Newsletter 23-08

Issue 23-08, April 3, 2023










In 2021, The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) established a partnership with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), Earth and Planetary Systems Sciences (EPSS) section, to recognize and support a DPS-NSBP Speaker Awardee. This year, the awardee is Dr. Naomi Rowe-Gurney, an astronomer specializing in observations of Ice Giants. She is currently supporting the JWST mission as a postdoctoral scholar at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, employed by the University of Maryland under the CRESST II cooperative agreement. Dr. Rowe-Gurney’s research interests lie in atmospheric characterization of Uranus and Neptune, based on observations collected by space telescopes such as JWST, Spitzer, and Hubble. Her work with these remote observations expands our understanding of ice giant atmospheres, contributing towards our understanding of their composition and complex weather systems.


DPS is thrilled to invite Dr. Rowe-Gurney to speak at the 2023 joint DPS-EPSC meeting, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas, USA and virtually. Additionally, Dr. Rowe-Gurney will be speaking at the Spelman College Physics Department colloquium series and Georgia Tech Planetary & Astrobiology seminar series this fall, with travel funding provided by Georgia Tech and the DPS.


The DPS partnership with NSBP was established to jointly represent the interests of planetary scientists and students who identify as members of communities that are critically underrepresented in this discipline. This partnership is part of a broader effort by the DPS to facilitate the involvement and participation of more students/scientists belonging to racial/ethnic groups that have been historically underrepresented in the planetary science discipline. More information on the structure of this partnership can be found here: leadership/nsbp_parnership


Within this DPS-NSBP partnership, the top early career EPSS speaker is selected by the NSBP EPSS chairs, based on their presentation at the annual NSBP meeting, as the DPS-NSBP Speaker awardee. This Speaker is invited by DPS to speak at the following year’s DPS meeting, with expenses covered by the DPS. Furthermore, the NSBP EPSS Chairs and the DPS Committee facilitate invitation of the Speaker to an academic seminar at an HBCU, NASA center, national laboratory, or large planetary science university program or research institute, in the same calendar year.


At the 2022 NSBP meeting, Dr. Rowe-Gurney presented a review of remote near- and mid-infrared spectral coverage by space telescopes since Voyager of Uranus and Neptune. She focused on the observations by JWST that capture new, critical information on their atmospheric temperatures, their chemical structures, and the flow of energy between their cloud-forming weather layer and their middle and upper atmospheres. Such information can contribute towards preparation for a potential flagship orbiter and probe to Uranus, which was highly prioritized within the 2023-2032 Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology.



Dr. Catherine Neish

DPS Chair

[email protected]

Dr. Serina Diniega

DPS committee member

[email protected]

Dr. Theodore Kareta

DPS Press Officer

[email protected]


More information about DPS:

More information about the DPS 2023 meeting:


More information about NSBP:

Dr. Rowe-Gurney’s professional website:


The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), founded in 1968, is the largest special-interest Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Members of the DPS study the bodies of our own solar system, from planets and moons to comets and asteroids, and all other solar-system objects and processes. With the discovery that planets exist around other stars, the DPS has expanded its scope to include the study of extrasolar planetary systems as well.


The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronomical community, which it achieves through publishing, meeting organization, science advocacy, education and outreach, and training and professional development.

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