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AAS Notice - April 11, 1994

AAS Electronic Notification Service
With this message we are beginning an electronic distribution service for short notices which we hope will be of interest to the astronomical community. We will experiment with format to make the messages as unobtrusive as possible. We will start each message with a short summary list which will give you the opportunity to decide if the rest of the message is of interest to you.

Our goal is to keep the frequency to about one message a month, thus limiting the subjects to important or time-critical items. For this first message we have included a number of different items ranging from developments in Washington to a meeting notice. Comments about this service, the format and the content are welcome.

Peter B. Boyce, AAS Executive Officer
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  1. IAU Travel Grant Application Deadline extended. If you are going to the IAU General Assembly in The Hague, this is your chance to apply for travel funds.
  2. Congress may decide to cut NSF and NASA research support budgets unless the community speaks up. Your letter to your Congressman could help.
  3. Academy Panel will survey Optical/Infrared facilities and seeks community input.
  4. Astrophysics in the EUV IAU Colloquium 152, March 1995

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Due to the early deadline, we have decided to extend the deadline for applications for travel funds to the 22nd General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in The Hague, in mid-August.  Applications will be accepted until 5:00 pm EDT, April 28, 1994. Round Two applications will be considered as they are received until funds are expended, therefore it would be best to re-apply as early as possible.

Applications must be made on the IAU Travel Grant form published in the December 1993 AAS Newsletter. Forms will be faxed to you upon an  e-mail request to Applications may be faxed to the AAS at (202) 234-2560 or mailed to IAU Travel Grant Program, 1630 Connecticut Ave., NW #200, Washington DC 20009.

Please provide as much justification for your attendance as possible. Try to find the lowest fares. You must use a U.S. flag carrier.

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The following FYI piece from AIP tells the story. But for us, it is important to remember that the NASA space science programs provide nearly four times as much grant support to the astronomical community as NSF does and that those programs are also in jeopardy. I urge you to communicate with your elected representatives about the importance of basic research in
general and what it means to their district. Have your representative call the chair of the Appropriations Committee urging support for both NASA Space Science and for NSF.

Peter B. Boyce

From: (dick_jones)
Subject: fyi#50 - NSF

The Time is Now - NSF Funding in Trouble

FYI No. 50, April 5, 1994

A senior congressional aide predicts that the FY 1995 budget request for the National Science Foundation will come under great pressure as the appropriations subcommittees draft their
legislation. Individuals wishing to inform Members of Congress about their views concerning NSF are advised to do so now.

It is generally recognized that while NSF is respected by many Members of Congress, there is no real passion on Capitol Hill for the foundation. Few Members receive constituent correspondence, visits, or telephone calls about the NSF. In contrast to many other interests, there are no paid lobbyists working Congress on behalf of the foundation.

Despite these factors, NSF has fared relatively well in previous appropriations bills. Nevertheless, because of strict limits on discretionary spending this year (see FYI #36,) an emphatic warning has been given that the FY 1995 NSF budget request is in "very serious trouble." The VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations subcommittees are under severe pressure to fund VA, HUD, NASA and other agency budgets. It is going to be impossible to provide adequate money for every request. Something will have to give.

A strong recommendation was made that constituents build grass roots support for NSF among all 535 Members of Congress. There is, this recommendation continues, no general awareness on Capitol Hill about the connection between NSF-sponsored research and its importance to the national well-being, particularly strategic goals.

As noted in FYI #38, individual Members of Congress talk to appropriations committee members (see FYI #11 for the subcommittee rosters) about what they hear from their constituents. Pressure will build in the coming weeks and months from the many interests funded through the VA, HUD, Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill. Science funding - in both the NSF and NASA components of the FY 1995 bill - stands a good chance of being run over, this congressional aide concludes.

FYI #39, Communicating With Congress, has guidance on writing to, or visiting with, senators and representatives. Addresses and salutations are as follows:

The Honorable ___________________
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator______________

The Honorable ___________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative________

Public Information Division
American Institute of Physics
Contact: Richard M. Jones
(301) 209-3095

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Dear Colleagues,

The NRC Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) has formed a panel (the "OIR Panel") to recommend a strategy for optical and infrared astronomy in the US. We believe that we can do our work most effectively through an open process that involves maximum participation by the community. Accordingly, we encourage all interested astronomers to read
correspondence on the issues and dispatches from the Panel through anonymous ftp: ftp> Username: anonymous.

The password "oirpanel" will automatically transfer you to the right directory. Further instructions can be found there in the file In particular, the file "MCCRAYR.218" is a letter describing the Panel, its charge and meeting plans, that was published in the March 1994 AAS Newsletter but cannot be distributed here owing to its length. We hope that
you will read this letter and distribute it to your colleagues.

Sincerely, Richard McCray

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University of California, Berkeley, March 27-30, 1995
Topics: stellar coronae, white dwarfs, photosphere/winds of early-type stars, accretion sources, ISM, neutron stars, CV's, SNR's, Solar System Obs, etc. For further information contact Ms. Sharon Lilly (iau152@cea.berkeley.ed, FAX: 510-643-5660)... Stuart Bowyer and Bernhard Haisch (co-chairs)