The AAS honored Tom Gergely, who is retiring from the National Science Foundation after 27 years of service to the astronomical community and other disciplines that utilize radio spectrum to perform their research. At a special lunch for him hosted at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC on March 28 with NSF colleagues past and present and his family, AAS Executive Officer Kevin Marvel read a congratulatory letter from AAS President David Helfand and presented him a certificate of recognition that reads:
In this column from the Committee on Employment, Jessica Kirkpatrick elaborates on the differences between academia and a career in data science.
The American Astronomical Society and its six divisions (Planetary Science, High Energy Astrophysics, Solar Physics, Dynamical Astronomy, Historical Astronomy, and Laboratory Astrophysics) are deeply concerned about the impact of the Administration’s new conference travel restrictions on the scientific productivity and careers of researchers who are Federal employees and contractors.
Fifteen members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) traveled to Washington, DC to express the need for sustained and predictable federal funding of research and development (R&D) programs — including NASA, NSF, and the Department of Energy — which are critically important to American economic growth.
From close-up pictures of water-sculpted pebbles on Mars, to the detection of galaxies at the boundary of the Dark Ages, discoveries in our field continue to advance our understanding of the Universe and to fascinate legions of the public who support our inquiry. Unfortunately, we do not see similar progress in the political sphere, even now that the consequences have been spelled out of allowing budget sequestration to hit every government agency in January.
The AAS is sad to announce the passing of former AAS Vice-President Gart Westerhout. When the AAS incorporated in Washington, DC, Dr. Westerhout signed the Articles of Incorporation. He was a life-long supporter of the AAS.
The current deadline for submitting observing proposals to the National Solar Observatory is 15 November 2012 for the first quarter of 2013. Information is available from the NSO Telescope Allocation Committee at P.O. Box 62, Sunspot, NM 88349 for Sacramento Peak facilities (email@example.com) or P.O.
I want a job as an Astronomer. Can the AAS find me one? In a word, no. But, by attending one of our career seminars, learning how to perform a job search and regularly tracking opportunities in the Job Register, you stand a good chance of finding the kind of job you want.
The AAS publishes a Job Register, which is the premier location for employers who are seeking astronomers. The Job Register is published on the first of each month and usually contains about 50 or more jobs each month.
The AAS career brochure, A New Universe to Explore, Careers in Astronomy, is available online and as a booklet (contact the Society to request copies). This guide covers all of the most popularly asked questions like what astronomers do, what kind of astronomers are there, how easy is it to get a job, how much do astronomers get paid etc.
The web makes looking for colleges and universities easier than it used to be -- most institutions (and astronomy and physics departments) have comprehensive web pages. In addition there are websites that have already gathered a lot of this information. Two sources of information on colleges, with links to sites that list scholarships, grants, and other financial aid, are U.S. College Search and MatchCollege, which list thousands of U.S.
At this time, the American Astronomical Society offers no scholarships. However, we do award the Bok Prize in Astronomy annually to the top two astronomy science fair projects in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). First prize is US $5000, second prize is US $3000. You may write to Science Service, Inc., 1719 N Street, NW, Washington DC 20036, to request a copy of the "Student Handbook for Precollege Science and Engineering Projects", and for information on "Intel ISEF participation."
How much school you go through depends on what you want to do with your degree. Typically Undergraduate school is four years, but a lot of positions in astronomy require a Ph.D., which is on average six more years of school.
Attend a school with a good physics or astronomy department and be prepared to work hard! Although it is hard to become an astronomer, most who get graduate degrees in the field are employed (fewer than 2% are unemployed) and most feel that their graduate education prepared them well for their current job.
There is no easy answer to your question as there isn't a one-size-fits-all program. Each department, and each school, offers different programs, opportunities and environments. You will benefit from spending some time researching colleges and universities; they have web pages describing their programs, the schools and so forth. You may wish to contact the department chair for additional information on the schools you are interested. The AAS maintains a list of programs that offer Astronomy related degrees.
The AAS does not give out names of astronomers. However, there's probably an astronomer near you. Check with your local community college, or four-year college or university, planetarium or science museum. Be sure to provide your name, school, and a specific description about your project. If you're working with time constraints some online interviews with astronomers are available.
The AAS is not a reference library, however when we receive inquiries we will do our best to steer you toward reasonable sources of reliable information. We do not have regular staff dedicated to this, so do not rely on an immediate response. Such queries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are many sources for school projects. Start with your school or local community library.