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Renew Your AAS Membership for 2014

Renewing online is easy, and if you do so by 31 December, you may be eligible to renew for both 2014 and 2015 at the 2014 rate and to receive a 15% discount off your share of the author charges for one paper in any of the AAS journals! (See http://aas.org/posts/news/2013/09/new-benefits-renewing-aas-members to learn more about these special offers.)

G. Fritz Benedict
AAS Secretary
Univ. of Texas, Austin

Balloting for the next election of AAS officers and councilors will open in mid-December 2013 and close at the end of January 2014. All AAS members eligible to vote in the election will be notified once the ballot is available. Every vote is important, and those elected will be empowered to decide the direction and goals of our Society.

We are grateful to the following AAS members who have agreed to stand for election. Click on a name to read the candidate's statement. Please support the candidates' dedication, and help define the future of your Society, by voting.

Candidates for the Nominating Committee were proposed by the membership at our annual business meeting in Indianapolis in June:

Nominating Committee (term: 3 years, positions open: 1)
Rica Sirbaugh French
Jacob Noel-Storr
Caroline Simpson
Nicole van der Bliek

The Nominating Committee prepares slates of candidates for officers and councilors and helps prepare slates of candidates to serve on the Publications Board and Astronomy Education Board, as specified in the Constitution & Bylaws.

Here is the current Nominating Committee's proposed slate of candidates for officers and councilors:

Vice-President (term: 3 years; positions open: 1)
Jack Burns
Robert Hanisch

The vice-presidents, as representatives of the Council, are responsible for the overall scientific content of the Society's major meetings. They select invited speakers, review proposals for special sessions, and support and advise the Executive Officer in maintaining the scientific quality of the program. The two senior VPs serve on the Executive Committee.

Treasurer (term: 3 years; positions open: 1)
Nancy D. Morrison

The Treasurer is responsible for the financial affairs of the Society and keeps full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in the Society's books. He or she deposits or invests all monies or other valuable effects in the name of the Society in such depositories or investments as are selected by the Council. The Treasurer prepares an annual report to the Council on the financial condition of the Society and secures regular audits of the Society's financial operations.

Councilor (term: 3 years; positions open: 3)
Grace Deming
Susana Deustua
Kelly Holley-Bockelmann
Buell T. Jannuzi
Karel Schrijver
Stephen C. Unwin
Liese van Zee

As members of the governing board of the AAS, councilors have the legal responsibility to manage, direct, and control the affairs and property of the Society. Within the limits of the Bylaws, the Council determines the policies of the Society and changes to them, and it has discretion in the disbursement of the Society's funds.

USNC-IAU (term: 3 years; positions open: 1)
David R. Soderblom
Lee Anne Willson

The U.S. National Committee for the International Astronomical Union (USNC-IAU) represents the interests of the U.S. astronomical community and safeguards the intellectual vigor of the Union.

Please note: Members eligible to vote will be notified when the electronic ballot is posted on members.aas.org. Members for whom we do not have email addresses will receive a paper ballot by first class mail. You may verify your email address on our members-only site and if necessary send corrections to address@aas.org.

Any other member wishing to use a paper ballot may request one by phone (202) 328-2010 ext. 115, fax (202) 234-2560 or by email to ballot@aas.org. If possible, include your member number with your request.

Erica Rodgers
Space Science Institute

The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy is conducting a survey regarding two-body careers. Two-body career couples may experience a two-body problem if they are unsuccessful in their search to find employment or education opportunities in the same geographic region. Effective solutions to the two-body career problem may be straightforward for some couples. Yet, some couples continue to live apart, while other couples change their career positions, change their career activities, or completely change careers — all for the sake of being geographically colocated.

Maybe this sounds familiar to you, or maybe it doesn't. We want to know about it either way.

We want to learn how the astronomical community and their partners are geographically distributed, and how factors such as career position, career activities, gender, and children influence two-body careers.

Please help us in our pursuit to better understand how two-body careers impact the astronomical community. Go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CSWATwoBodyCareers to complete a brief survey. We appreciate your input and welcome participation from all members of the astronomical community whether or not you are partnered.

Susan G. Neff
NASA's GSFC

The science definition team for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope – Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA) mission is requesting short white papers for potential coronagraphic science investigations related to NASA's Cosmic Origins theme or Physics of the Cosmos theme that could be addressed in a Guest Observer program. Responses may be used in future design choices for the WFIRST-AFTA mission.

More information may be found at http://cor.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/Coronagraph_call_final_Nov15.pdf

Responses are due 15 November 2013.

Mark T. Adams
NRAO

The ALMA Director, on behalf of the partner organizations and all the personnel in Chile, East Asia, Europe, and North America involved in bringing ALMA to Early Science readiness, is pleased to issue the Cycle 2 Call for Proposals.

We invite members of the astronomy community to propose scientific programs to be scheduled within the ALMA Early Science Cycle 2 period which will start in June 2014. This provides a new important opportunity for Early Science from this cutting edge facility. The Cycle 2 period will span 17 months and users of any professional background, nationality, or affiliation may submit proposals. 

It is anticipated that about 2000 hours of 12-m Array time and Atacama Compact Array time will be available for Cycle 2 projects and high priority projects transferred from Cycle 1. A list of the metadata from Cycle 1 proposals designated for transfer into Cycle 2 has been posted to the ALMA Science Portal, so that Cycle 2 Principal Investigators can avoid duplicating these observations.

The ALMA Cycle 2 proposal submission deadline is 15:00 UT on 5 December 2013.

Please see the ALMA Call for Proposals for details, including all supporting documentation.

Lynne Hillenbrand
California Institute of Technology

The U.S. National Committee for the International Astronomical Union (IAU) wishes to call the attention of U.S. IAU members to the important opportunity to propose for Symposia and Focus Meetings (replacing the Joint Discussions & Special Sessions of previous GA's) at the August 2015 General Assembly in Honolulu. Advisory Letters of Intent (LoI's) from groups intending to submit proposals for the GA were submitted to the IAU in September, and these can viewed at http://www.iau.org/science/meetings/proposals/loi/2015/.

The LoI’s were advisory and are not required for the submission of a proposal for either the Symposia or the Focus Meetings, the deadline of which is 15 December 2013, only a short time away (see http://www.iau.org/science/meetings/proposals/). The LoI’s indicate a wide range of topics for proposals that will be considered by the division presidents, who provide evaluations of the proposals to the Executive Committee, who in turn decide those proposals to be accepted for Symposia and Focus Meetings at its May 2014 meeting in Canberra.

The Symposia and Focus Meetings are excellent opportunities for the presentation of new science in every area of astrophysics and for the interaction of aficionados of every discipline. In addition to taking place in a superb venue, the GA affords the opportunity of organizing a meeting under the umbrella of the IAU GA so that you can focus on the science without having to manage many of the usual logistics required in organizing a meeting.

We encourage U.S. IAU members to give thought to proposing for Symposia and Focus Meetings on topics that you believe are of importance in astronomy and that would generate interest at the GA. You can see from the proposal website (http://www.iau.org/science/meetings/proposals/lop/) that the process is not onerous. Appropriate information for proposals can be found at http://www.iau.org/science/meetings/rules/, and it would be advisable to inform the appropriate IAU division(s) officer(s) of your intentions and seek their support. It would also be advisable to inform the IAU General Secretary via a late Letter of Intent so that your intentions can be made known on the IAU website. The primary effort then consists of defining the topics and suggested speakers. A scientific organizing committee (SOC) is required, and it is important to form a diverse group in terms of geography, gender, and seniority. In recent years the overall approval fraction for GA meeting proposals has on occasion exceeded 50%, so your effort in proposing to organize a GA meeting has a realistic chance of success.

NOTE: For those of you who may be interested in proposing for a 2015 non-GA venue symposium we can tell you that no Letters of Intent have been submitted for non-GA symposia, of which three would normally be approved. Credible proposals submitted for non-GA symposia in 2015 therefore stand a rather good chance of approval by the EC.

The undersigned have some experience with this process and we are happy to advise any interested members to facilitate submission of meeting proposals. We especially want to encourage interested groups in proposing for GA meetings of scientific interest.

Lynne Hillenbrand, USNC Chair
Martha Haynes
Robert Williams