Newsletter 21-16

Issue 21-16, July 11, 2021









The fall meeting will take place 3 – 8 October 2021 **virtually anywhere.** Abstracts will be due July 22, 2021. There will be no *late abstracts* this year. Pre-recorded materials (oral talks, iPosters, and summary slides) will all be due by 9 September 2021. This is a hard deadline, since the staff needs time to process, add captions, and upload everything to the site. After uploading, no changes can be made to oral talks, but you may alter iPosters until the meeting starts. All talks and presentations will be available for viewing on 27 September, one week before the meeting.






The 2021 election for DPS Vice-Chair and Committee is now open, and will close at 11:59pm ET on July 29, 2021. To vote you should have already received an email on June 28 asking you to cast your ballot. If you do not see this email in your inbox, please check your spam/junk folder. If you still do not see it, contact the secretary.


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 and cast your vote.


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

Catherine Neish

Gonzalo Tancredi

The Vice-Chair will become the DPS Chair in October 2022.


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

Serina Diniega

Brian Jackson

Seth Jacobson

Joseph Maseiro


The successful candidates will serve on the DPS Committee for three years. The detailed vitae and position statements for each of the candidates follow.


This information will also appear on the election page when you click on the link in your email sent from the AAS.






Dear Colleagues


I’m honored to have been chosen to lead the Editorial board of the journal Icarus, and I thank the DPS committee and the publisher Elsevier for their trust. I would like to warmly thank the former Editor in Chief (EiC), Rosaly Lopes, who has actively managed and promoted the journal during her three years of service and who, like her predecessors, has been an example for me.


We are taking advantage of the change in EiC to introduce some innovations to the journal. We welcome three new associate editors, Doris Breuer (DLR, Germany), Julianne Moses (Space Science Institute, USA) and Sean Raymond (University of Bordeaux, France), improving gender equality and geographical diversity in the editorial team. Two additional associate editors are expected to join the team at the end of the year. These new additions replace former editors who are ending their service or will do so at the end of 2021: Oded Aharonson, Michael Combi, William Grundy, Rosaly Lopes, Darrell Strobel, whom we all thank for their long dedication to the editorial task. From now on, Editors will be appointed for a maximum of 2 terms of three years, to ensure a timely turnover. Since I have been Associate Editor since 2000, I will not handle papers any more on a regular basis, but will focus on the journal policy and the management of the editorial board.


We have introduced two new types of articles, Letters and Notes, alongside the regular manuscripts which remain unchanged.


Letters are short manuscripts on ground-breaking results, with a potential high impact factor. Their length is limited to 3,500 words, abstract included, and they can contain up to three figures, each with a caption of up to 300 words, and one small table. Letters will be reviewed by two experts (ideally within two weeks) and, once published, will be highlighted on-line and in the printed issue.


Notes have been redefined as short manuscripts that present preliminary results, discuss an idea supported by some exploratory investigation, comment on a published manuscript, or report observations that don’t yet have clear implications or include null results. Their length is limited to 2,000 words and one figure. Notes will be reviewed by only one expert. Their scope is to provide a reference record for material which is not yet mature or developed enough to be the subject of a standard publication.


We have instituted an annual prize for the best paper led by a Ph.D. student. Moreover, because the voluntary work of the reviewers is essential for the quality and the performance of the journal, we have decided to publicly acknowledge all our reviewers at the end of each year (with permission, and without association with the paper reviewed to preserve anonymity), with a specific commendation for the reviewers who performed exceptional work. Icarus will also be more proactive in publishing review papers on relevant and timely topics. The DPS prize winners will be invited to submit a review paper on their work, as was traditional in the past.

All of these changes are reflected in the new web page of the journal and in the guidelines for authors; we invite everyone to check these periodically. Updates/news will also be issued regularly on Twitter, so please register not to miss them.


I would like to take advantage of this letter to address two recurrent complaints on Icarus that we have identified:

a) Elsevier has too expensive subscription fees and should be boycotted.

b) It takes too long to get reviews, possibly because of the two-reviewer system


Let me address all these issues with a constructive spirit of discussion; feel free to comment to me by email.


a) Many negotiations have been ongoing between research institutions and Elsevier concerning the subscription fees, and some (e.g. with the University of California) have converged to a satisfactory compromise. If you would like any further information or discussion regarding Elsevier’s pricing policies we will happily put you in direct contact with the publisher responsible for managing the journal. However, let me stress, that Icarus has no page charges. Most journals with moderate subscription fees instead have very high page charges. Now, in a world that, at last, is fighting seriously against discrimination, we should realize that page charges discriminate against scientists that are not well funded, perhaps because they work in developing countries. It is true that high subscription fees discriminate against researchers working in institutions with low library budgets, but many manuscripts are now available on arXiv (Icarus encourages authors to post their manuscripts, once accepted for publication) and, if not, the corresponding author can often be contacted for a reprint. Finally, all DPS members can subscribe to Icarus for only 132 USD annually. Thus, we are proud of being a free-of-charge journal, even though the subscription fees for libraries can be high.


b) No doubt it often takes too long to get the reviews, with any journal. We are analyzing what went wrong for the longest delayed papers, to learn from our errors; we are revising our procedures. This should hopefully reduce the average time between submission and first decision. But please, remember this issue also when you are asked to review a paper: accept (or decline) the invitation promptly, instead of letting the system time-out your invitation after a week (a lost week in terms of editorial time); and submit your review within your deadline. The two-reviewer system increases the length of the editorial process, but only marginally in most cases, while being a gauge of quality that we don’t intend to abandon. Indeed a positive review sometimes is just one that failed to notice a serious issue; with two reviews, the probability that the same serious issue is missed twice is reduced. I also wish to point out that in many cases it takes longer for the authors to resubmit their paper than to get the first reviews, another indication that in general the reviews are non-trivial and thus they are worth the time needed to get them. Please also recognize that the editorial work is not simply that of deciding whether to accept or reject a manuscript; it aims to drive authors and reviewers to converge to a consensus. In the end, all papers are better than those originally submitted. Although taking time, this drives quality up and makes the papers long-lasting in the field.


In summary, we think there are significant benefits to publishing in Icarus. Please, help us make Icarus better with your suggestions and support, by submitting to our journal your best papers and participating as experts to the review process. Let’s make Icarus fly high despite its wax wings!


Best regards


Alessandro Morbidelli (EiC) & the editorial board of Icarus.






The makeup of the planetary science community does not reflect the full diversity of the United States, and in particular Black/African American, Indigenous, and Latinx communities are heavily underrepresented relative to the US labor force population (Rivera-Valentin et al., 2020). Therefore, the DPS is offering funds to encourage and support participation of students, scientists, and other space professionals who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. In partnership with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), awards are available for members of Black/African American, Indigenous, and/or Latinx communities to support attendance at the annual DPS meeting and/or the annual NSBP meeting. The fund is intended to support some travel (when meetings are in person) and meeting registration fees, and applicants may also request coverage for society membership fees. Deadline Sep 17, 2021.








The DPS Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund provides financial assistance to Qualifying members of the DPS in order to facilitate their meeting participation by offsetting dependent care costs (such as childcare, elder care, spousal care, etc) at the meeting location, or at home, during the DPS conference week. This includes dependent care expenses needed to allow attendance and participation in the 2021 virtual DPS meeting.


The DPS Professional Development Subcommittee will accept applications for dependent care subsidies to assist an eligible DPS member to participate in the 2020 DPS Meeting. The initial submission deadline is Thursday, September 9, 2021. The review of submissions will begin September 10; however, further requests will be accepted and reviewed, funding and eligibility permitting.


Please access the grant application form at development#grants .


Mark Gurwell, DPS Professional Development Subcommittee member






NASA is a partner in the Keck telescopes, allocating ~47 nights/semester. For the 2022A proposal cycle, in addition to General Observing and Mission Support proposals, NASA is soliciting proposals for large Key Strategic Mission Support (KSMS) programs. Also, in 2022A, the NASA Keck proposal review will use a Dual Anonymous Proposal Review (DAPR) process.


KSMS projects may support past, present, and/or future missions, including JWST. Between 10-60 nights total over 2 years will be allocated between one or more KSMS projects with a maximum of 15 nights/semester. An important element of KSMS programs is a plan for timely release of processed data through the Keck Observatory Archive in a form suitable for use by the broader community. Read the full NASA Keck KSMS announcement here.


Key Dates:


– July 30: Call for Proposals and NOI submission site available

– August 16: Required but non-binding NOIs due by 4 pm Pacific

– September 2: Deadline to request a written letter of endorsement from NASA HQ

– September 16: Proposals and letters of support due by 4 pm Pacific


Questions: [email protected]






Job seekers and employers are encouraged to browse DPS’s job listings and advertise open positions.


A. Two post-doctoral scientist positions, planetary radar group, Arecibo Observatory


The research emphasis of the group is the study and characterization of near-Earth objects and other solar system bodies. The incumbents will be expected to participate in radar data processing, analysis, and modeling of near-Earth asteroids and other solar system bodies observed using the Arecibo planetary radar system. We encourage applications from candidates with experience in any type of small bodies observations or research. Experience with radar observations and techniques, programming languages, and Linux systems is preferred, but not required.


B. Assistant Lecturer with Tenure Track at University of Bern




C. Open Rank (Tenure-Track/Tenured) Faculty Position in Space Physics at UCLA




D. Two postdoctoral positions in planetary science at NAU


The PIXEL research group in the department of Astronomy and PlanetaryScience at Northern Arizona University seeks two (2) postdoctoral scholars to join our vibrant research team. The successful candidates are expected to publish scientific papers and are encouraged to lead the submission of proposals for external funding. The successful candidates will work closely within the broader research group and may choose to mentor undergraduate and/or graduate students, though this is not explicitly required. We seek candidates to work in multiple areas, including field analog research and complementary laboratory studies, remote sensing of planetary surfaces, specifically Mars, and to carry out mission operation roles.




Send submissions to:


Maria Womack, DPS Secretary ([email protected])


You’re receiving this email because you are a DPS member. To unsubscribe or update your information, please send your request to [email protected]. The more general AAS privacy policy is available online at Current and back issues of the DPS Newsletter can be found at newsletters