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AAS Electronic Announcement #127 -- July 2003

[Mailed from aas.org at 8:15am 3 JULY 2003]

CONTENTS

  1. VLBI COMMITTEE STATEMENT
  2. AMENDMENT No. 6 TO THE NASA RESEARCH ANNOUNCEMENT
  3. IVO ANNOUNCEMENT
  4. NSF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS

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1. VLBI COMMITTEE STATEMENT

The Committee on mapping the U.S. scientific future in VLBI has issued the following statement, providing additional details on the motivation and nature of the work to be undertaken. For additional details, and to interact with the Committee, please see the website (www.nrao.edu/VLBIfuture), or send email to VLBIfuture@nrao.edu.

In recognition of the challenges facing astronomical VLBI, and in accordance with the charge laid upon the committee by the NRAO and Haystack Directors, the members of the committee are unanimous regarding the following approach to the task.

The committee will function primarily as a catalyst for the formulation of a coherent plan to ensure the future health, vitality and relevance of astronomical VLBI in the U.S. As such, the committee will draw broadly on relevant expertise both inside and outside the present VLBI community. This expertise will be both technical and scientific in nature.

The goal is thus to stimulate and coordinate broad-based input, and to synthesize a strategy subject to review by the community. To this end, the committee membership has been selected to facilitate communications with a broad-based astronomical community. The process of communication and external input to the committee entails a plan of action that includes, but will not necessarily be limited to, the following items:

1. A website will be maintained, open to all, where comments, suggestions and criticisms can be submitted. Submissions may be directed confidentially to the committee, or made available to all. The website will contain copies of reports to the committee, and will provide a means for the community to monitor the progress of the committee's work.

2. Open meetings will be held to promote discussion and input. The first of these has been announced, and will be at Caltech on July 11th. A second open meeting is planned on the East coast, at a time and place to be determined.

3. Approaches to scientific leaders in a variety of astronomical research areas, soliciting their views on potential future applications of VLBI. In support of this outreach, a summary of present and potential future VLBI technical capabilities, presented in astronomer-friendly form, will be compiled.

4. Active solicitation by committee members of views and comments from communities with which they are most closely connected.

The committee will produce a report, projected for October, to be delivered to the NRAO and Haystack Directors, who will organize community review of the report before its release to the NSF and the broader community.

As part of the commitment to an open and transparent process, the committee invites comments and suggestions on the process itself.

Greg Taylor and Colin Lonsdale
_______________________________________

2. AMENDMENT No. 6 TO THE NASA RESEARCH ANNOUNCEMENT (NRA) ENTITLED "RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN SPACE SCIENCE (ROSS) 2003," NRA 03-OSS-01, RELEASED JANUARY 31, 2003

Amendment No. 6 to NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space Science" (NRA 03-OSS-01) establishes a new Program Element A.4.2 in Appendix A entitled "Call for Mission Studies: Space Science Vision Missions." This new Program Element solicits proposals for scientific and technical studies on a subset of mission concepts derived from recent Office of Space Science road-mapping efforts and under consideration for possible implementation beyond 2013. Notices of Intent to propose are due July 11, 2003, and proposals are due Sept. 12, 2003. Further information about this new Program Element is available from:

Dr. Marc S. Allen, Director for Advanced Programs
Code S, Office of Space Science
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546-0001
Phone: (202) 358-2470
E-mail: marc.allen@nasa.gov

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3. IVO ANNOUNCEMENT

The International Visitors Office (IVO) of the National Academies has launched a new Web site to provide information on visas for visiting scientists and scholars and advice for organizers of international scientific meetings in the United States. Please see: http://www.nationalacademies.org/visas.

This site includes a questionnaire through which scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and scholars can report their difficulties with the visa process. The questionnaire is used by the IVO to collect statistical data, and, in some cases, to assist with the visa process.

The IVO maintains a list of international scientific meetings held in the United States. It shares this list with the Department of State on a regular basis to help validate a visa applicant's purpose for visiting the United States. To register your meeting, send the IVO (visas@nas.edu) the following details: meeting name, location, date, and Web site link. The IVO site also has guidelines for organizing international scientific meetings in the United States.

Please visit this site and share it with your colleagues. You are encouraged to add a link to the IVO site on your Web site. If you have any comments on how the IVO site can better inform and assist you and your colleagues on visa issues, please send your comments to visas@nas.edu

International Visitors Office
The National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW, Room 578
Washington, D.C. 20001
Phone: 202-334-2602
Fax: 202-334-2231
Email: visas@nas.edu

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4. NSF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS

The NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowships provide an opportunity for highly qualified young investigators within 3 years of obtaining their PhD to carry out an integrated program of independent research and education. Fellows may engage in research of observational, instrumental, or theoretical nature, in combination with a coherent educational plan for the duration of the fellowship. The program supports researchers for a period of up to 3 years with fellowships that can be taken to the institution or national facility of their choice. The program is intended to recognize young investigators of significant potential, and provide them with experience in research and education that will establish them in positions of distinction and leadership in the community.

See http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf00136/nsf00136.html#TOC
for more information.

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An American Astronomical Society (AAS) Electronic Announcement is mailed to all members around the 10th of each month. Included are important items that do not fit into the schedule of the AAS Newsletter. Because of volume, Meeting Announcements are generally not included.

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