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Nominated Office: Councilor

Affiliation: Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

Position/title: Astronomer

PhD institution: MIT (1987)

Areas of scientific interest:

  • Astrobiology
  • Origin of Earth's water
  • Early solar system volatiles
  • Comets
  • Space mission development

AAS positions & dates: 

  • DPS Committee member (1996-1999)
  • USNC-IAU Committee member (1998-2001)
  • DPS Subcommittee on Professional Climate and Culture member (2016-2017)

Other relevant positions & experience:

  • IAU Commission 51 (Bioastronomy) Vice President (1999-2001)
  • IAU Commission 51 (Bioastronomy) President (2002-2005)
  • IAU Division III (Planetary Systems) Vice President (2006-2009)
  • IAU Division III President (2009-2012)
  • AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) Council Member (2002-2008)
  • NASA Astrobiology Institute Executive Council member (2004-2014)
  • NOAO User's Committee, member (2013-present)
  • Nordic Network of Astrobiology, US Representative (2009-present)
  • TMT Science Working group member (2014-present)
  • Gemini Users Committee, member (2016-2019)
  • PSL Research University, Paris (Origins of Life), International Assessment committee member (2016-2019)
  • TMT Science Advisory Committee, AURA Representative (2016-present)

Candidate Statement: We are in an exciting time for astronomical research with new big facilities being planned, and new all sky surveys producing data, and coming on line in the near future. At the same time, we are also in an era where it is harder and harder to secure individual grants to fund the research that can be accomplished with these facilities. Science has been evolving to make use of big data in new collaborative projects, and we also need to look at how to evolve in order to best ensure that the next generation of scientists can sustain their research financially.

If elected, I am bringing a variety of experiences and perspectives related to the changing research environment, and I will work with the AAS to help foster opportunities for the next generation of scientists. One key to this may be in highlighting new skills for early career scientists (for example, we are beginning to teach grant writing to our graduate students at the University of Hawaii), while at the same time promoting the increasing importance of skills related to communicating the science that we do to the public and to congress.