Newsletter 23-08

Issue 23-08, April 3, 2023

 

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  1. DR. NAOMI ROWE-GURNEY IS THE 2023 DPS-NSBP SPEAKER AWARDEE

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DR. NAOMI ROWE-GURNEY IS THE 2023 DPS-NSBP SPEAKER AWARDEE

 

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.

 

Contacts:

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:

meetings/future

More information about NSBP:

https://nsbp.org/

Dr. Rowe-Gurney’s professional website:

https://science.gsfc.nasa.gov/sed/bio/naomi.rowe-gurney

 

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.

For text and images:

news/2023-dps-nsbp-speaker-awardee-dr-rowe-gurney

 

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Dr. Naomi Rowe-Gurney is the 2023 DPS-NSBP Speaker Awardee

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.

Contacts:

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:

meetings/future

More information about NSBP:

https://nsbp.org/

Dr. Rowe-Gurney’s professional website:

https://science.gsfc.nasa.gov/sed/bio/naomi.rowe-gurney

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.

Dr. Jasmine Bayron is the Inaugural DPS-NSBP Speaker Awardee

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) seeks to facilitate the involvement and participation in planetary science of more students/scientists belonging to racial/ethnic groups that have been historically underrepresented in the planetary science discipline. Towards this end, DPS established a partnership with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), Earth and Planetary Systems Sciences (EPSS) section in 2021, seeking this professional organization’s expertise in representing the interests of planetary scientists and students who identify as members of communities that are critically underrepresented in this discipline. More on the structure of this partnership can be found here: leadership/nsbp_parnership

 

A key part of the DPS-NSBP partnership was creation of the Joint DPS-NSBP speaker recognition program. At the annual NSBP meeting, the top early career or student EPSS speaker is selected by the NSBP EPSS chairs 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 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, over the next year.

 

In this inaugural year of the program, the selected Speaker is Dr. Jasmine Bayron, a meteorite petrologist currently affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission, and the City University of New York. Dr. Bayron’s research interests lie in the petrology of primitive carbonaceous meteorites and their parent bodies. Her work focuses on the hydrothermal systems in highly altered carbonaceous chondrites whose parent bodies were responsible for the delivery of both water and organic materials to the Earth’s surface, seeking to build on our understanding of early Solar System history and to improve interpretations of carbonaceous asteroid-meteorite analog relationships. At the 2021 NSBP meeting, Dr. Bayron presented her work on Moapa Valley (CM1): The Black Box of the CM Parent Asteroid. Moapa Valley (CM1) is a rare, unheated example of the CM group that is among its most highly altered members and contains a wealth of information about the hydrothermal alteration process that occurred within the parent asteroid. Study of this meteorite contributes towards interpretation of the spectrally-similar asteroid (101955) Bennu, the target of the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.

 

DPS is thrilled to invite Dr. Bayron to speak at the 2022 DPS meeting, which will be held in London, Canada. Additionally, Dr. Bayron will be speaking at the Howard University Physics Department Colloquium Series with support provided by the Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

 

 

Contacts:

 

Dr. Diana Blaney

DPS Chair

[email protected]

 

Dr. Serina Diniega

DPS committee member

[email protected]

 

Dr. Shantanu Naidu

DPS Press Officer

[email protected]

 

More information about DPS:

prizes

 

More information about the DPS 2022 meeting:

meetings/future

 

More information about NSBP:

https://nsbp.org/

 

Dr. Bayron’s professional website:

https://www.drjasminebayron.com/

 

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.

 

25 February 2022

Claudia J. Alexander Prize Will Honor Achievements By Mid-Career Planetary Scientists

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) is proud to introduce the Claudia J. Alexander Prize to recognize mid-career scientists who have made and continue to make outstanding research contributions advancing our knowledge of planetary systems, including our own solar system. The prize bridges the gap between the Harold C. Urey Prize for early career planetary scientists and the Gerard P. Kuiper Prize for more senior researchers. As this is a mid-career award it is expected that candidates have made outstanding contributions beyond the period of eligibility for the Urey prize (8 years beyond earning their final degree). More detailed criteria for consideration and selection are provided on the DPS Prizes page (prizes).

Claudia Alexander was an outstanding planetary scientist as well as a passionate writer who worked tirelessly to promote representation of women and minorities in the field. Her significant contributions to planetary science would have made her an exemplary candidate for a DPS mid-career award. She worked briefly at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the NASA Ames Research Center before moving to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 1986, where she spent most of her career. She received her PhD in atmospheric, oceanic, and space sciences from the University of Michigan in 1993. Some of Claudia’s key contributions at JPL include her role as Project Manager of the Galileo mission to the Jupiter system, U.S. Project Manager of the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and Science Coordinator on the Cassini mission to Saturn.  

In addition to research, she also enjoyed writing and is the author of several children’s books, including Windows to Adventure: Which of the Mountains Is Greatest of All? (2015) and Windows to Adventure: Venus, the Morning Star (2014). She also wrote science fiction stories such as “Leo’s Mechanical Queen,” which appeared in the book The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter(2012).

Claudia served as chair of the American Geophysical Union’s diversity subcommittee and was a member of the Association for Women Geoscientists, which named her Woman of the Year in 1993. In 2003 she received the Emerald Honor for Women of Color in Research & Engineering from the Career Communications Group, publisher of Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. 

Claudia passed away in 2015 at the age of 56, in the prime of her career, after suffering from breast cancer. 

“Claudia was a very special member of the planetary community,” says DPS Chair Amanda Hendrix (Planetary Science Institute). “She was a gifted scientist and science communicator with a smile that lit up the room. We miss her greatly! We are so pleased to name this new DPS mid-career prize in her honor. We look forward to receiving nominations for the first Claudia J. Alexander Prize next year.”

Contacts:
Dr. Shantanu Naidu
DPS Press Officer
+1 (917) 373-8840
[email protected]

Dr. Amanda Hendrix
DPS Chair
[email protected]

The AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), organized in 1968, is the largest of the American Astronomical Society’s six special-interest divisions. DPS members and affiliates 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 now includes 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. Its membership of approximately 8,000 also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronomical sciences. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe, which it achieves through publishing, meeting organization, policy advocacy, education and outreach, and training and professional development.

New “Gold Open Access” Planetary Science Journal Launched by American Astronomical Society & DIvision for Planetary Sciences

NEW “GOLD OPEN ACCESS” PLANETARY SCIENCE JOURNAL LAUNCHED BY AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY & DIVISION FOR PLANETARY SCIENCES

Research articles reporting significant developments, discoveries, and theories about planets, moons, small bodies, and the interactions among them will soon have a new showcase: The Planetary Science Journal (PSJ). This online publication is being launched by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the major organization of professional astronomers in North America, in conjunction with the largest of its six topical divisions, the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS). The new journal will publish important research directly relevant to our solar system and other planetary systems, including observational results, theoretical insights, modeling, laboratory studies, instrumentation, and field studies.

PSJ joins the Astronomical Journal (AJ), the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), ApJ Letters (ApJL), and the ApJ Supplement Series (ApJS) as the newest of the AAS’s peer-reviewed research journals, which are produced in partnership with IOP Publishing in the United Kingdom. But PSJ will differ from AJ and the ApJ family in an important way: It will be entirely “gold open access,” meaning all its articles will be free for all to read immediately upon publication. Though the other AAS journals allow authors to publish their articles under the gold open access model for an additional fee, the default for those journals is “green open access,” in which articles are available only to paid subscribers for the first year and then freely to anyone after that period.

Like the other AAS journals, PSJ will feature a quick turnaround from receipt through review to publication. The Editor of the new journal is yet to be named; the AAS and DPS have launched a search among the community of planetary scientists and expect to have someone in place soon. The PSJ Editor, along with Ethan Vishniac, Editor in Chief of the AAS journals, will rely on a combination of established AAS Science Editors and new Science Editors for the PSJ — along with the AAS Publishing team — to guide submissions through peer review and revision and then transmit accepted manuscripts to IOP Publishing for online publication.

“Our goal in launching this journal,” explains Vishniac, “is to provide a nonprofit venue for publication of research in this field that is driven only by our desire to help planetary scientists disseminate their results to the broadest possible audience, in the most comprehensive and useful way, and at the lowest possible cost to everyone.”

According to DPS Chair Linda Spilker (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), now is an ideal time to create a new outlet for the publication of planetary science research. “Dozens of countries are now involved in the exploration of the solar system,” she says. “Spacecraft are transmitting images and other observations from within the orbit of Mercury to beyond the orbit of Pluto, producing a data deluge that’s keeping a growing number of scientists and students busier than ever. With so much information coming from distant robotic explorers, Earth-orbiting observatories, ground-based telescopes, and planetary scientists in the field and in their labs,” adds Spilker, “it’s critical to get new findings into the community’s and public’s hands quickly, and the Planetary Science Journal will help do just that.”

“I’m excited about this new venture,” says AAS President Megan Donahue (Michigan State University). “The DPS is our Society’s largest division, but most of the research published in our journals has involved stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy and astrophysics. With PSJ we’ll now be able to showcase planetary science more effectively. This new journal will benefit not only the research community, but also students of all ages. I know there is broad interest in new findings about our own solar system as well as the many exotic planets we’re now discovering around other stars.”

Contacts:
Rick Fienberg
AAS Press Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x116
[email protected]

Shantanu Naidu
DPS Press Officer
+1 917-373-8840
[email protected]

Ethan Vishniac
Editor in Chief, AAS Journals
+1 202-328-2010 x9104
[email protected]

Julie Steffen
Director, AAS Publishing
+1 202-328-2010 x125
[email protected]

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its membership of approximately 8,000 also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronomical sciences. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe, which it achieves through publishing, meeting organization, education and outreach, and training and professional development.

The AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), organized in 1968, is the largest of the Society’s six special-interest divisions. DPS members and affiliates 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.

Published 15 Aug 2019

AAS Division For Planetary Sciences Announces 2016 Prize Winners

THE FOLLOWING ITEM WAS ISSUED BY THE DIVISION FOR PLANETARY SCIENCES (DPS) OF THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY (AAS) AND IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR INFORMATION. FORWARDING DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT BY THE PARENT SOCIETY.

10 May 2016

** Contact details appear below. **

Text:
press-releases

AAS DIVISION FOR PLANETARY SCIENCES ANNOUNCES 2016 PRIZE WINNERS

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) is pleased to announce its 2016 prize winners.

The Gerard P. Kuiper Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science is awarded posthumously to the late Dr. Stanton J. Peale (University of California, Santa Barbara) for his substantial and broad contributions, particularly in the areas of planetary dynamics, planetary interiors, and the search for extrasolar planetary systems. His application of rigorous mathematical modeling to understanding the interiors of planets and moons led to the prediction that Io, one of the moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo, would exhibit active volcanic eruptions. Soon after his prediction, the Voyager 1 spacecraft proved him right. He also devised an ingenious procedure to determine whether Mercury’s core is molten, which was confirmed by radar observations. His other significant contributions included studies of the Laplace resonance, a celestial dance linking Io to other Galilean moons, and the spin-orbit behaviors of several planets and satellites. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2009 and was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Geophysical Union. He held a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and asteroid (3612) Peale was named after him. He received his doctoral degree from Cornell University in 1965. Peale died of leukemia in May 2015 at age 78, three days after submitting his final research paper for publication.

The Harold C. Urey Prize for outstanding achievement in planetary research by a young scientist goes to Dr. Leigh Fletcher (University of Leicester, United Kingdom) in recognition of his ground-breaking work in understanding physical and chemical processes in the atmospheres of the outer planets. His research has resulted in insights into such phenomena as the distribution of temperatures, chemicals, and clouds in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot; the chemical make-up of Saturn’s atmosphere, which reveals clues about its origin; the identification of the cloud levels responsible for the brightening of a planetary-scale region on Jupiter; the discovery of a major hot vortex in Saturn’s stratosphere; the implications of changes of Saturn’s temperatures and gaseous constituents for variability in its dynamics; and the distribution of Neptune’s stratospheric temperatures and minor constituents. Dr. Fletcher is currently a Royal Society University Research Fellow. He received his PhD in planetary sciences from the University of Oxford in 2007.

Dr. Mark Sykes (Planetary Science Institute) will receive the Harold Masursky Award for outstanding service to planetary science and exploration for his significant contributions to fostering a positive research environment for planetary scientists. His advocacy for planetary sciences includes authorship of NASA’s first spacecraft data rights policy; providing groundwork for the first decadal survey for solar system studies and organizing, editing, and publishing the first collection of community white papers on all aspects of planetary science, which is now a standard practice; establishing and for nine years editing the weekly Planetary Exploration Newsletter (PEN), which now has over 3,000 subscribers; and successfully rallying astronomers around the world against an effort to build a development near Mt. Hopkins in Arizona that would have led to substantial light pollution near major telescope facilities. Dr. Sykes was a founding member and chair of the NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group and has served the DPS in many capacities, including a term as Chair, and he established the Division’s Federal Relations Subcommittee. Finally, over the past 12 years he greatly expanded the Planetary Science Institute, where he is the Director, to be the largest non-government employer of planetary scientists today. Dr. Sykes received his PhD in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona in 1986; he also holds a Juris Doctor from the same institution and is a member of the Arizona Bar.

The Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding public communication by an active planetary scientist goes to Dr. Yong-Chun Zheng (National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences) for his tireless promotion of planetary sciences to the Chinese public and for his explanations of Chinese science to the western world. As an investigator on Chang’E-1 and Chang’E-2 with expertise in lunar geochemistry and geology, he has delivered scores of talks at planetariums and science museums. He is a columnist for the Xinhua News Agency, and he is a frequent contributor to print and online publications that have millions of readers, such as China Science and Technology Daily. Dr. Zheng blogs several times each day on the sites of the China Science Daily and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, with an emphasis in his writings about why the average person should care about topics in planetary science and astronomy. His blog at http://www.sciencenet.cn has been visited more than 340,000 times, and he has written several books and book chapters for a general audience. His more than 100 popular articles have been published in The People’s Daily, Space Exploration, Military Digest, Newton Science World, and other publications. He often posts about NASA’s missions, including most recently about the New Horizons Pluto flyby and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter studies of recurrent seasonal gullies on Mars. Dr. Zheng earned his doctoral degree in geochemistry and cosmochemistry from the Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2005. He currently serves as an associate professor at the National Astronomical Observatories. He is also an adjunct associate professor at the Macau University of Science and Technology in Macau, China.

The Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award recognizes and stimulates distinguished popular writing on planetary sciences. This year’s recipient is Nadia Drake, a freelance science journalist and contributing writer for “No Place Like Home,” a blog with National Geographic’s Phenomena science salon. She has a PhD in genetics from Cornell University and is a former professional ballerina. Since studying science communication at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she has been an intern at Nature, an astronomy reporter at Science News, and a reporter for Wired Science covering life sciences. Dr. Drake has written about topics as diverse as rogue planets, human ancestors, and giant spiders. She has a particular fondness for Iapetus, exomoons, words, and champagne. In her winning entry, “Scientists in Flying Telescope Race to Intercept Pluto’s Shadow” (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150702-pluto-occultation-shad…), Dr. Drake gives a highly engaging personal account of how astronomers are keeping tabs on Pluto’s puzzling atmosphere by chasing the planet’s shadow with the SOFIA airborne observatory.

The 2016 DPS prizes will be presented at the joint 48th meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) and 11th European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Pasadena, California, 16-21 October 2016 (https://aas.org/meetings/dps48).

Contacts:
Dr. Vishnu Reddy
DPS Press Officer
+1 808-342-8932
[email protected]

Dr. Jason Barnes
DPS Chair
+1 208-310-2079
[email protected]

More information about DPS prizes:
prizes/2016

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AAS Division For Planetary Sciences Announces 2015 Prize Winners

21 August 2015

** Contact details appear below. **

Text:
press-releases

AAS DIVISION FOR PLANETARY SCIENCES ANNOUNCES 2015 PRIZE WINNERS

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) is pleased to announce its 2015 prize winners.

Gerard P. Kuiper Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science: Dr. Yuk Yung (Caltech) has made numerous enduring contributions to planetary science, particularly in the areas of atmospheric photochemistry, global climate change, radiative transfer, atmospheric evolution, and planetary habitability. His unique integration of observations, laboratory data, and quantitative modeling has yielded pioneering insights into the characterization, origin, and evolution of atmospheres in the solar system. His models of the chemistry of planetary atmospheres, developed through basic research, have been widely used to interpret results from spacecraft missions, including the Vikings, Voyagers, Pioneer Venus, Galileo, Venus Express, Cassini, Mars Science Laboratory, and New Horizons. Dr. Yung is Smits Family Professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He received his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from University of California, Berkeley, in 1969 and his doctoral degree in physics from Harvard University in 1974.

Harold C. Urey Prize for outstanding achievement in planetary research by a young scientist: Dr. Geronimo Luis Villanueva (Catholic University of America, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) has demonstrated exceptional capability and versatility in addressing scientific challenges in the planetary sciences. He was instrumental in the design and development of the high-resolution submillimeter heterodyne spectrometer for the SOFIA airborne observatory. He then moved into observational astronomy, making seminal contributions across the field of cometary science, including observations, data processing and analysis, and modeling and Monte Carlo simulations. Geronimo obtained the first measurement of the deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in water in a periodic comet, created algorithms to model cometary fluorescence emission incorporating large databases for H2O and HDO, and developed quantum-mechanical models for infrared bands. Turning to Mars, Geronimo conducted a multiyear multi-telescope observing campaign to chart the composition of the Martian atmosphere, including its seasonal variability as well as a quantitative assessment of Mars’s early water abundance. For his work with comets and with Mars’s atmosphere, Geronimo is recognized as one of the best young spectroscopists of his generation. Dr. Villanueva is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the Catholic University of America, in residence at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Universidad Mendoza, Argentina. He received his master’s degree from Clausthal Technical University, Germany, in 2003, and his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2004.

Harold Masursky Award for outstanding service to planetary science and exploration: Dr. Christina Richey (NASA Headquarters & Smart Data Solutions, LLC) has made significant contributions to fostering equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion in planetary science in the spirit of the Harold Masursky award. Christina’s willingness to go far above and beyond the call of her regular work duties on these issues helps our planetary community become more open, diverse, and accepting. Much of her focus has been on education about the effects of harassment. She addresses anti-harassment policies at conferences; pushes for post-doc harassment training; ensures that key community leaders show support for all within the planetary sciences; helps distribute materials used by institutions to develop anti-harassment policies; and personally assists community members dealing with harassment issues. In addition to her anti-harassment work, she tackles broader issues that impact the most vulnerable members within our planetary-science community. She participates in mentoring workshops for early-career scientists as well as workshops on alternative careers. Dr. Richey is active in the Women in Planetary Science Group, is chair of the AAS’s Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA), and is an influential participant in the Women in Astronomy blog. Dr. Richey is currently a cross-divisional program officer at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., as well as the Deputy Program Scientist for the OSIRIS-REx mission. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physics from Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia, in 2004, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2007 and 2011, respectively.

Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public: Dr. Dan Durda (Southwest Research Institute) has consistently communicated with the public about the wonders of exploring new worlds via the written word, the spoken word, and visual artistry. Dan writes for popular astronomy magazines such as Sky & Telescope and Mercury and authors columns, articles, and blogs for the public. As a natural extension of his compelling writing, Dan is sought as a planetary science spokesperson, both for lectures and on TV. His science addresses impacts and impact processes at many scales; thus he has become a requested media commentator on catastrophic asteroid impacts. The artistic dimension of Durda’s public outreach, however, sets him in a class apart. His art derives from a healthy dose of scientific knowledge, though, as Dan says, “I’m not afraid to loosen the reins at times.” His paintings and digital art present scientifically grounded depictions of solar-system objects as well as alien worlds. Dr. Durda is currently a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He earned his bachelor’s degree in astronomy from the University of Michigan in 1987 and his master’s and doctoral degrees in astronomy from the University of Florida in 1989 and 1993, respectively.

Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award to recognize and stimulate distinguished popular writing on planetary sciences: Stephen Battersby is a freelance science journalist and ex-astrophysicist who has written about such diverse subjects as giant black holes and small bogs, the end of time and the nature of slime — but he has a particular fondness for icy moons. He writes regularly for New Scientist magazine, and his work has also appeared in Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Current Science, and Discover. Recently he has been writing reports and articles for business, covering climate change, renewable energy, and adaptation. Battersby has been a features editor at New Scientist and a News & Views editor at Nature. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Imperial College, London. In his winning entry, “Splash of the Titans,” in the 24 May 2014 issue of New Scientist, Battersby explores methane tides on the icy seashores of Saturn’s largest moon through the radar eyes of the Cassini spacecraft. The discovery of methane seas hiding under the orange haze on Titan ranks among the most fascinating chapters in the exploration of our solar system.

The 2015 DPS prizes will be presented at the 47th annual DPS meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, 8-13 November 2015 [http://aas.org/meetings/dps47].

Contacts:
Dr. Vishnu Reddy
DPS Press Officer
+1 808-342-8932
[email protected]

Dr. Bonnie Buratti
DPS Chair
+1 818-468-1401
[email protected]

More information about DPS prizes:
prizes/2015

More information about the DPS annual meeting:
http://aas.org/meetings/dps47

46th DPS Meeting Press Information

 

 

 This page will be updated after abstracts for DPS 2014 have been submitted

 The main DPS pess site is located at press

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Press Briefings Update for DPS Denver Meeting

 FINAL PRESS-CONFERENCE PROGRAM FOR THE
45TH MEETING OF THE AAS DIVISION FOR PLANETARY SCIENCES

Planetary scientists are now converging on Denver, Colorado, for next week’s 45th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The meeting begins on Sunday, 6 October, and lasts through Friday, 11 October, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO 80202. Some 600 planetary scientists, astronomers, educators, and journalists are expected. Twitter hashtag: #dps13.

Main meeting website (including information on travel & lodging):
http://aas.org/meetings/45th-meeting-division-planetary-sciences

Search or browse the meeting program:
http://aas.org/meetings/dps45/science_program

Earlier media advisories:
press

Complimentary Press Registration

The AAS/DPS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers (PIOs); please contact DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy ([email protected]).

Press Office

A press office will be set up at the Sheraton in Plaza Court 7 and will be open to journalists during normal conference hours. Among other amenities, it will offer workspace and wireless Internet connectivity.

During the meeting you may reach DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy via cell phone at +1 808-342-8932. Assisting in the press room is AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg ([email protected], cell +1 857-891-5649).

Press Conferences

News briefings for the media will be conducted during the lunch break (12:00 pm to 1:30 pm MDT) in Governor’s Square 11, Monday through Wednesday, 7-9 October.

Listed below are the press-conference speakers and topics. All findings are embargoed until the time of presentation at the meeting. “Time of presentation” means the start time of the oral or poster session in which the paper will be given, or the time of the corresponding press conference (if any), whichever comes first. The complete AAS/DPS embargo policy is online here:http://aas.org/media/press-releases/embargo-policy-aas-division-meetings

Note: All new discoveries are subject to confirmation by independent teams of scientists. Inclusion here does not imply endorsement by the American Astronomical Society and/or the Division for Planetary Sciences. The AAS and DPS do not endorse individual scientific results.

Monday, 7 October, 12 noon to 1:30 pm MDT

* Apostolos Christou, “A Genetic Cluster of Martian Trojan Asteroids”
* Torrence Johnson, “Effects of Carbon Chemistry on Exoplanet Habitability”
* Franck Marchis, “New Insights on Main Belt Triple Asteroid (87) Sylvia”
* Benoit Noyelles, “Mercury’s Entrapment into the 3:2 Spin-Orbit Resonance”
* Feng Tian, “Atmospheres of Potentially Habitable Planets”

Tuesday, 8 October, 12 noon to 1:30 pm MDT

* Nadine Barlow, “Origin of Martian Low-Aspect-Ratio Layered Ejecta Craters”
* Maria Gritsevich, “A Comprehensive Study of the Chelyabinsk Meteorite”
* Brian Jackson, “A Survey for Very-Short-Period Planets in the Kepler Data”
* Amy Mainzer, “Recent Results and Observations of Tiny Near-Earth Objects”
* Mark Showalter, “New Hubble Results on Neptune’s Moons and Rings”

Wednesday, 9 October, 12 noon to 1:30 pm MDT

* Mona Delitsky, “Diamond in Saturn’s Deep Atmosphere”
* Harold Levison, “Forming the Small Satellites of Pluto”
* Jian-Yang Li, “Early Characterization of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)”
* Kevin Walsh, “Will Comet ISON Survive Its Close Encounter with the Sun?”

Remote Access to Press Conferences via Webcast

Journalists unable to attend the meeting in person may tune in to our briefings streamed live on the Web. Since the webcast includes audio, video, and PowerPoint slides, you must have a broadband (high-speed) Internet connection to watch and listen. Also, your Web browser must have the free Adobe Flash plug-in (http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/).

The webcast also includes a chat window whereby remote participants may ask questions. We can’t guarantee that all questions received from webcast viewers will be asked aloud — it depends on how much time we have and how many questions we’re getting from onsite reporters.

AAS/DPS Press Conference webcasts:
* http://aas.org/media-press/aas-press-conference-webcasts
* Make sure your pop-up blocker is disabled or that it allows pop-ups from aas.org.

Instructions:
* Password: Contact DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy ([email protected]) or AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg ([email protected]) for the password, which is for journalists only; the AAS/DPS pays by the “viewer hour,” so we can’t afford to open the live webcast to the public. After the meeting, archived webcasts will be freely available publicly via our online archive (http://aas.org/media-press/archived-aas-press-conference-webcasts).
* Once the webcast window opens, press the Play (>) button.
* Press the Open Chat Window button. You’ll be asked to enter your name; please use your real first and last names, not a cutesy Internet nickname.
* You can resize the chat window and move it to any convenient position on your screen.
* To ask a question, type it into the input box near the bottom of the chat window and click the Send button.

Contact:
Dr. Vishnu Reddy
DPS Press Officer
+1 808-342-8932
[email protected]

Second Media Invitation for the 45th DPS Meeting

For the Media

  • August 5, 2013 Press Release: DPS Denver Meeting Media Invitation
  • September 13, 2013 Press Release: DPS Denver Meeting Second Media Invitation

13 September 2013

** Contact details appear below. **

PRELIMINARY PRESS-CONFERENCE PROGRAM SET FOR THE
45TH MEETING OF THE AAS DIVISION FOR PLANETARY SCIENCES

New discoveries in planetary science, covering everything from Mercury near the Sun to giant planets circling distant stars, will be featured in three press conferences at the 45th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO 80202, from Sunday, 6 October, through Friday, 11 October 2013. More than 700 planetary scientists, astronomers, educators, and journalists are expected. Twitter hashtag: #dps45.

The AAS/DPS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers (PIOs); see details below.

Main meeting website (including information on travel & lodging):
http://aas.org/meetings/45th-meeting-division-planetary-sciences

Search or browse the meeting program:
http://aas.org/meetings/dps45/science_program

Meeting Highlights

There will be a wide range of invited and prize talks by distinguished planetary scientists, including “Voyager at the Edge of Interstellar Space” by Ed Stone (Caltech), “End-of-the-World: Using Science to Dispel Public Fear” by David Morrison (NASA Astrobiology Institute), “The Chelyabinsk Airburst Event” by Mark Boslough (Sandia National Labs), “Titan’s Spectacular Volte-Face” by Caitlin Griffith (Univ. of Arizona), and “Finding Near-Earth Objects Before They Find Us” by Don Yeomans (Jet Propulsion Lab).

Special events include a reading of “And the Sun Stood Still,” a new play about Copernicus by science writer Dava Sobel, performed by the Boulder Ensemble Theater Company; Agency Night with John Grunsfeld (NASA) Jim Green (NASA), Maria Womack (NSF), and Yvonne Pendleton (NASA); and workshops on the New Horizons Earth-Based Pluto Observing Campaign and professional-amateur collaboration.

Complimentary Press Registration

Registration is free for bona fide media representatives; please contact DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy ([email protected]) prior to your arrival in Denver.

Press Office

A press office will be set up at the Sheraton in Plaza Court 7 and will be open to journalists during normal conference hours. Among other amenities, it will offer workspace and wireless Internet connectivity.

During the meeting you may reach DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy via cell phone at +1 808-342-8932. Assisting in the press room is AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg ([email protected], cell +1 857-891-5649).

Press Conferences

News briefings for the media will be conducted during the lunch break (12:00 pm to 1:30 pm MDT) in Governor’s Square 11, Monday through Wednesday, 7-9 October.

Listed below are the press-conference speakers and topics; these remain subject to change, and several additional speakers have been invited.

All findings are embargoed until the time of presentation at the meeting. “Time of presentation” means the start time of the oral or poster session in which the paper will be given, or the time of the corresponding press conference (if any), whichever comes first. The complete AAS/DPS embargo policy is online here: http://aas.org/media/press-releases/embargo-policy-aas-division-meetings

Note: All new discoveries are subject to confirmation by independent teams of scientists. Inclusion here does not imply endorsement by the American Astronomical Society and/or the Division for Planetary Sciences. The AAS and DPS do not endorse individual scientific results.

Monday, 7 October, 12 noon to 1:30 pm MDT

* Apostolos Christou, “A Genetic Cluster of Martian Trojan Asteroids”
* Benoit Noyelles, “Mercury’s Entrapment into the 3:2 Spin-Orbit Resonance”
* Feng Tian, “Atmospheres of Potentially Habitable Planets”

Tuesday, 8 October, 12 noon to 1:30 pm MDT

* Maria Gritsevich, “A Comprehensive Study of the Chelyabinsk Meteorite”
* Amy Mainzer, “Recent Results and Observations of Tiny Near-Earth Objects”
* Mark Showalter, “New Hubble Results on Neptune’s Moons and Rings”

Wednesday, 9 October, 12 noon to 1:30 pm MDT

* Nadine Barlow, “Origin of Martian Low-Aspect-Ratio Layered Ejecta Craters”
* Mona Delitsky, “Diamond in Saturn’s Deep Atmosphere”
* Harold Levison, “Forming the Small Satellites of Pluto”
* Jian-Yang Li, “Early Characterization of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)”

Remote Access to Press Conferences via Webcast

Journalists unable to attend the meeting in person may tune in to our briefings streamed live on the Web. Since the webcast includes audio, video, and PowerPoint slides, you must have a broadband (high-speed) Internet connection to watch and listen. Also, your Web browser must have the free Adobe Flash plug-in (http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/).

The webcast also includes a chat window whereby remote participants may ask questions. We can’t guarantee that all questions received from webcast viewers will be asked aloud — it depends on how much time we have and how many questions we’re getting from onsite reporters.

AAS/DPS Press Conference webcasts:
* http://aas.org/media-press/aas-press-conference-webcasts
* Make sure your pop-up blocker is disabled or that it allows pop-ups from aas.org.

Instructions:
* Password: Contact DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy ([email protected]) or AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg ([email protected]) for the password, which is for journalists only; the AAS/DPS pays by the “viewer hour,” so we can’t afford to open the live webcast to the public. After the meeting, archived webcasts will be freely available publicly via our online archive (http://aas.org/media-press/archived-aas-press-conference-webcasts).
* Once the webcast window opens, press the Play (>) button.
* Press the Open Chat Window button. You’ll be asked to enter your name; please use your real first and last names, not a cutesy Internet nickname.
* You can resize the chat window and move it to any convenient position on your screen.
* To ask a question, type it into the input box near the bottom of the chat window and click the Send button.

Contact:
Dr. Vishnu Reddy
DPS Press Officer
+1 808-342-8932
[email protected]