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AAS Electronic Announcement #176 - September 2007

[Mailed from aas.org on 10 September 2007]

View Online: http://www.aas.org/publications/elaarchive/Exploder_176_2007_09_Septembe...

CONTENTS:

1. 2008 MEMBERSHIP ONLINE RENEWALS

2. AAS PRIZES AND AWARDS

3. NEW SUBMISSIONS FOR AJ

4. JOHN BAHCALL PUBLIC POLICY FELLOWSHIP

5. LETTER REGARDING ASTRO2010

6. NOAO PROPOSALS FOR 2008A

7. STUDENT GRANT OPPORTUNITY

8. NASA STRATEGIC MISSIONS CONCEPT STUDY CONFERENCES

9. SEEKING ASTROPHYSICISTS WITH DYSLEXIA

10. NASA'S SCIENCE MISSION DIRECTORATE

11. CHAMBLISS AWARDS

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1. 2008 MEMBERSHIP ONLINE RENEWALS

The 2008 renewal period is here! Be an early bird and renew online today. Fifty percent of the membership renewed online during the 2007 renewal period. We considered 2007 a success and look forward to additional member participation this year. Renewing early saves the AAS substantial cost and increases the funding available for our programs.

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2. AAS PRIZES AND AWARDS

AAS members are encouraged to submit nominations for the various AAS prizes and awards. See page 5 of the July/August 2007 AAS Newsletter for information on submitting nominations. Chambliss Student Achievement Awards for Undergraduate and Graduate Posters presented at AAS meetings. If you are a student (or know as student) who will be submitting an abstract for the 211th AAS Meeting in Austin, TX, 7-11 January 2008, you can choose to have your poster considered for one of the awards. Further information is available at http://members.aas.org/grants/student.cfm See item 11 for additional Chambliss Awards.

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3. NEW SUBMISSIONS FOR AJ

As of September 1, new submissions to The Astronomical Journal are being handled by IOP Publishing. To submit a new paper, use the online site at http://authors.iop.org/aj. If you wish to revise a paper already in peer review, continue to use http://mss.uchicago.edu/AJ/. When you are ready to send your next AJ paper, please visit http://authors.iop.org/aj, create an account and begin your submission. It is possible to submit a paper without being logged in, although you will be unable to use many features of the online system. After you submit a new manuscript, the AJ office will acknowledge your submission and you will be asked to confirm the details of your account. From your personal author homepage you can monitor the progress of your article, make revisions and check proofs.

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4. JOHN BAHCALL PUBLIC POLICY FELLOWSHIP
Due: 15 October 2007

Last year, the AAS council has approved the establishment of the John Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship of the AAS. This is a half-year postdoctoral level position, and the AAS is now accepting applications for the position, to begin in 2008.In partnership with the Executive Officer, the John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow will be responsible for a wide range of AAS public policy activities including:Direct advocacy for astronomy-related issues Maintaining relationships with key policy people related to astronomy (agencies, hill staff, OMB, OSTP, NRC, etc.) Visits with Hill offices (all Spring)Coordination of Congressional Visits Day Springtime, either March or April Coordination of CNSF Hill exhibition participation (sometime May-July) Authorship of the Washington News Column in the AAS Newsletter, a chapter in the AAS annual R&D budget book and Action Alerts and Informational Emails as required Coordination with and support of the Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy, strategic planning Attendance at policy events: coalitions, colloquia, etc. (mainly spring) Applications for the position are due on 15 October 2007. Interested applicants holding a Ph.D. should send a resume, names and contact information of three professional references and a one or two page summary of why the position is interesting to them. Candidates will be interviewed in late October. The salary will be $22,500 plus benefits for six months. Send information to: Executive Officer, AAS Executive Office, 2000 Florida Ave, NW, #400, Washington DC 20009.

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5. LETTER REGARDING ASTRO2010

Dear AAS Community,

We are sending this message to update you on the status of planning for the next survey of astronomy and astrophysics. Considering the time that has elapsed since the last survey and the lead time necessary to organize a new survey, and in response to community advice received at a town hall meeting conducted at the January 2007 meeting of the AAS, the Board on Physics and Astronomy and the Space Studies Board concluded that it was time to initiate planning. With that in mind, the boards convened an ad hoc group of astronomers at the Academies' Keck Center in April of this year. The group concluded that it is indeed time to initiate a new survey. They reviewed a number of issues that the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics has been discussing and developed an outline of a plan for the next survey. On the basis of that outline, the National Academies have submitted a proposal to NASA, NSF, and DOE for a new survey, dubbed Astro2010. The agencies are now considering the proposal. More information may be found on the Astro2010 webpage at www.nationalacademies.org/bpa/astronomy_and_astrophysics_decadal_survey.... This page includes community input to the mailbox astro2010 at nas.edu that was received after the January 2007 town hall meeting. (We are still posting selected email from this mailbox.) Another town hall meeting is scheduled to take place at the January 2008 AAS meeting in Austin. This meeting will provide an opportunity for further input from the community as well as a forum for discussion and an update on progress in negotiations with the agencies. Depending on the timing of the agencies responses, the Academies will make an announcement and,assuming the responses are favorable, begin the process of appointing a committee to carry out the survey. The many suggestions already received and yet to come through the Astro2010 mailbox will be the starting point for decisions about the committee makeup. If the Academies are able to make the announcement early in 2008, it should be possible for the NRC to appoint the survey committee and for the committee to begin its work in 2008. Bearing in mind the risks of making predictions based on several layers of uncertainly, we hope that Astro2010 will be complete in 2010.

Sincerely,

Anneila Sargent, BPA Chair

Len Fisk, SSB Chair

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6. NOAO PROPOSALS FOR 2008A
Due: 1 October 2007

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory announces the availability of observing time for the 2008A semester (February July 2008). Time is available on both the Gemini North and South telescopes of the International Gemini Observatory, the two 10m telescopes of the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, the 6.5-m telescopes of the MMT and Magellan Observatories, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, and the telescopes of Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and Kitt Peak National Observatory. Details of instrumentation, observing modes, schedules, and proposal submission instructions are available at: http://www.noao.edu/gateway/Proposals are due no later than 11:59pm MST (Mountain Standard Time)on Monday, 1 October 2007.

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7. STUDENT GRANT OPPORTUNITY
Due: 15 October 2007

The Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research program has supported undergraduate and graduate student research for more than 80 years.  The program includes grants of up to $5,000 for astronomy. Membership in Sigma Xi is not required to apply. Application deadline is 15 October 2007. Information and online application form at: www.sigmaxi.org/programs/giar/index.shtml

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8. NASA STRATEGIC MISSIONS CONCEPT STUDY CONFERENCES
Letter of Intent due: 20 September 2007

NASA has issued an amendment to Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) entitled "Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept Studies, for missions that may be carried out in the next decade or for which technology development funding is sought in the next decade. Study results are expected to be provided as input to the upcoming 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Notices of Intent to propose are due 20 September 2007, and proposals are due 20 November 2007.

As these medium-class and large-class strategic missions will ultimately be managed by a NASA Center, proposers are encouraged to partner with a NASA Center to provide overall study management, prior to submission of the proposal. To assist potential proposers, two identical workshops will be held, in College Park, MD, 4-5 October; and in Pasadena, CA, 9-10 October 2007. Proposers are not required to participate in these workshops. Attendees will learn about available NASA Center resources and how they can be used to help develop mission concepts. More information on this proposal call may be found on the NSPIRES website, http://nspires.nasaprs.com, or search for "Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept Studies" in your web browser. For information on the pre-proposal workshops, see: The NASA contact is Dr. Eric P. Smith, Astrophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC 20546-0001; Telephone: (202) 358-2439; E-mail: Eric.P.Smith at nasa.gov.

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9. SEEKING ASTROPHYSICISTS WITH DYSLEXIA

Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have been funded by the National Science Foundation to investigate the impact of dyslexia on scientists working in astronomy and astrophysics. Dyslexia is a hereditary neurological disability that impairs reading ability. Despite these impairments, a recently proposed neurological theory predicts that dyslexia may be associated with enhanced capacity for certain types of visual processing. Our study investigates this hypothesis in the context of astronomy and astrophysics. This NSF study marks the first time the effects of dyslexia on science professionals will be systematically investigated. We expect this work will uncover and document challenges faced by scientists with dyslexia, but perhaps more importantly, lead to an understanding of the strengths these scientists bring to research

If you believe you have dyslexia, and you are a researcher in astronomy or astrophysics, we would very much like to learn about your experiences and invite you to further participate in our study. Please email us at mschneps at verizon.net or CfA.NSF.study at verizon.net or phone 617-495-7472. (All contacts will be treated as confidential.) We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Matthew Schneps, Dr. Lincoln Greenhill, Dr. L. Todd Rose, Investigators Laboratory for Visual Learning Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 60 Garden St.; Cambridge, MA 02138

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10. NASA'S SCIENCE MISSION DIRECTORATE

NASA's Science Mission Directorate has a new website for research
and analysis news at www.science.hq.nasa.gov/research/sara.html. It contains information on the proposal and financial process improvements underway, a list of program officers with email and phone numbers, and statistics on programs. Please submit questions and complaints (and compliments) to SARA (the Senior Advisor for Research and Analysis). You can also sign up to receive updates at the website.

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11. CHAMBLISS AWARDS

In the July/August Newsletter, we omitted to advertise that the Chambliss awards for writing and for amateur achievement are again receiving nominations this year. The nomination form can be found on the AAS website, members page. Nominations must arrive at the AAS Secretarys Office by 1 October 2007. Rules for the two prizes follow.

Rules for Chambliss Writing Award (Revised 1/6/2007)

1. The Chambliss Writing Award is to be given for astronomy writing for an academic audience, specifically textbooks at either the upper division undergraduate level or the graduate level. The motivation for this choice is the fact that introductory textbooks and popular astronomy books have large markets and a number of existing modes of recognition and reward. Books serving astronomy majors and graduate students, by contrast, have relatively small markets and excellence in this area is rarely recognized. Nonetheless, such books serve a vital role in the professional development.

2. Books suitable for this award must be currently available in North America. A single medal will be given if the winning book has multiple authors, the monetary award divided and multiple certificates issued.

3. Nominations will be formally invited each year via an announcement in the AAS Newsletter. The call for nominations will be also circulated to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and a listserve of Astronomy Department chairs, for forwarding to their teaching faculty.

4. Nominations will be by an AAS member with three supporting letters, at least one of which must also be from an AAS member. The nomination form will be available in the members-only section of the AAS web site. The nominator will be expected to fill in basic information about the book being nominated, the author or authors, including contact information, and the academic role and intended audience of the book. They will also submit a statement to state why the book is being singled out for recognition with this award. Self-nominations are permitted from AAS members only.

5. An Astronomical Writing Award Committee will be appointed by the AAS Council to make an annual recognition for the award. There will be three members with staged terms, with the members proposed by the Committee on Appointments.

6. Nominations will remain active for three years as for other AAS  awards and prizes. The committee will have the option of not making an award in any one year if the nominations are not considered sufficiently meritorious.

Rules for Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award

1) The award will be for an achievement in astronomical research made by an amateur astronomer; that is a person not employed in the field of astronomy in a professional capacity, and who is resident in North America. The key factor will be that the work contributes to the advancement of the science of astronomy.

2) Nominations will be formally invited each year via an announcement in the AAS Newsletter. The call for nominations will be circulated to other groups such as the ASP, AAVSO, ALPO, IAPP, and the Astronomical League.

3) Nominations will be by an AAS member with three supporting letters, including at least one form a professional member of the AAS, to be received by a closing date. The nomination form shall be available in the members-only section of the AAS web site with the provision for the nominator to fill out basic information about the nominee (including contact information), a description of the achievement being singled out for recognition, and a statement as to why this amateur and this work are worthy of the award. Self nominations will be allowed but only from AAS members.

4) An Amateur Achievement Award Committee will be appointed by the AAS Council to make an annual recommendation for the award. There will be five members with staged terms. It will include three members of the WGPAC and initially one member of the AAS Council. Members will be proposed to the Council by the Committee on Appointments.  Initially, there will be two persons (including a chair) serving for two years, and three serving for three years. After the initial appointments, members will be appointed for three year terms.

5) Nominations will remain active for three years as for other AAS awards and prizes. The Committee will have the option of not making an award in any one year should the nominations not be considered sufficiently meritorious.

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