight key points of agreement and contention,

and to provide recommendations for future studies. We aim to integrate

views and data from space missions, thermal and internal modeling,

dynamics and observations to formulate a coherent picture of the state of

icy bodies in the solar system and what they can tell us about the formation

and evolution our own world.


Conveners: Bin Yang (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China), Arika

Higuchi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Japan), Ramon

Brasser (Earth Life Science Institute, Japan)


D) COSPAR 2018  42nd Assembly – 60th Anniversary

     Pasadena, California, 14-22 July 2018


ABSTRACTS DUE 9 February 2018


Session B1.2  Pluto and Charon: The New Horizons Mission Results


The session will consist of six solicited review papers and ten or more

contributed papers.  While the review papers will focus on results and

insights from New Horizons, contributed papers on Pluto, Charon, and

Kuiper Belt objects both related to the mission, as well as those  not

specific to the spacecraft results will be considered.  Papers will be

selected for presentation from the abstracts received, and notification

of selected papers will be sent to authors on March 31, 2018, together

with the final program.  The specific date for Session B1.2 has not yet

been assigned.


Abstracts for contributed presentations at Session B1.2 are due on

February 9, 2018, and must be submitted on the COSPAR website—

full details for abstract submission, as well as the detailed description

of the content of the session are available at


Session organizers:  Dale Cruikshank and Alan Stern


COSPAR Event B5.4 : Ice Giant Systems at COSPAR 2018


With the culmination of the unprecedented simultaneous exploration

of two gas giant planets by Juno and Cassini, the time has come for the

first comprehensive exploration at the next frontier of our Solar System:  

the ice giants, Uranus and Neptune.  These tantalising destinations

provide extreme atmospheric configurations (one powered by internal

heat, the other experiencing the strangest seasons in the Solar System),

magnetospheres unlike any other worlds, fine-scale and delicate rings,

and a plethora of icy satellites that might be expected to be just as rich

as those found orbiting the giant planets.  Recent orbital, flyby, and probe

mission concepts have helped to reignite scientific interest in the international

community, along with extensive use of ground- and space-based facilities

(including the forthcoming JWST) to characterise these distant worlds.  

We invite presentations discussing new insights and future observational

and mission requirements for the Solar System ice giant planets and their

applicability to exoplanetary and brown dwarf science.  We welcome

presentations on ice giant topics including (but not limited to) observational

and theoretical studies of planetary origins and interiors; atmospheric

dynamics and meteorology; chemistry and composition; magnetospheres

and auroras; and wider ice giant system science (icy satellites and rings).  

Presentations on future mission concepts for these distant worlds are also


[NB:  this ice giant session B5.4 complements other COSPAR events in  

sub-commission B5 – Juno (B5.1); Cassini (B5.2); and ocean worlds (B5.3),

available here:]


E) SAVE THE DATE FOR–NASA’s 3rd Comparative Climatology of

     Terrestrial Planets: From Stars to Surfaces (CCTP-3)


DATES: August 27-30, 2018




NASA’s 3rd Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets: From

Stars to Surfaces (CCTP-3) conference will promote cross-disciplinary

conversation on climate processes at work on terrestrial planets both

within our solar system and in extrasolar systems. The conference will

synthesize present and past research in terrestrial climate science

including solar/stellar influences. Also, it will provide a multidisciplinary

forum for the identification of future research needs and missions.

CCTP-3 will continue the dialogue and interactions started at the two

previous conferences, CCTP-1 and CCTP-2. Scientists from all aspects

of climatic processes research – including planetary science, heliophysics,

Earth science, and exoplanet astronomy – are encouraged by NASA’s

Science Mission Directorate (SMD) to participate in and contribute to

this conference.


F) Pluto After New Horizons : July 12-16, 2019 (Friday-Tuesday)


The dates for the international science conference on the Pluto system

and the Kuiper Belt have been moved to July 12-16, 2019.


Please mark your calendars accordingly!


Unfortunately, these new dates span a weekend, but that was unavoidable

owing to conflicts with two other major conferences (a lunar conference

coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the Ninth International

Conference on Mars).


There will be a reception commemorating the 4th anniversary of the Pluto

flyby during the evening of July 14th.


The venue remains the same: The Johns Hopkins University Applied

Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD, USA.


This conference will provide an opportunity to summarize our understanding

of the Pluto system and the Kuiper belt following the New Horizons

encounters with Pluto and 2014 MU69.


Contributions spanning all relevant research on the Kuiper belt, including

both observations and theory, will be solicited.


The conference will also serve as a nucleus for a forthcoming volume

“Pluto After New Horizons” in the University of Arizona Space Science Series. 

With a projected 2020 publication date, this new book will be the successor

to “Pluto-Charon” published in 1997.


A registration website with further details will be set up this

summer, approximately one year prior to the conference.


Again, please put this conference on your calendar and join us at the

Kossiakoff Center at APL in mid-July 2019!


With best regards,


Hal Weaver (JHU-APL), Alan Stern (SwRI), Rick Binzel (MIT)

(on behalf of the SOC)


For further information, contact [email protected]








NASA Science Mission Directorate positions for Program Scientists in the

Planetary Science Division are now open. The Planetary Science Division

(PSD) is encouraging the community to join the division in supporting the

Nation’s scientific exploration of our Solar System. The PSD is responsible

for disciplines that studies geology and geophysics, cosmochemistry, planetary

astronomy and atmospheres, Mars exploration, astrobiology, planetary

instrument technology development, and planetary data investigations.


Program scientists are expected to perform a range of planning duties in the

Planetary Missions and Research and Analysis (R&A) Programs. Duties may

include: Developing, reviewing, and providing recommendations for proposed

program requirements, expected results, and budgetary estimates; Initiating and

monitoring research contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements; Providing

expert advice to management on strategic planning and program development.

Program Scientists will represent scientific disciplines to NASA senior

management and serve as advocates for the communities’ scientific interest.


These positions are being filled at the GS/14-15 level (salary range $112,021

– $161,900).  In addition to the basic education requirements, applicants must

also have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade,

which has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies needed to

successfully perform the duties of the positions described above. Appropriate

details are listed in the announcement.


Applications will be accepted only through


Schedule: Open January 2, 2018, to February 2, 2018.


For current Federal employees:

            NASA Announcement Number HQ18C0015



For US citizens and US nationals:

            NASA Announcement Number HQ18D0004




     University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA


The Reaction Dynamics Group, Department of Chemistry & W.M. Keck

Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry, University of Hawai’i at Manoa,

invites applications for one postdoctoral position. The appointment period

is initially for one year, but can be renewed annually based on avail­a­b­ility

of funds and satisfactory progress as defined by first author publications.

The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Successful

applicants should have a strong background in experimental reaction

dynamics, UHV tech­nology, and pulsed (tunable) laser systems. Experience

in labview programming and/or Autocad/SolidWorks is desirable. The goal

of the experiments is to probe the formation of complex organic molecules

in Solar System ices and/or the synthesis of water on the moon via interaction

of ionizing radiation with low temperature ices and silicates, respectively.

Reaction products will be probed via tunable vacuum ultraviolet photoionization

generated via four wave mixing schemes.


Solid communication skills in English (written, oral), a publication record

in internationally circulated, peer-reviewed journals, and willingness to work

in a team are man­da­to­ry. Only self-motivated and energetic candidates are

encouraged to apply. Please send a letter of interest, three letters of

recommendation, CV, and publication list to Prof. Ralf I. Kaiser, De­partment

of Chemistry, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822-2275, USA

[[email protected]]. Applicants must demonstrate their capability to prepare

manuscripts for publications independently. The review of applications will

start January 15, 2018, and continues until the position is filled. A description

of our current research group can be found at

Only complete applications will be reviewed.




Since 2004, a physics graduate program has been offered in partnership

between the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) and Southwest

Research Institute (SwRI).  UTSA is the second largest component

university of The University of Texas System, with an enrollment of

more than 28,000 students. SwRI’s Space Science and Engineering

Division is a leader in space physics and planetary science research

with major involvement in numerous NASA missions. The participation

by SwRI offers students a chance to be involved in many of the most

exciting ongoing NASA missions (Juno, MMS, LRO, Van Allen Probes,

New Horizons, TWINS, IBEX) and future missions (e.g., Europa Clipper,

JUICE, Bepi Columbo, Solar Probe).    


UTSA/SwRI graduate students can engage in data analysis and instrument

design & calibration, and even lead their own projects.  Some past or current

projects include (for example):  analysis of Cassini observations of Enceladus’

water vapor plume, design of a new ion mass spectrometer, interpretation of

the first New Horizons measurements from Pluto, and investigation of

reconnection in Earth’s magnetosphere. During one year, the students in our

laboratory class got to perform the calibration on one of the IBEX instruments

now flying and obtaining phenomenal new observations of the interstellar boundary.    


Our areas of space physics include:

             Solar & Heliospheric physics

             Planetary Science            

             Magnetospheric physics            

             Space Science instrumentation            



Our website is, with the joint program details at  


The deadlines for application:   1 February 2018 for entry in Fall 2018.  

1 October 2018 for entry in Spring 2019.   Application procedures and

additional information: –

Visit and

Or contact Professor Mihir Desai at [email protected] or +1 210 522 6754.

You are welcome to talk directly to current graduate students at

[email protected].  


Financial support is available to students through Research Assistantships

while conducting research for SwRI’s Space Science and Engineering Division (



     NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

     Application Deadline: February 4, 2018





Magnetospheres Laboratory of the Solar System Exploration Division

(SSED) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) located in Greenbelt,

Maryland has a position open for a Magnetometry Scientist, at either the

Junior or mid-career levels. The Solar System Exploration Division conducts

theoretical and experimental research to explore the solar system and

understand the formation and evolution of planetary systems. For more

information about the duties of this position and requirements or to apply

please see:  (GS-13 position)

and (GS-15 position)

We will be hiring a single individual, at either a junior or mid-career level, to

fill this position. More Information about the SSED can be found at  Specific questions about the SSED

and this position can be directed to [email protected]



     Lunar and Planetary Institute

     Houston, TX


Application Deadline : March 21, 2018


The Universities Space Research Association’s Lunar and Planetary Institute

invites applications for a postdoctoral fellow in modeling of planetary surface

processes. The successful candidate will join Dr. Edgard Rivera-Valentín in

several projects related to simulating planetary surface process on Mars and 

the icy moons of Saturn. Projects are interdisciplinary in nature and involve 

numerical simulations of planetary surface processes and responsibilities in 

spacecraft data analysis and data management. Applicants should have a recent

Ph.D. in planetary science, astronomy, physics, geosciences or a related field.

Experience in numerical modeling and proficiency in programming languages

is required; experience with MATLAB and IDL is desirable. Candidates with

demonstrated experience in a wide array of subfields in planetary science are

encouraged to apply. Candidates from underrepresented groups in STEM and

those with a demonstrated history of efforts to improve diversity and inclusion 

in STEM are particularly encouraged.


Interested applicants should apply to the posting at and must submit a cover letter, CV with list

of publications, a statement of research interests and plans, and a list of at least

three professional references. Review of candidates will begin on March 21, 2018.



Send submissions to:

Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected]


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