Issue 20-31, July 7, 2020
- CALL TO ACTION FROM THE DPS COMMITTEE AND FEDERAL RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
- REMINDER: VOTE IN THE 2020 DPS ELECTIONS
- NASA SCIENCE VIRTUAL COMMUNITY TOWN HALL JULY 9
- FALL AGU VIRTUAL MEETING, ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS OPEN
- JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
CALL TO ACTION FROM THE DPS COMMITTEE AND FEDERAL RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
The DPS Committee condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent restrictions
in visas and travel policy for students, postdocs, and researchers in planetary science
and related fields. In particular, the sudden cancellation of student visas at universities
offering predominantly online learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic compromises
the health and safety of students and faculty. Moreover, it sends the message that the US
does not value the talents and contributions of the best and brightest that the world has to
offer, and disregards the hard work and brilliance of immigrant scientists that is integral
to the U.S. research enterprise. With only 5 weeks remaining before the start of classes at
most schools, these policy changes create a logistical nightmare that must be opposed, in
addition to the chaos caused by new travel restrictions for visa holders.
To that end, the DPS Committee and the Federal Relations Subcommittee (FRS) encourage
members to sign the petition here:
Additionally, we urge members to contact your elected representatives and express
our concerns about these recent attacks on planetary science. Phone calls are a very effective
method for reaching your representatives. Meanwhile, the DPS FRS and AAS CAPP are
working to advocate against these policy changes by writing letters in coordination with
other professional societies and preparing to support major lawsuits as they arise; this work
is in progress. The FRS welcomes member participation in the FRS, and you can reach out
to members of the committee here https://dps.aas.org/leadership/frs.
A possible set of talking points for use with your elected representatives might be:
"I am calling to let you know about the impact of the Administration’s recent restrictions
on F-1, M-1, J-1, J-2, and H1B visas and travel for students, postdocs, and researchers.
These restrictions represent a direct threat to the research enterprise. I would greatly
appreciate your work to undo these restrictions. Starting with the Fall 2020 semester,
international students attending schools that operate entirely online will not be allowed
to remain in the USA and will be required to leave the USA despite the pandemic. This
executive action both puts researchers and students in harm’s way and works against our
national economic competitiveness. We appreciate any efforts your office can make to
overturn these restrictions in any legislative actions that arise in the months ahead.”
REMINDER: VOTE IN THE 2020 DPS ELECTIONS
Thank you to those have already voted in the 2020 DPS Elections. As of today, 336 DPS
Members have cast their ballots, a 27.63% turnout. Last year, we set a record with a 41%
turnout. Let’s beat that this year! Please vote today if you have not already done so. We
are electing the first-ever student representatives to the DPS Committee this year, so please
take a moment to review the candidate statements and cast your vote. Thanks!
The 2020 election for DPS Vice-Chair and Committee will close on July 31st 2020.
To vote you should have received an email from the AAS asking you to cast your ballot.
Each email contains a link with a unique code that will bring you to the ballot site. There
is no need to enter your AAS login information. You will be able to review the candidate
statements online and cast your vote.
You should vote for one of the two candidates for Vice-Chair:
· Diana Blaney
· Nader Haghighipour
The Vice-Chair will become the DPS Chair in October 2021.
You should vote for two of the four candidates for DPS Committee:
· Jessie Christiansen
· Edgard Rivera-Valentín
· Kelsi Singer
· Matt Tiscareno
The successful candidates will serve on the DPS Committee for three years.
You should vote for one of the two candidates for the student representatives to the DPS Committee:
· Malena Rice
· Maya Yanez
The successful student candidate will serve on the DPS Committee for two years.
This information also appears on the election page when you click on the link in your
email sent from the AAS.
NASA SCIENCE VIRTUAL COMMUNITY TOWN HALL JULY 9
NASA's Science Mission Directorate will hold a virtual community town hall with
Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen and other members of the
Science leadership team at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 9, to discuss updates on the
agency's science activities.
Members of the science community, academia, the media, and the public are invited
to participate via Adobe connect by joining at:
To ask a question, participants can go to:
Participants must provide their first and last name and organization and can submit
questions or vote up questions submitted by others. The hosts will try to answer as
many of the questions as possible.
Charts for the meeting will be available for download within Adobe Connect during
the meeting, and a recording will be available later that day at:
To test your connection, go to:
FALL AGU VIRTUAL MEETING, ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS OPEN
The American Geophysical Union Fall Virtual Meeting 2020 abstract
submission site is now open. Go to: http://www.agu.org/Fall-Meeting
Abstract submission guidelines are at: http://www.agu.org/Fall-Meeting/2020/Present/Abstracts
Session Viewer/Abstract submission site is at: http://agu.confex.com/agu/fm20/prelim.cgi/Home/0
We will be keeping all sites updated with information regarding the virtual meeting
as the planning continues.
AGU FALL MEETING SESSION “LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FUTURE OF PLANETARY SCIENCE”
We’d like to invite abstracts to the virtual AGU session “ Looking ahead to the future of
Planetary Science” to be submitted through
https://www.agu.org/Fall-Meeting/2020/Present/Abstracts through July 29th, and look
forward to seeing you for a fascinating session.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FUTURE OF PLANETARY SCIENCE
In preparation for the NASA Decadal Survey, the Planetary Science Division awarded
funds to study eleven mission concepts under the rubric of PMCS (Planetary Mission
Concept Studies). This program element solicited proposals for mission concept studies
that addressed NASA's planetary science objectives, which are to ascertain the content,
origin, and evolution of the Solar System and the potential for life elsewhere. The oral
session will highlight the final reports of these Planetary Science Decadal Survey studies,
while abstracts for additional concepts that the community may have will be solicited to
be presented in a poster session.
Thanks a lot,
Doris Daou, Pat Beauchamp and Julie Castillo-Rogez
AGU FALL MEETING SESSION “THE FUTURE OF PLANETARY ATMOSPHERIC, SURFACE,
AND INTERIOR SCIENCE USING RADIO AND LASER LINKS”
Radio science has been used to study solar system phenomena and fundamental physics
for over five decades. The scope of this session includes radio and optical science techniques
to study ocean worlds, planetary and small body interiors, the dynamics, composition,
and thermal structure of planetary atmospheres, to characterize the scattering, electrical,
and other properties of planetary surfaces, to study solar system dynamics, and to conduct
tests in fundamental physics. Of particular interest are presentations on radio science investigations
motivated by U.S. Planetary Science Decadal Survey white papers. Relevant technology topics
include but are not limited to the design of small spacecraft networks and constellations, advances
in flight and ground instrumentation, advances in space clock technologies, novel communications
architectures including optical links, advances in radio and laser technologies, and new techniques
and instrumentation for entry probe radio science.
The conveners invite abstracts to be submitted through July 29 at https://www.agu.org/Fall-Meeting/2020/Present/Abstracts
David H. Atkinson, Sami W. Asmar, Luciano Iess, Silvia Tellmann
AGU FALL MEETING SESSION "TITAN – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE INVESTIGATIONS OF SATURN’S GIANT MOON"
Titan’s unique standing as the only moon in the solar system with a dense atmosphere
provides an environment like no other. Its complex meteorology of rainfall, wind, rivers,
lakes and seas interacting with a solid surface is reminiscent of the planets of the inner
solar system, while its icy crust and deep liquid water interior provide comparison to outer
solar system ocean worlds, such as Europa, Ganymede and Enceladus. Titan alone straddles
these diverse environments, providing a fertile natural laboratory for studying one-of-a-kind
chemistry, dynamics, geology and more. This session welcomes new results from past missions
including Voyager and Cassini-Huygens; present day modeling, observations and experiments;
and on-going scientific research to prepare for future missions including Dragonfly.
The conveners invite abstracts to be submitted through
https://www.agu.org/Fall-Meeting/2020/Present/Abstracts through July 29th, and look forward
to a session filled with exciting new results.
Conor Nixon, Alex Hayes, Kathy Mandt and Christophe Sotin
AGU FALL MEETING SESSION "CONCEPTS FOR FUTURE PLANETARY SCIENCE MISSIONS
AND INSTRUMENTS” (E-LIGHTNING)
Today planetary science missions are exploring the solar system as never before.
NASA spacecraft are headed to targets from Mercury to the Kuiper Belt, and aiming
to return the first samples from Mars and asteroid Bennu. ESA spacecraft are reaching
new targets from Mercury to Jupiter, and a wave of other missions from countries around
the world are targeting the Moon, Mars, near-Earth asteroids and beyond, with an dizzying
array of orbiters, rovers and landers. It is an exciting, dynamic time for planetary scientists
with new opportunities to propose mission concepts ranging from small Cubesats to traditional
large missions. This session solicits interactive electronic poster (e-Lightning) presentations
on novel mission and instrument concepts designed for future planetary science missions.
Abstract submissions are encouraged on all relevant mission and instrument concepts at:
https://www.agu.org/Fall-Meeting/2020/Present/Abstracts by July 29th.
We look forward to another very interesting session in December.
Conor Nixon, Morgan Cable, Charles Hibbitts, Melissa Trainer
AGU-2020 SESSION ON PLANETARY ACCRETION AND DIFFERENTIATION
We invite contributions to the session “Accretion and differentiation of rocky planets:
perspectives from geophysics, geochemistry, & astronomy” at the AGU Fall Meeting
from 7-11 December 2020, which will be at least partially virtual this year. We welcome
contributions from all disciplines to advance the understanding of the formation and
differentiation of rocky planets including, but not limited to, geochemistry, geophysics,
cosmochemistry, planetary science, and astronomy:
https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm20/prelim.cgi/Session/101356. The AGU
abstract portal is already open and the deadline for submissions is Wednesday, 29 July.
Session description: The simultaneous advent of high-resolution observations of planet-
forming disks and enhanced prospects to characterize rocky exoplanets highlights the need
for increasing interdisciplinary collaboration to understand the birth and life cycle of terrestrial
worlds in our solar system and exoplanetary systems. Therefore, this session welcomes
abstracts that address new observational, theoretical, and laboratory constraints on the
formation of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the solar system as well as in exoplanetary
systems. This includes modeling, observational, and experimental studies related to properties
of planetesimals, impacts, pebble accretion, core segregation, moon formation, crust–mantle
differentiation, atmosphere formation, or other major geophysical/geochemical processes that
fundamentally shape the evolution of rocky planetesimals and planets during their formation
and early evolution.
Conveners: Laura Schaefer (Stanford), Rebecca Fischer (Harvard), Tim Lichtenberg (Oxford)
Invited Speakers: Bethany Chidester (UC Davis), Jennifer Bergner (UChicago)
Sections: Study of Earth's Deep Interior (primary), Mineral and Rock Physics, Planetary Science
Themes: Origin and evolution, Planetary atmospheres, Planetary interiors, Planetary Geochemistry
JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
A) ASSISTANT DEPUTY ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR RESEARCH JOB
NASA's Science Mission Directorate anticipates releasing a USAJOBS announcement
to fill the position of Assistant Deputy Associate Administrator for Research (ADAAR)
in Washington, DC. The ADAAR will work as part of a diverse and agile team whose
core values include excellence, integrity, transparency, and teamwork.
The USAJOBS announcement will open on July 20, 2020 and close on July 27, 2020.
NASA recognizes that candidates with non-traditional career paths, or individuals who
are at earlier stages of their careers may have demonstrated experience in different ways.
NASA encourages applications from such individuals.
Candidates interested in this opportunity are encouraged to contact NASA well in advance
so they can make a well-informed decision on submitting an application during the very
short (7 day) window when the job opportunity will be open for applications.
See full ad text:
B) POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER IN ASTEROID CERES EVOLUTION AT NISER, INDIA
Looking for a postdoc for 3+2 years to work on Dawn mission spectral data and
geochemical models investigating the geologic evolution of asteroid Ceres. PhDs
with Planetary Science / Geoscience / Cosmochemistry / Astronomy or relevant
background may apply.
The project Max Planck India Partner Group is funded by Max-Planck-Society (MPG).
It is primarily in collaboration with MPS, Germany, and others from France, US and
Canada. Opportunities to visit the collaborators' lab and also attend international
conferences shall be provided.
For more information, please contact Guneshwar Thangjam, School of Earth and Planetary
Sciences, NISER (National Institute of Science Education and Research), Bhubaneswar, India,
Send submissions to:
Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary (email@example.com)
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