Issue 20-52, December 20, 2020
- MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
- UPDATE ON NASA R&A STATUS
- SBAG SECOND CALL FOR EARLY CAREER LIGHTNING TALKS
- ACS SYMPOSIUM ANNOUNCEMENT: ASTROCHEMICAL COMPLEXITY IN PLANETARY SYSTEMS
- IN MEMORIAM: KOICHIRO TSURUDA (1937-2020)
- JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
As we approach the end of 2020, it’s a good time to reflect and look ahead. 2020 has demonstrated unequivocally the importance of science in all aspects of society. As scientists, we play a key role in advocating for science-based decision-making in our communities. The connections you make with friends, neighbors, and leaders to help them understand the scientific enterprise are vital. It’s not just about sharing our love of planetary science, it’s about sharing the tools of science – critical thinking, impartial evaluation of evidence – that allow people to dispel conspiracy theories and make logical decisions. Thank you for all that you do to bring science to your communities: it matters.
The DPS membership’s strength and resilience are apparent in the breadth and scope of planetary science being accomplished in spite of truly challenging circumstances, and in the care people in our community are taking for one another. The highs have been very high, including the first fresh sample from a low-albedo near-Earth object brought safely back to Earth by the Hayabusa2 team, the OSIRIS-REx team’s sample collection from asteroid Bennu, the daring Chang’E lunar sample return mission, the launch of Mars 2020, and many others.
The lows have been very low indeed, revealing the cracks in our society caused by inequities along many axes, such as economic and racial injustice and violence. Science is a human process, and the scientific community is not immune from these problems. Efforts to recover from the pandemic must involve addressing these issues, and as a professional society, DPS can and should play an important role in this work.
It’s heartening to see DPS members rallying to help each other out in countless ways big and small. As we leave 2020 behind (thankfully) and look ahead to 2021, let’s stay connected and keep checking in with our friends and colleagues to lend a supportive virtual shoulder and ask for theirs in return. Exercise more kindness for yourself and others. Our community is our strength.
Stay safe and keep well.
UPDATE ON NASA R&A STATUS
NASA has presented new data on its research and analysis programs at the recent Planetary Advisory Committee meeting. The presentation slides are publicly available at:
The DPS Committee encourages review of the materials. We would like to collect feedback on them so that we may refine our strategies for advocacy within the Federal Relations Subcommittee (FRS). Please send comments to the DPS Committee by January 15, 2021. If you are interested in working with the FRS to help work on advocacy, please contact the FRS Subcommittee Officer, Kurt Retherford. You can find contact information for the DPS officers here:
SBAG SECOND CALL FOR EARLY CAREER LIGHTNING TALKS
The 24th Meeting of the NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) is scheduled for January 26-27, 2021.
The meeting includes time for early-career scientists and engineers attending the meeting to introduce themselves and their research to the community. The talks will be 3 minutes each. If you are interested in giving a lightning talk, please email the early-career secretary, Terik Daly ([email protected]), by COB on January 12. Attach a single slide, in PDF format, with your name, affiliation, and a figure or two that highlight your research. We encourage presenters from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences.
ACS SYMPOSIUM ANNOUNCEMENT: ASTROCHEMICAL COMPLEXITY IN PLANETARY SYSTEMS
We are delighted to announce that the American Chemical Society symposium: “Astrochemical Complexity in Planetary Systems” is back on, and will be held online during April 5th-16th 2021. The aim is to bring together laboratory, theoretical and observational astrochemists with planetary scientists, to generate insights into the origins of chemical complexity in planetary systems. To submit an abstract for a talk or poster, please visit https://callforabstracts.acs.org/acsspring2021/PHYS before January 19th.
Session topics include:
* Chemical Complexity in the Interstellar Medium
* Experimental Techniques for Astrochemistry
* Chemistry of Protoplanetary Disks and Comets
* Complex Chemistry in the Saturnian System
* The Inner Solar System, Asteroids & Meteorites
* Astrobiology & The Prebiotic Earth
* Emerging Techniques for Sample Analysis
IN MEMORIAM: KOICHIRO TSURUDA (1937-2020)
From Masato Nakamura/ISAS:
Professor Koichiro Tsuruda passed away on the morning of December 3, 2020, at the age of 83. After conducting VLF observations and research, Dr. Tsuruda created a new method of electric field measurement and installed it on the S-520-9 sounding rocket, the Akebono satellite, and the Geotail satellite, which was a major break-through in solar system plasma science research. He also served as the Director of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) from 2003 to 2005 and guided the Institute through the difficult period just after it was integrated into the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Dr. Tsuruda had both a gentle personality and a strong resilience in his spirit, and many people loved him. He suffered from Parkinson’s disease in his later years, but he passed away peacefully at home with his family watching over him.
From Jim Green/NASA:
As a young NASA researcher who was the deputy Project Scientist on the Global Geospace Science set of satellites I had the pleasure of traveling to ISAS and working with the Geotail scientists where I met Dr. Tsuruda. I was already very familiar with his seminal Akebono wave papers. He was an outstanding scientist who took time to explain a number of key plasma wave concepts to me that I will never forget. We again met when he headed ISAS guiding that nation’s robotic space program with extensive knowledge and skill and forming long lasting relationships with NASA. He is one of our original space pioneers and will be missed.
JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES, OPPORTUNITIES
A) POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR
Work on Vera Rubin Observatory solar system discovery pipelines and system commissioning. Job opening extended to 5pm PST on Dec. 24th. https://jobregister.aas.org/ad/cd75520f
B) POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE AT LOWELL OBSERVATORY
Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona is currently seeking applications for a Postdoctoral Associate in Near-Earth Objects Studies.
Inquiries may be sent to Catie Blazek at [email protected]
C) [NASA] GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH: FUTURE INVESTIGATORS IN NASA EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (FINESST) UPDATE & REMINDERS
1. A summary document from the optional, pre-proposal teleconference held November 17, 2020, is now available on NSPIRES under “Other Documents.” NOTE: The teleconference summary is not a verbatim transcript. For the reader’s convenience, images of the slides (charts) are added to make it unnecessary to open a separate file. Clarifying annotations have been added along with an appendix with questions and answers (Q&A) received during and in the days following the call through December 14, 2020.
2. Reminder: Proposals to FINESST are due by February 4, 2021.
Through FINESST, the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) solicits proposals from accredited U.S. universities and other eligible organizations for graduate student-designed and performed research projects that contribute to SMD’s science, technology, and exploration goals funded by the Astrophysics, Earth Science, Heliophysics andPlanetary Science Divisions. Not all SMD Divisions participate in FINESST. The teleconference summary is posted at the FINESST research opportunity homepage at:
Send submissions to:
Maria Womack, DPS Secretary ([email protected])