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Now back from his six-month sabbatical, AAS Executive Officer Kevin Marvel looks back on his time away and looks forward to the busy time ahead.

In response to a question that passed through my Twitter feed the other day and because they are holding a meeting 3-4 February 2014, I thought I would put together an answer to the question, "What is the AAAC?," which hopefully draws out a little more about the broader "astronomy policy ecosystem."

The Solar System Exploration Research Institute is pleased to announce the 1st annual NASA Exploration Science Forum, 21-23 July 2014, at NASA's Ames Research Center. Abstract deadline: 26 April.

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory invites proposals for the 2014B and 2015A semesters for use of the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) at the Blanco 4-meter telescope. Deadline: Friday, 14 February 2014.

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory invites letters of intent for Gemini Observatory Large Programs. Deadline: Friday, 3 February 2014.

Winners of the Chambliss student poster awards for the 223rd AAS meeting in Washington, DC, in early January will be announced next week, so stay tuned!

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama identified basic research and STEM education objectives for his proposed "year of action," two issues close to our hearts here at the AAS Executive Office.

At the 223rd AAS meeting, the Working Group on Astronomical Software and the Astrophysics Source Code Library sponsored a special session on code sharing as a follow-up to a meeting held a year earlier. Here's a brief report.

Solutions to problem sets in Peter Foukal's book Solar Astrophysics, along with some corrections to the text, are now available for free to instructors.

This new survey establishes a baseline for tracking changes in the composition, backgrounds, and job histories of AAS members, in what types of work they do, and in the perceived hurdles to working in astronomy and related fields.