Search form

Crystal M. Tinch
Communications Manager
American Astronomical Society (AAS)

Video recordings from the 222nd AAS meeting in Indianapolis, 2-6 June 2013, are now online. Among the available videos are some plenary sessions (i.e., invited talks and prize lectures); oral, special, and meeting-in-a-meeting sessions; town halls; Laboratory Astrophysics Division sessions; and press conferences.

Not all sessions were recorded, so if you don't find a particular talk or session in the list of available videos, it means it wasn't recorded.

Except for the press conferences, which are also available elsewhere, meeting videos are available only to AAS members for the first six months after the meeting. You'll need to sign in to this website using your AAS username and password to view the videos during this period. After that, the videos will be available publicly.

Faye Peterson
Membership Services Manager
American Astronomical Society

The AAS asks that you contribute to our 2013 Summer Campaign. Support one or more of the many projects that help define the Society and maintain our efforts to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe. Your donation will be used to promote astronomy and related sciences by advancing student achievement, acknowledging extraordinary service, and celebrating outstanding research.

We especially seek contributions to the Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize, which provides graduate students or postdocs within one year of receiving or receipt of their PhD a monetary prize to enable the oral presentation of their dissertation research at a winter meeting of the AAS. As always, we also welcome unrestricted contributions, which we use for areas of greatest need.

The AAS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and all donations are fully tax deductible. To contribute online, please go to http://members.aas.org and log in to your account. You will need your AAS username and password. If you don’t remember one or the other, you can reset it there or call our membership department at 202-328-2010 x101 for assistance. If you’d like, we can take your payment information over the phone too.

No gift is too small…it’s astronomical!

Vishnu Reddy
Research Scientist
Planetary Science Institute

The AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) is pleased to announce its 2013 prize winners.

Gerard P. Kuiper Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science: Dr. Joseph Veverka has made outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science during a career that now spans five decades. He has to his credit a lifetime of outstanding contributions, that, in sum, represent a monumental increase in our understanding of planets and, in particular, small bodies -- the moons, asteroids, and cometary nuclei in our planetary system. As a planetary scientist, he has defined the field of quantitative study of small bodies in the solar system for a generation (a generation populated by his students and many associates). Dr. Veverka is Professor Emeritus at Cornell University and the former James A. Weeks Professor of Physical Sciences and Professor of Astronomy. He was the Deputy Team leader of the Galileo Imaging Science Team, and the Principal Science Investigator in the NEAR mission exploration of the asteroids Mathilde and Eros. He was also a member of the Voyager and Cassini imaging teams and led the exploration of comet nuclei on the Deep Impact and Stardust-NExT missions to Comet 9P/Tempel 1 and the EPOXI mission to Comet 103P/Hartley 2.

Harold C. Urey Prize for outstanding achievement in planetary research by a young scientist: Dr. Anders Johansen's pioneering work on planetesimal accretion and more recently on giant planet core formation has provoked paradigm shifts in a field which for years had been plagued by long-standing problems. By filling not one but two major gaps in one of the most difficult areas of solar system studies, Dr. Johansen's findings represent one of the most significant contributions to the field. Dr. Johansen, currently Associate Senior Lecturer at the University of Lund in Sweden, obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees from Copenhagen University. He finished his Ph.D. in 2007 at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Leiden Observatory. Dr. Johansen obtained his docent degree from Lund University in 2013.

Harold Masursky Award for outstanding service to planetary science and exploration: Dr. Ron Greeley was involved in nearly every major space probe mission flown in the solar system since the Apollo missions to the Moon, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, Magellan mission to Venus, Voyager 2 mission to Uranus and Neptune, and shuttle imaging radar studies of Earth. Passionate about Mars exploration, He was involved with several missions to the Red Planet, including Mariners 6, 7, and 9, Viking, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor, and the Mars Exploration Rovers. He was a co-investigator for the High Resolution Stereo Camera on the European Mars Express mission. Dr. Greeley was a Regents Professor of Planetary Geology at Arizona State University until his death on Oct. 27, 2011. He received his Ph.D. in geology in 1966 from the University of Missouri at Rolla. Through service in the U.S. Army, he was assigned to NASA's Ames Research Center in 1967, where he trained astronauts and helped prepare for the Apollo missions to the Moon. After his military service ended, he remained at NASA Ames to conduct research in planetary geology. Dr. Greeley joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 1977 with a joint professorship in the Department of Geology and the Center for Meteorite Studies.

Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public: Dr. Don Yeomans has been, for more than two decades, the "go to" person for reporters seeking a planetary scientist to illuminate the scientific middle ground between the sublime and the ridiculous. The inevitability of collisions between asteroids and the Earth is a topic that naturally engages public interest. Dr. Yeomans capitalized on his roles as manager of the NASA Near Earth Object Program Office at JPL and a co-investigator on the Deep Impact mission to build a lengthy resume of media appearances, outreach events, and popular press contributions. His calm demeanor and scientific rigor have helped to dampen doomsday hysteria and sound the all-clear on more serious potential risks (e.g., Apophis) when improved observations warrant. Dr. Yeomans received his Ph.D. from University of Maryland and worked as a contractor for the Goddard Space Flight Center before moving to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1976. He is a prolific author with more than 160 professional publications and numerous writings in the popular press. He has authored five books, most recently his 2012 work, NEOs: Finding Them Before They Find Us. In recognition of the importance of Dr. Yeomans's role, he was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world by TIME magazine.

Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award to recognize and stimulate distinguished popular writing on planetary sciences: Richard A. Kerr is a journalist who has spent his entire professional career covering Earth and planetary science news for Science magazine. Mr. Kerr studied oceanography at the College of Wooster. Following two deployments in the navy during the Vietnam War, he pursued a Ph.D. in oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. He has received numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to science journalism. A testament to his unflagging effort to promote planetary sciences though Science is the 2012 article titled "Peering Inside the Moon to Read Its Earliest History." The article focuses on the violent impact history of our Moon as observed by the GRAIL mission. For this engaging and stimulating article, the Division for Planetary Sciences is pleased to present the 2013 Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award to Richard A. Kerr.

The 2013 DPS prizes will be presented at the 45th annual DPS meeting in Denver, Colorado, 6-11 October 2013.

Richard C. Altrock
Astrophysicist
Air Force Research Lab.

The deadline for submitting observing proposals to the National Solar Observatory (NSO) for the fourth quarter of 2013 is 15 August 2013.

Information is available from the NSO Telescope Allocation Committee at P.O. Box 62, Sunspot, NM 88349, for Sacramento Peak (SP) facilities (sp@nso.edu) or P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85726, for Kitt Peak (KP) facilities (kptac@nso.edu). Instructions for proposers may be found at http://www.nso.edu/observe/. A web-based observing-request form is at http://www.nso.edu/obsreq. Users' Manuals are available at http://nsosp.nso.edu/dst/ for the SP facilities and http://nsokp.nso.edu/mp for the KP facilities. An observing-run evaluation form for the SP facilities can be obtained at ftp://ftp.nso.edu/observing_templates/evaluation.form.txt.

Please note that the NSO will conduct cycle 2 of the DST service mode operations at the DST/Sacramento Peak in preparation for ATST operations. Cycle 2 will take place during the month of October, leaving only the first and last month of the quarter available for regular scheduling. Further information and forms for requesting observing time during the experiment can be found at http://www.nso.edu/node/145 and http://nsosp.nso.edu/dst/smex. Deadline for service mode proposals is the same as for regular observing time, namely, 15 August 2013.

Proposers are reminded that each quarter is typically oversubscribed, and it is to the proposer's advantage to provide all information requested to the greatest possible extent no later than the official deadline. Observing time at national observatories is provided as support to the astronomical community by the National Science Foundation.

Rafael Millan-Gabet
California Institute of Technology

The Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at Caltech announces the availability of six-month graduate-student fellowships, typically taking place during January-July, with some flexibility on the starting and ending dates. The program is designed to allow students from other institutions to visit IPAC-Caltech and perform astronomical research in close association with an IPAC scientist. Applicants would normally be expected to have completed preliminary course work in their graduate program and be available to do research during the period of the award. Funding from IPAC will be provided for a 6-month period via monthly stipends, plus relocation expenses.

For more information please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Rafael Millan-Gabet.

The call for 2014 applications is now open, and the deadline is 1 October 2013.

Please follow the application instructions on the IPAC Program Description page

Judd D. Bowman
Arizona State University

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in Western Australia invites shared-risk observing proposals for the 2014A semester (1 January 2014 through 30 June 2014). The MWA is a low-frequency radio telescope operating between 80 and 300 MHz. It consists of 128 phased-array dipole antenna tiles providing 31 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth, 20° to 30° field of view, and up to arcminute angular resolution. The MWA is operated by an international collaboration, including partners from Australia, India, New Zealand, and the United States. We expect to schedule approximately 1,000 hours during the 2014A period, of which up to 350 hours will be available as open access and a further 200 hours as Director's Discretionary Time. We are pleased to invite proposals from all communities.

The deadline for proposals for the 2014A semester is 15 October 2013. The announcement of opportunity and call for proposals can be found on the MWA page, along with additional information about the telescope. Questions regarding this call for proposals can be directed to the MWA Project Scientist, Judd Bowman, at judd.bowman@asu.edu.

Joshua H. Shiode
John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow
American Astronomical Society

It’s no secret that since my second or third year of graduate school, I have not seen myself following in the footsteps of my research advisors. Looking back, this seemed like THE crisis of my life, but it was in fact the beginning of a (somewhat meandering) journey toward my next step in science policy. I’ve spent the last three years, first unintentionally and later fully consciously, working to distill how I’d reached this point as a researcher and what I wanted for my future career. And today, I have happily found myself the next John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow at the American Astronomical Society.

At about that point about three years ago, I began to explore potential career paths, having the benefit of a highly supportive advisor (if self-admittedly not knowledgeable about non-academic careers). I tried to figure out what I loved and did not love about my academic research. I like: discussing science with anyone and everyone, thinking critically and working creatively on complex issues, and forming interesting relationships with a diverse group of people. I did not like: hunching behind a computer for most of the day, the thought of multiple relocations based on the whims of the academic job market, and the constant pressure to find funding and publish papers. This list is much more distilled now than it was then, but that has come through the exploration I’ve done.

I started by getting more heavily involved in teaching and writing. I taught for and got involved in the organization of a local group of grads and undergrads working to improve community support mechanisms and the curriculum for Berkeley’s undergraduate physics cohort: The Berkeley Compass Project. I also wrote and edited for a local, graduate-student-run popular science publication. These activities, in addition to the joy and resume-boosting experiences I derived from them, helped me further identify what I might want to pursue with my Ph.D. in hand. I came away feeling a passion and aptitude for effective science education and communication, and a strong desire to engage in something where I personally felt a more direct social impact.

When it finally came time to apply for jobs, I knew science policy would involve a lot of what I wanted to do. As a policy advocate, one of my key duties will be to form strong working relationships with policymakers and scientists. I will get to talk to the former about the policies they are considering, and the latter about the science goals they are pursuing; what I did on my lunch hour (or three) as a graduate student will be a big part of what I am paid to do. I will grapple with the complex issues around how money is allocated for the ambitious scientific goals we have set out for the coming decade of highly constrained budgets. For many people I know, this may sound terribly boring, or futile, or unfulfilling, perspectives I can certainly understand but don’t share.

I weighed a number of other options. I (unsuccessfully) applied for science journalism jobs on the radio and in print, and for a few months thought I had landed a job working on science educational program development for K-12 students (a long, different story). After all this exploration, I am really excited about the opportunity the Bahcall Fellowship represents. I am excited to take a meaningful job that engages my continuing, strong love of science, but that also leverages the skills and other interests I have. I am ok with the idea that I may not live the rest of my life cutting along the bleeding edge of scientific discovery, and excited that I’ll still get to see that edge and have a hand in ensuring some of the necessary tools are available to keep it sharp.

Reprinted with permission from Science Wonk