Issue 13-3, January 30, 2013
1) STATEMENT ON MARS 2020
2) IN MEMORIAM : RICHARD E. YOUNG (1943-2013)
3) IN MEMORIAM : STEPHEN E. DWORNIK (1926-2012)
4) DPS CONGRATULATES SALLY DODSON-ROBINSON
5) SCIENCE VERIFICATION OF SAM: CALL FOR PROPOSALS
6) JOB/POSITION OPPORTUNITIES
7) UPCOMING MEETINGS
STATEMENT ON MARS 2020
Statement on Mars 2020 from the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, prepared in collaboration with The Planetary Society, The American Geophysical Union’s Planetary Science Section and the Geological Society of America’s Planetary Geology Division
NASA recently announced a return to Mars in 2020 with a new rover derived from the MSL Curiosity design. Continued exploration of Mars is crucial to the scientific community and important for building upon our decades-long investment in technology and engineering capability. We strongly believe that the mission should carry a payload consistent with the recommendations given in the National Research Council’s decadal survey for planetary science, Vision and Voyages. It is of the utmost importance that NASA and Congress follow the recommendations laid forth in the Decadal Survey in order to maximize science return and support a balanced and affordable approach to exploration in our solar system.
We also emphasize that the serious budget cuts to NASA’s Planetary Science Division have not yet been averted. The budget environment proposed by the Obama Administration in February 2012, if fully implemented, will result in deep cuts across the entire planetary exploration program. Outcomes could include early termination of highly successful ongoing missions, delays of future missions in the Discovery and New Frontiers programs; and reductions in basic research grants that fund current and future scientists. The proposed budget also precludes a mission to Europa, long considered one of the most compelling and scientifically rich destinations in the solar system. A strategic mission to Europa is considered a close second to the Mars mission in the Decadal Survey.
We strongly urge Congress and the Administration to reverse these cuts and, at minimum, maintain the 2012 funding level of $1.5 billion per year for the next five years for NASA’s Planetary Science Division.
A flat budget of $1.5 billion would allow NASA to conduct Discovery- and New Frontiers-class missions – smaller, less expensive missions that provide outstanding scientific return – at a tempo closer to the recommendation given by the Decadal Survey: a Discovery mission every three years and the selection of two new New Frontiers missions before 2022. Proper funding for scientific research and technology development, both crucial aspects of the planetary program, would also be possible. We believe it is vitally important to provide NASA’s Planetary Sciences Division with the minimal funds necessary to provide a proper balance between its five key elements: strategic missions, Discovery missions, New Frontiers missions, research and analysis, and advanced technology development. A restored budget could achieve this.
Additionally, the top two major mission recommendations of the Decadal Survey could be pursued within this $1.5 billion per year budget cap, without adjustment for inflation, based on publicly available NASA budget data and cost estimates for the Mars 2020 rover and a reduced-cost Europa mission.
Congress deserves credit for restoring some of this funding in the FY13 appropriations bills taken up last year. While these bills are currently stalled while Congress tackles broader fiscal issues, they demonstrate a strong commitment to the program by both the House and the Senate. A vocal, coordinated, and focused response by the scientific community and the public provided crucial support for this effort. NASA planetary missions and programs are by definition innovative - all the technology, equipment, and building needs to created and crafted, requiring high-tech jobs and fostering high-tech skills in our national work force.
In summary, we support the decision by NASA to pursue a 2020 Mars rover mission as long as it fits within the specific recommendations of the Decadal Survey, which include both scientific and cost-cap guidance, and is part of a balanced exploration portfolio. We urge Congress and the Administration to maintain NASA’s leadership in planetary science by restoring the division’s budget to FY12 levels of $1.5 billion per year.
IN MEMORIAM : RICHARD E. YOUNG (1943-2013)
Richard E. Young, planetary scientist from NASA’s Ames Research Center, passed away unexpectedly on January 16, 2013 while walking near his country home in the Sierra foothills at Dunlap, California. He was 69. Rich had a long and productive career in planetary science. After graduating from UC Berkeley, he came to Ames to work on advanced planetary mission concepts, which inspired him to seek and earn a Ph.D. from UCLA, working with Prof. Gerald (Jerry) Schubert, in 1972. After a short post-doc at NCAR, Rich returned to Ames to work on the Venus atmosphere with Jim Pollack, and joined the Theoretical Studies Branch of the Space Science Division in 1976. During his career Rich conducted research into a broad variety of topics ranging from interior structural and thermal models of the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Uranus, and Neptune, to 3D atmospheric dynamics of free and forced planetary scale waves and zonally averaged flows, and the radiative properties of terrestrial volcanic hazes. He was among the first to develop general circulation models for Venus to try to explain its four-day superrotation – perhaps the most challenging goal for understanding deep planetary atmospheres. He participated in three major planetary missions including Pioneer Venus, the Venus Vega mission, and the Galileo Jupiter mission for which he served as the entry probe chief scientist. Later in his career Rich managed the Planetary Systems Branch for five years. He retired in 2006, but remained active in science by educating the public about the reality and challenge of climate change on Earth. As a human being, Rich was the best. His hearty laugh often echoed around the halls at Ames, and he never had a bad word for anyone. He was an enthusiastic tennis player, poker player and backpacker. He had a soft spot in his heart for animals of all kinds, and in his retirement he volunteered at an animal rescue shelter near his home. He is survived by his wife Cindy, her two daughters and two grandchildren.
IN MEMORIAM : STEPHEN E. DWORNIK (1926-2012)
Stephen Eugene Dwornik passed away peacefully on December 17, 2012. Dwornik was born July 3, 1926, in Buffalo, New York, to Stephen Dwornik and Helena Januszkiewicz Soltys.
Beloved husband of 61 years to Kathleen Westphal Dwornik; father to Kris Bragg (Al), Karen McCaa (Kevin), and David Dwornik (Fran); Grampy to Matthew, Stephanie and Jessica Bragg; Jason (Lori), Michael and Michelle McCaa; Emily and Alex Dwornik. As a young boy he lived above, and worked at his parents' neighborhood bar, learning from his mother a work ethic and social liveliness he never lost.
He attended Buffalo's prestigious Technical High School and enlisted in the Army at age 17 (with the blessings of his mother in support of her adopted country). Dwornik, 102nd Division, fought along the front lines in Europe, participated in the Battle of the Bulge and received the Army's Bronze Star for his service. After returning to Buffalo, he entered the State University of New York at Buffalo where he received both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Geology. Summer work included field work in Alaska along the Brooks Range in the late 1940s. After several years of persistent courting, he married the "One Love of his Life", Kathleen Rose Westphal, on June 2, 1951, and moved to Springfield, Virginia, to begin a career dedicated to scientific advancements, starting with mine detection at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories and continuing with planetary geology space research at NASA.
While at NASA, Dwornik acted as a Project Manager for the Surveyor Program (seven unmanned Moon landing spacecrafts). Dwornik co-authored several books, including Atlas of Mercury. One of his fondest memories was providing the first substantial NASA grant monies to a young astronomer named Carl Sagan. After Dwornik's retirement from NASA, he enjoyed a second career with Ball Aerospace, including volunteer work helping to create a planetary Braille map and being a speaker for ElderHostel courses. He was a perennial joker and loved pranks, puns, and humor of all kinds. He was also a die-hard Washington Redskins fan, first obtaining season-tickets in 1954, and continuing in the family to this day. Some of his favorite memories were also spent with his entire family at Jekyll Island, GA for annual Summer vacations, continuously from 1969. He endowed the Stephen E. Dwornik Paper Award for Planetary Geology to support future generations of scientists.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Stephen E. Dwornik Award c/o Geological Society of America Foundation, P.O. Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80301; or to the Multiple Sclerosis Society/National Capital Chapter, 1800 M Street, NW, Suite 750 South, Washington, DC 20036. Celebration of his life to be scheduled later.
Published in The Washington Post on December 22, 2012
DPS CONGRATULATES SALLY DODSON-ROBINSON
The DPS Leadership congratulates Dr Sally Dodson-Robinson on her Annie Jump Cannon Award for outstanding research and promise for future research by a woman. The award was bestowed at the 221st semiannual AAS meeting a few weeks ago in Long Beach, CA.
Sally Dodson-Robinson (University of Texas, Austin) was awarded for her contributions to the study of the formation of planetary systems. Especially notable is how her insights into giant planet formation in our own solar system and in exoplanetary systems arise from combining theoretical modeling with observations of stars and circumstellar disks. She showed that both core accretion and gravitational instability may operate in different regions around stars of different masses to form giant planets.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate her on behalf of the whole Division of Planetary Sciences Division (DPS).
SCIENCE VERIFICATION OF SAM: CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Deadline for proposals: March 15, 2013
The SOAR Adaptive Module (SAM is a laser guide star adaptive optics
system that improves natural seeing at the 4.1-m SOAR telescope. The
instrument is equipped with a CCD imager (pixel scale 0.045 arcsec,
field of view 3 arcmin). SAM commissioning is almost complete, and we
are ready to begin Science Verification (SV) testing as a final step
prior to offering SAM on a shared risk basis in Semester 2013B.
Through this call for proposals (CfP), we solicit proposals for short
(<0.5 night) science projects which could be executed as part of this
SV testing process. This solicitation is open to investigators from
all SOAR partners including the US, Brazilian and Chilean open access
Full information is available at:
You can send any comments, questions, or suggestions to the DPS Jobs Czar at: firstname.lastname@example.org]
A) COORDINATOR OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM SCHOOL AT THE MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR SOLAR SYSTEM RESEARCH
The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) invites applications for the posi- tion of the
Coordinator of the "Solar System School"
The "Solar System School" is an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) offering a re- search-oriented doctoral program for solar system science. It is jointly run by the MPS and the Univer- sity of Göttingen. Usually about 50 students are enrolled at any given time. Since its start in 2002 113 students from 36 different countries successfully completed the School and gained their PhD degree. The funding of the School was recently extended up to 2019. More information about the School is available at http://www.solar-system-school.de/
The incumbent will be responsible for all organizational and administrative matters of the School. He or she will be the point of contact for the students and lecturers and is expected to organize the lectures, summer schools and seminars, to coordinate the activities of the partner institutes, to represent the school within the university committees, to oversee the recruitment process and to be responsible for advertising the School in general.
The successful applicant will have the option and is encouraged to pursue own research in one of the scientific areas of the MPS (comprising all areas of solar system science and aspects of stellar re- search; for more information please visit: http://www.mps.mpg.de/en/forschung/), roughly at a 70/30 share between the tasks as coordinator and research.
The institute is currently located in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, but will move in the beginning of 2014 to Göttingen, a lively and scenic University town, into a new building on the northern campus of the University, in the immediate vicinity of the Institute for Astrophysics of the University.
Applicants must hold a Ph.D. in physics and are expected to have several years of research experience in a research field pursued at the MPS, or a closely related field. Teaching experience and/or experience in science management as well as familiarity with the German language will be an ad- vantage.
The position is offered initially for a period of two years and may be extended up to the end of the cur- rent funding period (2019) depending on performance and, in case of a further extension of the funding (which the Institute plans to pursue), also beyond 2019. Salary will be according to E13 or E14 (commensurate with the experience level) of the TVöD scale of the German public services.
Applications, including a CV, a statement of research interests, a publication list, and contact information of three potential referees should be sent to email@example.com. The applicant should also provide a short statement describing his/her ideas and perspectives on ways to further develop the graduate school.
Review of applications will begin 25 February 2013 and continue until the position is filled.
The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and particularly encourages applications
from women and disabled persons.
For further information please contact Sami. K. Solanki (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dieter Schmitt (email@example.com).
B) POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER IN PLANETARY SCIENCE
The Astrophysics group at the University of Bristol seeks applicants for an interdisciplinary project to study changes in the bulk composition of the Earth during accretion.
The Research Assistant/Associate will be responsible for (1) conducting numerical simulations of the formation of planetary embryos in the terrestrial region using an N-body code and (2) analyzing these results to determine the compositional differences between embryos and the original planetesimals that could arise because of incomplete accretion. The main focus of this project is to determine if the collisional growth and evolution of the Earth could result in a non-chondritic bulk composition.
The Research Assistant/Associate will be supervised by Dr. Zoe Leinhardt and also collaborate with Prof. Tim Elliott and Prof. Mike Walter at the University of Bristol and Prof. Sarah T. Stewart at Harvard University.
Applicants with interests in computational astrophysics/geophysics and planetary chemistry are strongly encouraged to apply. A Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Geophysics or related field is required.
The appointment is for 30 months. Apply online at:
by 3rd March. Interviews will begin 11th March and continue until the position is filled. For inquiries please email Dr. Leinhardt at Zoe.Leinhardt@bristol.ac.uk
C) NASA POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS
The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) offers scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research at NASA Centers. Each NPP fellowship opportunity is designed to advance NASA research in a specific project related to space science, earth science, aeronautics, exploration systems, lunar science, astrobiology, or astrophysics.
Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in hand before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing the degree requirements. U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and foreign nationals eligible for J-1 status as a Research Scholar may apply.
Stipends start at $53,500 per year, with supplements for high cost-of-living areas and for certain academic specialties. Financial assistance is available for relocation and health insurance, and
$8,000 per year is provided for professional travel.
Applications are accepted three times each year: March 1, July 1, and November 1.
For further information and to apply, visit:
Questions may be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
See also: PLANETARY MEETING CALENDAR ADDITIONS
Posted at http://planetarynews.org/meetings.html
A) CHARACTERISING EXOPLANETS: DETECTION, FORMATION, INTERIORS, ATMOSPHERES AND HABITABILITY
Scientific discussion meeting Monday 11 March - Tuesday 12 March 2013
at The Royal Society, London
organised by A. Coustenis, S. Miller, P. Read and J. Tennyson
This meeting aims to set the agenda for the next decade in this rapidly expanding field of extra-solar planet science. Some 800 planets orbiting stars outside of our solar system have now been detected, with varying masses and orbital parameters. The challenge now is to move from detection to understanding these planets as bodies in their own right.
If you’re interested, there is still room for attendance, you can register at:
B) DIVISION ON DYNAMICAL ASTRONOMY - AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY
44th Annual Meeting
Paraty (Brasil) 5-9 May 2013
ABSTRACTS and EARLY REGISTRATION: 15 FEBRUARY 2013 9:00 pm ET
The annual DDA Meeting brings together top researchers in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, and astrodynamics for in-depth and stimulating discussions and talks on all aspects of dynamics in the space sciences.
For more information see:
The 44th Annual Meeting of the AAS/DDA is organized by Observatório Nacional
(Rio de Janeiro)
C) HABITABLE WORLDS ACROSS SPACE AND TIME
The 2013 STScI Spring Symposium
April 29 - May 2, 2013
Abstract submission deadline: March 15, 2013
On-line registration deadline: March 29, 2013
Within a matter of years, humanity will know for the first time the frequency of terrestrial planets in orbit around other stars. In this four-day symposium, scientists from diverse fields will discuss the formation and long-term evolution of terrestrial bodies throughout the various phases of stellar and Galactic evolution. A particular focus will be in how the specific conditions and challenges for habitability on Earth extend to other bodies in the Solar System and beyond. The existence of these overlooked environments may provide motivation for novel astronomical observations with existing and next generation ground and space-based observatories.
Registration for this Symposium is now open and there are a limited number of spots. Please go to:
and click on the “Register” link. We also invite contributions in the form of talks and posters, which can be submitted during the registration process or after one has registered. Only a small number of contributed talks are available.
D) 10TH INTERNATIONAL PLANETARY PROBE WORKSHOP
17 – 21 June, 2013,
San Jose State University, San Jose, California
Short Course: Entry, Descent, and Landing Systems 15 - 16 June 2013
Join us for the 10 International Planetary Probe
Workshop (IPPW-10), hosted by San Jose State University, June 17 - 21, 2013. The 10th Probe Workshop brings together engineers, technologists, scientists, mission designers, space agency leaders, and students from around the world for a week-long collaboration focused on exploration of Solar System atmospheres and surfaces using atmospheric entry and descent probes and aerial vehicles. Preceding the workshop, a 2-day short course on Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Systems is offered on June 15-16.
E) AOGS 2013 ANNUAL MEETING
24-28 June 2013,
Abstract deadline extended and coming up soon : 8 February 2013.
F) AGU CHAPMAN CONFERENCE ON CROSSING THE BOUNDARIES IN PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES:
FROM EARTH TO EXOPLANETS
June 24–28, 2013
Abstracts are now being accepted, through February 25, for this AGU Chapman Conference.
We welcome submissions of posters or contributed talks (slots limited) that address the current state of knowledge of terrestrial and planetary climate systems, including their atmospheric chemistry, composition, and dynamics, plus atmospheric modeling, observational techniques, and data analysis methods. Preference will be given to those with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary science and techniques that can be applied to objects as diverse as the Earth, planets in our solar system, and exoplanets. You do not need to be an AGU member to post an abstract. The preliminary program will be posted shortly, and we expect registration to open soon. To receive all future notices, you may also join the conference mailing list from our webpage, General Information link:
Co-conveners: Amy Simon-Miller and Anthony Del Genio
G) DAVOS ATMOSPHERE AND CRYOSPHERE ASSEMBLY (DACA-13)
8-12 July 2013,
Last chance for abstract submission : now !
DACA-13 will be held from July 8 – 12 in the mountain resort of Davos, where the exciting outdoors join culture, lifestyle and an invigorating climate in the middle of the magnificent alpine landscape.
H) COMETS AS TRACERS OF SOLAR SYSTEM FORMATION AND EVOLUTION
July 9-11, 2013,
Abstract submission deadline: March 31, 2013
On-line registration deadline: April 30, 2013
I) THE PLUTO SYSTEM ON THE EVE OF EXPLORATION BY NEW HORIZONS:
PERSPECTIVES AND PREDICTIONS
Meeting Dates: July 22-26
Abstract Deadline: April 15
Early Bird Registration Deadline: May 31
The meeting is being held at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, USA.
Both registration and abstract submission are now open for the Pluto-2013 conference at: http://plutoscience.jhuapl.edu
Abstracts are solicited on all facets of the Pluto system—including origins, interiors, surfaces, compositions, atmospheres, satellites, plasma, and context in the Kuiper Belt.
Special issues of both Icarus and JGR-Planets are planned to publish new results and prediction papers in 2014.
Alan Stern (Program Committee Chair)
Hal Weaver (Local Organizing Committee Chair)
Send submissions to:
Athena Coustenis, DPS Secretary (email@example.com)
LESIA (Bat. 18)
Observatoire de Paris-Meudon
5, place Jules Janssen
92195 Meudon Cedex