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All Posts by Richard Tresch Fienberg

What exactly is astronomy?

Mon, 2012-08-20 15:53 -- Rick.Fienberg

Astronomy is a physical science concerned with the smallest particles and the largest natural objects. The name Astronomy comes from the Greek roots Astr- and -nomia to literally mean "name stars". Astronomy is the study of everything outside of the earth's atmosphere and their chemical and physical properties.

Does the AAS have any grant programs?

Fri, 2012-08-17 11:47 -- Rick.Fienberg

Yes, the AAS administers several grant programs. The Small Research Grant (SMRG) provides a small amount of money for a variety of reasons related to research (page charges, travel to observatories, computers etc.). SMRG funds come from NASA and AAS charitable and operating funds. The International Travel Grant (ITG) funds travel to international scientific meetings for US based astronomers. Generally, the ITG only funds the cost of a round-trip airline ticket.

Sending Press Releases to the AAS for Forwarding to the AAS Press List

The AAS emails to approximately 2,000 accredited reporters and institutional public-information officers press releases on astronomy and space science from universities, observatories, government agencies, and scientific societies. There is no charge for this forwarding service. Press releases must come from an authorized press officer or from the director or department chair of the issuing organization. That person, or another press officer at the issuing organization, must be included as a contact on the press release, with name, phone number, and email address.

Richard Tresch Fienberg

Dr. Rick Fienberg is the American Astronomical Society’s Press Officer and Education & Outreach Coordinator. From 1986 to 2008 he served in a variety of editorial and management positions at Sky & Telescope magazine, including eight years as Editor in Chief.

2012 U.S. Physics Team Brings Home Three Gold Medals & Two Silver Medals

While the eyes of the world were turning to London for the Olympics, physics was in the air in Estonia as America’s best high-school physics students participated in the 43rd International Physics Olympiad (IPhO). Teams from 88 countries joined in the competition, held 15-23 July 2012 in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and the old university town of Tartu. China and Taiwan tied for first place with 5 gold medals. Singapore was second with 4 golds. The U.S., Korea, and Russia tied with 3 golds and 2 silvers each.

Members of the 2012 U.S. Physics Team:

Bok Awards for Astronomy Presented to High-School Students at Intel Science Fair

Two high school students from Texas and Louisiana are the winners of the 2012 Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards for their astronomy projects presented at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May. The awards were presented on May 18 by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) in partnership with the American Astronomical Society (AAS), supported by funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

U.S. Astronomers Make Case for Investments in R&D During Annual Congressional Visits Day

Fifteen members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) are traveling to Washington, DC, April 24-25 to thank Congress for recent appropriations in the fiscal year 2013 spending bill and to express the need for continued federal funding of research and development (R&D) programs, which are critically important to American economic growth.

Outreach Resources

AstroZone - AstroZone is an open house held the Saturday prior to an AAS Meeting for the public to learn about the cool science currently going on in earth and space science.

NASA - NASA offers access to both its Education and Public Outreach resources as well as a support network for everything related Explanatory Guide to the NASA Office of Space Science Education and Public Outreach Evaluation Criteria (February 2002)

AAS Issues Statement on President Obama's Proposed FY 2013 Budget

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) today issued a statement thanking President Obama for his strong support of science as embodied in his proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 but asking him and the Congress to strive harder to maintain a balance of small, medium, and large space missions in astronomy and astrophysics, planetary science, and solar physics. Some provisions of the President’s FY 2013 budget, especially a 20 percent cut in NASA’s planetary science funding, threaten to undermine the recommendations of recent decadal surveys of these fields by the National Academy of Sciences.

AAS Celebrates the Late Dr. Frank Kameny's Lifetime Efforts for Equal Employment Rights

At its 219th semiannual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) presented a certificate of appreciation commemorating Dr. Frank Kameny’s lifetime efforts to secure equal employment rights for all. In 1957 Dr. Kameny, a Ph.D. astronomer and member of the AAS, was unjustly fired from his position with the U.S. government because he was gay. His subsequent efforts to advance the cause of gay rights included organizing some of the first public protests for homosexual rights in America, running as the first openly gay candidate for Congress, and writing the first petition to the Supreme Court to argue that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates constitutional civil-rights protections.