Newsletter 18-23

Issue 18-23, June 24, 2018










The 2018 election for DPS Vice-Chair and Committee is now open, and will close

on July 31st 2018.


To vote, go to You will need your AAS member login ID (which

defaults to your membership number), and your password.


If you have trouble voting on line, the AAS can do a proxy vote and vote on your behalf
(send an e-mail to [email protected]). You will still get an automated email confirmation
and a separate manual email, both with who you voted for and a confirmation number.


You should vote for one of the two candidates for Vice-Chair:


Matija Ćuk, SETI Institute

Amanda Hendrix, Planetary Science Institute


The elected Vice-Chair will begin serving in October 2018 and will become the DPS Chair in October 2019.


You should vote for two of the four candidates for DPS Committee: 


Michael Bland

Will Grundy, Lowell Observatory

Lucille Le Corre, Planetary Science Institute

Krista Soderlund, University of Texas


The successful candidates will serve on the Committee for three years after October 2018.


The detailed vitae and position statements for each of the candidates follow. 

This information is also linked from the main election page





Candidate biographical notes and statements follow in alphabetical order.







Ph.D. in Astronomy and Space Science, Cornell University, 2005

B.S. in Astrophysics, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 1999



Research Scientist, SETI Institute, 2011-present

Clay Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and

Daly Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, (combined) 2008-2011 

CITA National Fellow, University of British Columbia, 2006-2008

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia 2005-2006


Selected Honors and Awards:

Harold C. Urey Prize for early-career achievement, 2014


Selected Service to the Community:

Division on Dynamical Astronomy: Chair (2013-2014), Vice-Chair (2012-2013), Committee member (2007-2009),

LOC Co-Chair (2010, 2018)

Division for Planetary Sciences: SOC member (2014), Prize subcommittee member (2015-2016)

Panelist for NASA and NSF grant review panels 

Reviewer for Icarus, Science, Nature journals, AAS Journals, JGR, MNRAS, A&A etc.



DPS is unique among professional societies and divisions in being dedicated to planetary astronomy, and many of of its members would describe themselves as both astronomers and planetary scientists. I believe that is one of our strengths, and I think we should keep the current structure in place while working to improve communication and cooperation with the parent society.


When it comes to advocacy for our science, DPS should take into account the wide range of interests among its members, and advocate for a broad range of programs and missions whenever possible. In particular the DPS should always highlight how important planetary R & A is to the community, although it is sometimes overlooked among higher-profile budget items.


DPS’s core mission is to organize our annual meetings, and I think that the leadership can make the meetings more inclusive and open to junior members. DPS must set clear professional standards of conduct at the meetings, and deal justly and efficiently with any violations. Another priority for the DPS should be trying to solicit affordable meeting venues, which should make it easier for junior people to attend (i.e. avoid National Harbor and similar places if at all possible).






• Ph.D., University of Colorado, Aerospace Engineering Sciences (emphasis in planetary science), 1996

• M.S., University of Colorado, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, 1994

• B.S., California Polytechnic State University, Aeronautical Engineering, 1991



Planetary Science Institute, Senior Scientist, October 2012- present

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Research Scientist, Asteroids, Comets and Planetary Satellites Group, December 2000 – September 2012

Johnson Space Center, Earth Science and Solar System Exploration Div., NASA-ASEE Summer Faculty Program Research Fellow, 1999

Univ. Colorado, Lab for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Postdoctoral research associate, Aug 1996 – Nov 2000

Principal Investigator, TREX SSERVI Node (2017 – present)

Deputy Project Scientist, Cassini Mission to Saturn, May 2010-September 2012

Co-investigator, Cassini UVIS, August 1999 – present

Co-investigator, LRO LAMP, January 2008 – present

Co-investigator, Galileo UVS, September 1997-2003

Principal Investigator: HST, CDAP, PDART, LASER, OPR, PG&G, JSDAP, MDAP research programs


Selected Honors & Awards:

JPL Lew Allen Award for Excellence, 2006

JPL Section 317 Award for Excellence, 2005 (Cassini Science Planning leadership)

NASA-ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship, 1999

Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship, 1993-1995

10+ NASA Group Achievement Awards for Galileo, Cassini, LRO efforts


Community Service:

DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee, 2017-

JWST Users Committee, 2017-

Member, Committee on the Review of Progress Toward Implementing the Decadal Survey Vision and Voyages for Planetary Sciences, 2017-2018

HST Europa Advisory Committee, 2017

Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) steering committee, 2016-

Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds (ROW) co-chair, 2016-

DPS 2010 Meeting Local Organizing Committee (chair) & SOC member

DPS Nominating Subcommittee October 2007-2010

Member of SOC and organizer of various science meetings

Reviewer, Icarus, JGR, PSS, GRL, AJ, ApJ, others

Reviewer/panel member, NASA LDAP, SSW, SSO, PDART, HST, others


Candidate Statement:

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) is a community that is based on our shared interests and desire to work in a field about which we are all passionate. Several areas are important to keep in mind in order to keep the community strong, and to continue advancing our field and our planetary goals. These include the Decadal Survey, communications with the public and Congress, and our relationship with our parent organization, the American Astronomical Society (AAS). I plan to direct my efforts toward these issues.


On our community’s horizon is the upcoming Decadal Survey. As we have learned over the last two decades, this document is critical for moving forward with our missions and scientific goals. The DPS can help to suggest guidelines/inputs for the next Survey, and coordinate community-based events to develop white papers and plans. Our field includes a wide range of targets and processes that we want to address; the DPS should encourage balance in the next Survey.


We must be aware of the relationship of the DPS within the AAS.  Especially with regard to the organization’s Congressional visits, we want and need to maintain an appropriate balance between the agendas of astronomy and planetary science.


Another topic of importance to me is that of education/outreach. We have all been exposed to information addressing the utility of inclusiveness in our community — the value that well-roundedness brings to our work and discussions. The DPS plays a critical role, in providing opportunities and material for all of us interested in communicating with the public, in order to inspire students and make the future planetary science community as reflective as possible of the larger population, for the benefit of our community and science.  It should continue to do so, regardless of changes in NASA’s education/outreach policies. Of course, “outreach” extends to communications with our friends in Congress, and this is a critical element of communication for us. The DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee does a great job of organizing Capitol Hill visits and mustering letters when needed during critical times.


During my career thus far in planetary science, I have supported myself largely on grants and mission work and have been involved in the Galileo, Cassini and LRO missions. I have leadership experience from Cassini mission work, as well as heading research and proposal teams, leading the TREX SSERVI team and co-leading the Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds group. It would be an honor for me to serve as DPS vice-chair.







U. S. Geological Survey, Astrogeology Science Center



Ph.D., University of Arizona, Planetary Science, 2008

B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College, Physics and Geology, 2002



Research Space Scientist, USGS Astrogeology, 2014 – Present

Research Scientist, Washington University in Saint Louis, 2012 – 2014

Postdoctoral Associate, Washington University in Saint Louis, 2008 – 2012


Selected awards:

USGS Star Award, 2018

First Decade Award, Gustavus Adolphus College, 2012

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, 2007

Gerard P. Kuiper Award, University of Arizona, 2007



I see the DPS as broadly having three primary roles in the planetary science community: advancing the investigation of our solar system by facilitating communication between scientists, providing educational and career services to members, and advocating for planetary science. As a member of the DPS committee, I intend to work to ensure that the DPS continues to exceed in these three endeavors.


The DPS has a fifty-year history of organizing dynamic and interdisciplinary scientific conferences. We must build on that tradition to create forums for discussion that are both welcoming and accessible to every voice in our community. In recent years, significant progress has been made in achieving that goal, and it is critical that the DPS continues to make improvements that foster a culture of respect, accessibility, and accountability at our meetings and within planetary science in general.


The DPS must also continue to support the education and careers of our members by providing both resources to our community, and support for programs that help establish a stable career ladder within planetary science. This includes pushing for early career programs like NASA’s Early Career Fellowship (currently in limbo) and PI training, as well as mid-career mentoring and training opportunities.


Finally, in the current environment, the DPS must become an even greater advocate for planetary science specifically, and the value of science in general. It is incumbent upon us as individual members, and as an organization, to push back against the anti-science current. In my experience, the public finds what we do on a day-to-day basis exciting and inspiring. As the largest society dedicated to the study of our solar system, we have a unique ability to demonstrate that scientific principles and critical thinking continue to provide value to the broader culture.





Education and Career:

 * 2007-     Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff AZ, tenured scientist.

 * 2000-2007 Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff AZ, tenure-track scientist.

 * 1997-2000 Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff AZ, Hubble postdoctoral fellow.

 * 1995-1997 CNRS-UJF, Grenoble France, Chateaubriand postdoctoral fellow.

 * 1988-1995 University of Arizona, Ph.D. Planetary Sci., minor in Geosci.

 * 1984-1988 Yale University, B.S. Physics cum laude.

 * 1970-1984 Public schools in Cleveland, the Hague, and Galway.



 * Physical characterization and compositional studies of icy outer solar

   system bodies using space and ground-based telescopes.

 * Mutual orbits of binary and multiple Kuiper belt objects.

 * Theoretical radiative transfer in multiply-scattering materials.

 * Laboratory studies of solar system ices and development of remote sensing

   techniques for ice compositions, temperatures, and physical states.

 * Co-investigator and surface composition science theme team lead: NASA’s

   New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt.

 * Co-investigator and LEISA instrument scientist: NASA’s Lucy mission to

   the jovian Trojans.


Community service and outreach:

 * Planetary Data System Small Bodies Node (PDS SBN) Advisory Council


 * NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) steering committee (2012-2015).

 * NASA Advisory Council’s Planetary Science Subcommittee (NAC/PSS)


 * Hubble Space Telescope User’s Committee (STUC) (2009-2012).

 * Icarus editor (2009-present).

 * Lowell Observatory Navajo & Hopi middle school outreach program


 * Peer reviewer for numerous manuscripts and proposals.

 * Advised two Ph.D. students, and many undergraduate and masters students.



I would be honored to serve on the DPS committee, working on behalf of

the planetary science community that has been my professional family for

the past 30 years.  We are incredibly fortunate to be participants in one

of humanity’s great achievements: the exploration of our solar system.

Using telescopes, laboratory studies, numerical models, and especially

spacecraft, we have made spectacular strides in exploring the diverse

zoo of bodies orbiting our Sun and learning about the processes that

formed and changed them over time.  The character of the field evolves

with advances in technology and as we shift from initial reconnaissance

to ever deeper investigations and broader population studies, and as our

scientific focus extends inward to interior oceans and out to the Kuiper

belt, Oort cloud, and beyond to planetary systems around other stars.

There will always be challenges associated with the changing governments

that fund our research, and also with the evolving nature of academic

careers and scientific publishing.  Our professional societies play

crucial roles in navigating the shifting landscapes that underpin our

work, advocating on our behalf, and organizing meetings that enable

us to share results, learn, and build our networks of collaborators.

I am eager to contribute as best I can to the DPS’s efforts to advance

these goals to benefit our science and our community.




Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute



Ph.D., University of Nantes, France, 2009

M.Sc., University Pierre and Marie Curie, Planetary Sciences, Paris, France, 2006

B.Sc., University Pierre and Marie Curie, Physics, Paris, France, 2004



Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, 2014-Present

Associate Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, 2013-2014

Research scientist, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany, 2010-2012

Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Space and Climate Physics, University College London, 2009-2010


Selected Honors and Awards:

Minor Planet 9285 Le Corre named by the International Astronomical Union

NASA Early Career Fellowship 2014

NASA Group Achievement Award: Dawn Science Operations Team (2013)

NASA Group Achievement Award: Dawn Science Team Vesta Phase (2013)

NASA Group Achievement Award: Dawn Framing Camera Team (2016)

NASA Group Achievement Award: OSIRIS-REx Mission Team (2017)


Spacecraft Involvement:

– Associate, Dawn mission

– Collaborator, OSIRIS-REx mission

– Participating scientist, Hayabusa2 mission


Service to the community:

Manuscript reviewer

Proposal reviewer

Data reviewer for PDS

DPS, MetSoc and LPSC Session chair



I am grateful to be nominated for the DPS committee election. If I am elected as a committee member, I would like to focus on helping early career members of our community. I strongly believe that we should provide opportunities for our student members to attend the DPS meetings. As an undergraduate student I got the opportunity to attend a conference on astrobiology that was inspiring and motivated me to continue my path to become a researcher. Providing research opportunities to undergraduate students is something I feel could be improved within the DPS. Having a dedicated session for just undergraduate research presentations at our annual meeting would be something I strongly support. I would also like to make DPS a more inclusive place. Diversity today is commonly defined in terms of gender, race or sexual orientation, etc. I believe that we should celebrate diversity of opinion in our community and foster intellectual diversity as much as race or gender. If I am elected, I would work towards providing opportunities for undergraduate students and make DPS a more inclusive organization.





Research Associate at The University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Geophysics

Research Focus:

I use geophysical fluid dynamics to study planetary interiors.  My recent projects use numerical models to investigate the origin of Mercury’s magnetic field and the lunar dynamo, simulate convection and magnetic field generation within Uranus and Neptune, and understand the geophysics of icy satellites with emphasis on Europa and Enceladus. I am also a science team member of the REASON instrument on Europa Clipper and was a member of the Ice Giants Mission Study SDT.


Ph.D., UCLA, Geophysics and Space Physics, 2011

M.S., UCLA, Geophysics and Space Physics, 2009

B.S., Space Sciences, Physics, Florida Institute of Technology, 2005


University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Geophysics, Research Associate, 2014 – present

University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Geophysics, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011 – 2014

University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate Student Researcher, 2006 – 2011

Florida Institute of Technology, Undergraduate Student Researcher, 2004 – 2005

California Institute of Technology, SURF Intern, 2005

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, PGGURP Intern, 2004

Naval Oceanographic Office, Physical Science Aid, 2003

Mission Experience:

Europa Clipper, REASON Co-Investigator

JUICE, RIME contributor


Cassini, VIMS intern




Selected Honors and Awards:

NASA Early Career Fellow, 2015

UTIG Outstanding Young Researcher Award, 2013

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, 2006 – 2009

Selected Service to the Community:

Science organizing committee: DPS Annual Meeting, 2018

Mentor: Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program, 2018
Working group member: Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics Dynamo Frontiers, 2017 – present
Science definition team member: Ice Giants Mission Study, 2016
Co-convener: AGU, EPSC, IAGA
Session chair: AbSciCon, AGU, DPS, IAGA, LPSC, SEDI, Workshop on the Study of Ice Giant Planets
Reviewer: NASA and international funding agencies, ApJL, EPSL, GAFD, GRL, Icarus, JCLI, JGR, Nature, Nature Astronomy
Professional memberships: AAS DPS, AGU


DPS is the voice of the planetary science community, bringing together different disciplines and nationalities through our annual meeting and journal Icarus, advocating for adequate funding through federal relations efforts, and engaging the public through educational and outreach events. Active in DPS since my first scientific poster at the 2004 meeting, I would be honored to serve the community that has helped me develop professionally since I was an undergraduate.

As a DPS Committee member, I would be dedicated to development of our early career scientists and inclusion of under-represented groups, as well as their retainment in the field. For example, establishing relationships with minority focused organizations, such as SACNAS and NABG, could provide additional support and opportunities to our current members as well as recruit new students and researchers to our field. Family obligations are also often a challenge, and I applaud the efforts made by DPS to offer dependent care grants and nursing rooms for our meetings; I would strive to continue and extend these successes.

Just as diversity at an institution can produce better research, a strength of our society is its global membership. International collaborations that often sprout from networking at our annual meeting have wide ranging consequences, from bringing new viewpoints to individual researchers to promoting joint missions across funding agencies that benefit the entire community. I would therefore also advocate for continued fostering of international collaborations and partnerships toward facilitating new research and mission opportunities.

My research spans the solar system, from Mercury to Europa and Neptune, from cores to mantles, oceans, and atmospheres, and utilizes numerical models as well as mission data. I have and continue to be involved with mission concept formulation and instrument development as well.  Thus, I believe that I am well poised to represent the DPS community and its diverse membership if elected.




Send submissions to:

Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected]


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