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46th DPS Meeting Event Descriptions

Last updated: Monday

Workshops | BanquetEvents | Additional Fees | Contributions


Become a Media-Savvy Planetary Scientist

Sunday, 9 November | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
$20 Fee

One of the great things about working in planetary science is that the press and public are keenly interested in what we do. That’s the good news. The bad news is that few of us receive any training, in our education or on the job, in how to communicate effectively with the press and public. To help fill the gap between expectations and preparation ― and to help you avoid panic if a reporter calls ― AAS Press Officer Rick Fienberg and DPS Press Officer Vishnu Reddy have organized a half-day media-training workshop for planetary scientists. Topics include what makes a science story newsworthy, how press releases are created and distributed, what do to if you think you have a newsworthy result worth publicizing, how to work with the public-information officers (PIOs) at your institution and funding agencies, how to prepare for a press conference, how to describe your research in pithy yet accurate terms, and tips for surviving your first on-camera interview. Presenters include PIOs Alan Fischer (Planetary Science Institute), Daniel Stolte (University of Arizona), and Scott Kardel (International Dark-Sky Association); journalist-bloggers Tom Beal (Arizona Daily Star) and Emily Lakdawalla (The Planetary Society); and communications and career consultant Alaina Levine (Quantum Success Solutions).

Using Planetary Science in K-12 Classrooms

Sunday, 9 November | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

We will be working with a group of local K-12 teachers to help them learn how to utilize astronomy and planetary science concepts in their classrooms.

JWST Workshop on Potential Science Investigations

Sunday, 9 November | 1:00 pm- 4:00 pm

The Science Working Group of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has a dedicated effort to establish the scientific capabilities of this facility for Solar System Science; a new white paper provides a general overview and preliminary case studies ( In order to fully realize the potential of JWST for Solar System observations, we have recently organized 10 focus groups including: Asteroids, Comets, Giant Planets, Mars, Near Earth Objects, Occultations, Rings, Satellites, Titan, and Trans-Neptunian Objects, to explore various science use cases in more detail. The findings from these groups will help guide the project as it develops and implements planning tools, observing templates, and data pipeline and archive so that they enable a broad range of Solar System Science investigations. This workshop will consist of: 1) Presentations of findings from the focus groups, and 2) Discussion with the broader community to identify gaps in the focus-group science use cases and in envisioned observatory capabilities. These outputs from the workshop will be used to inform ongoing development and pre-launch operational studies. More information on Solar System observations with JWST and other observatory capabilities can be found in

Scientific Opportunities in Cislunar Space

Sunday, 9 November 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

This one day workshop will focus on what can we learn in cislunar space that illuminates relevant processes in our Solar system and planetary systems throughout the galaxy. MiniMoons and Neo’s Morning will focus on NEO’s and “mini-Moons” that transit and may become temporarily trapped in cislunar space. They are accusable to direct observation and interaction. We can learn from these nearby objects critical processes for airless bodies throughout the Solar system and applicable to other star systems and planetary disks.

Cryogenic Planetary Science and Astrobiology
There are many active terrains that operate at cryogenic temperatures below 100K. Many of these terrains may shelter ( or even contain ) astrobiologically active habitats that my provide evidence or clues to life in the Solar system and the Universe. The Lunar poles have a wide variety of terrains below 100K ( measured down to 25K ). At Cabeus, the regolith was “fluffy” and contained 15% weight volatiles. One could find, or create, powerful analog sites and systems that can illuminate the processes that dominate planetary terrains throughout the Universe.

Low Cost, Rapid Deployment Planetary Science
Of particular interest is the fact that planetary science in cislunar space can be done much faster and at much lower cost. The goal will always be to go to distant destinations and sample the terrain and astrobiology directly. But the simple fact is that planetary science in cislunar space will always be orders of magnitude cheaper and years faster than deep space missions. If you would like to do “real” science in your career, consider designing and flying a LunarCube analog mission. Explore the possibilities by joining us at Scientific Opportunities in Cislunar Space ( SOCS ) the Sunday before DPS in Tucson.

Partners and participants include: SSRERVI, SETI, JPL, KSC and more.

How to Be a PI: Project Management & Leadership

Sunday, 9 November | 2:30 pm- 4:30 pm

This two-hour workshop, hosted by the DPS Professional Development subcommittee, will inform and train participants in aspects of project management and leadership, with content tailored specifically for planetary scientists. Workshop is open to all levels: students through professionals. Participants will learn the roles and responsibilities of different categories of principal investigators and project scientists. Topics including fiscal and resource management, personnel supervision and effective leadership, and time management for maximizing science return will be discussed.

AAS/DPS Astronomy Ambassadors Outreach Workshop

Sunday, 9 November 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

We invite graduate students, postdocs, and early-career faculty and research scientists to a workshop providing training and resources for effective outreach to K-12 teachers and students, families, and the public. The workshop is based on the popular and successful AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program.

Participants will be introduced to discussion and questioning strategies, ways to avoid technical jargon, specific hands-on activities usable in a variety of settings, and ways of finding outreach partners in their own communities. They will also learn about and receive a set of written and electronic resources, including The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD and the MOOSE, or Menu of Outreach Opportunities for Science Education. Some of the discussion will focus on how to establish ongoing partnerships with local schools, museums, parks, fairs, and community centers. The workshop will include presenters from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the DPS.

The number of participants is limited. To apply, please complete the workshop application by Thursday, 11 September (we've extended the deadline beyond the original date of 27 August). You will be notified of your acceptance by 16 September (originally 9 September). We especially encourage applications from members of groups that are underrepresented in science as well as from those who are new to outreach.

Solar System Challenges: Citizen Science

Sunday, 9 November | 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Following the 2009 “Strategy for American Innovation,” NASA’s Planetary Science has engaged with the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) to provide unique tools for exploring and using data from NASA’s planetary missions. This approach is illustrated by Challenges launched by both the Planetary Data System (PDS) and the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP) presented at the workshop. We are searching for new ways to use Challenges to develop tools and applications for the Planetary Science Community using the Challenge methodology that we present in the workshop. Representatives on NTL, PDS and LMMP will be available to work with those interested in the use of this approach for rapid development and utilization of NTL.

Pluto Observing Campaign Supporting New Horizons

Monday, 10 November | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

The July 2015 New Horizons encounter with Pluto presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to directly link our Earth-based view of Pluto with ‘ground truth’ provided by in situ measurements. To support the New Horizons encounter, our Campaign Goal is straightforward: Establish an extensive Earth-based measurement context for the state of the Pluto system at the time of the flyby, including evolving trends in the system for at least one year prior- and post-flyby. This workshop is informal, intending to provide an opportunity to discuss current plans and encourage new programs.

DPS Advocacy Activities: Update and Context

Wednesday, 12 November | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The DPS Federal Relationship Subcommittee will host a meeting to review its                activities over the past year, and set a course for the coming year.  All are welcome!  The DPS committee will provide lunch this year.   Pre-registration at is required due to space limitations.


Meeting Events

AAS DPS Student & Postdoc Reception

Sunday, 9 November 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

DPS meetings provide great opportunities for students and postdocs to network with senior scientists, learn about scientific advances, and get inspiration for new research ideas. However, the meeting is packed with so many presentations and events that junior DPS members rarely find time to network with each other or get career advice from other scientists closer to their own age. The AAS DPS Student & Postdoc Reception is an icebreaker event designed to help students and postdocs meet each other and discuss their scientific views and general issues in planetary science. Attendees will be introduced to other students and postdocs who work on similar topics and encouraged to participate in peer-to-peer mentoring, brainstorming conversations, and joint projects. The goal is to get familiar with one another on the first day of the meeting and use the rest of the meeting to enhance those connections and get involved with other activities. For event questions, please contact Candace Gray, Melissa Dykhuis, Sona Hosseini, and the DPS Professional Development Subcommittee.

DPS 2014 Opening Reception and Dia de los Muertos Celebration! 

Sunday, 9 November | 6:30pm - 8:00 pm

You won't want to miss this year's opening reception at the JW Starr Pass Marriott, which coincides with Tucson's annual celebration of the Mexican Dia de los Muertos holiday! Tucson's celebration consists of the All Souls Procession, which typically draws about 100,000 people for a parade through downtown Tucson to the Mercado San Agustin, involving dancers, costumes, musicians, strange home-made floats, etc. As the Procession conflicts with the reception, and many of our meeting organizers and locals would have normally participated in the Procession, we would like to bring some of that atmosphere to this year's reception. We will honor the holiday with Mexican buffet and traditional music, and don't be surprised if some of your fellow space cases show up in unusual outfits! As this is a chance to celebrate the lives of those who have come before us, we would like to display photos of DPS members who have left us, recently or not so recently. Please send contributions to Joe Spitale.

The reception will also include a star party with several telescopes available! Tucson's skies are still relatively dark, and the resort is a bit outside of town, so there will be plenty to see!

The reception will be held mainly outside. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 70's / high 60's./p>

Art Show

All Week

Selected artwork from the second annual Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Art of Planetary Science Exhibition. The graduate-student-run Art of Planetary Science exhibition and competition celebrates the beauty and elegance of science, with works of art inspired by planetary science, alongside works created from scientific data. This event strives to bring together the art and science communities in Tucson to enjoy and be inspired by our universe.

An Exhibition of select works will be chosen for display at the 2014 DPS Conference.

DPS Chair & Student Breakfast

Monday, 10 November | 7:30 am - 8:30 am

Women in Planetary Science Discussion Lunch

Tuesday, 11 November 12:30 pm- 1:30 pm

Join us for the annual DPS Women in Planetary Science event over lunch. This year’s topic will be formulated around input given by those who RSVP and announced on the RSVP page. Please feel free to bring any information/announcements related to women in astronomy and planetary science to share. Due to the generosity of the DPS committee, we will be able to provide lunch this year. All are welcome! Pre-registration at is required due to space limitations.

Planetary Science Institute Open House

Tuesday, 11 November | 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

The Planetary Science Institute will be hosting an open house and food-truck round-up for DPS attendees and their families. PSI will provide the beverages and there will be an array of cuisines available. PSI is located at 1700 E. Ft Lowell Rd. There is plenty of parking available, and a shuttle will leave from the resort at 6:30 pm and return from PSI at 10:00 pm.

DPS Reception and Banquet - Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum

Wednesday, 12 November

The 2014 DPS banquet will be held on Wednesday Nov. 12 at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.  There will be separate reception and dinner segments, and the reception may be purchased separately without dinner.  During the first 1.5 hr, the museum will be open and fully available to attendees.  After the museum closes, there will be a social hour with hors d'oeuvres and a hosted bar.  The dinner segment will consist of an animal show and a buffet.  Wine will be provided and there will be a cash bar.  We have striven to provide vegetarian and non-vegetarian options of equivalent quality, and all main courses and sides at the dinner are gluten-free.  The schedule is as follows:

Buses arrive at the Desert Museum
5:00 pm Museum closes
Hosted bar and hors d'oeuvres begin
Vegetarian Spring Rolls
Beef & Chicken Skewers
6:00 pm Buses leave for Reception Only Guests

Main courses:

  • Charbroiled stuffed chicken breast stuffed with chipotle basil pesto and pancetta ham with melted aged jack cheese.
  • Black bean and Portobello Napoleon, vegetarian black bean and roasted red-pepper cakes stacked with grilled Portobello mushroom and finished with melted aged jack cheese.


  • Calabacitas: Corn, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onions, and queso fresco.
  • Potatoes Anna: Delicate sliced potatoes baked golden with Parmesan and butter.


  • Brownies, lemon bars, and almond roca bars
9:30 pm Buses depart museum

For more information about the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, see

    • Reception and Tour 3:30 pm- 6:00 pm, Cost: $40
    • Reception, Banquet and Tour 3:30 pm- 9:30 pm, Cost: $80

Sagan Talk

Thursday, 13 November | 7:00pm | Centennial Hall, University of Arizona | Live Streaming to the Arizona Ballroom E/F and Gentle Ben's Brewing Company

Each year, the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science honors a planetary scientist deemed to have made a significant contribution to public understanding of our field. The recipient often delivers a public lecture during the DPS meeting. This year's recipient, Dr. Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory, will give a lecture at Centennial Hall on the campus of the University of Arizona. The one-hour lecture will be held on Thursday, 13 November at 7:00 pm and will be open to the public. Centennial Hall is about a five-minute walk from the University Park Marriott, which is served by the DPS shuttle service.

In the spirit of the Sagan Medal, we would like to ensure that there are as many seats as possible available to members of the public. Therefore, we have arranged to stream Br. Consolmagno's lecture to the resort and to Gentle Ben's brewing company, next door to the University Park Marriott, and we request that meeting attendees view the talk from one of those locations.

Meteor Crater Overnight Trip

Weekend prior to meeting - Limit 35

The first-ever DPS planetary geology field trip will be held this year at Meteor Crater (Barringer Meteorite Crater) near Flagstaff Friday - Sunday, 7-9 November, prior to the DPS annual meeting.  This young (50 ka) feature is unparalleled in terms of preservation and visibility of materials and morphologies characteristic of impact craters.  Meteor Crater expert David Kring will lead participants on a rare excursion down to the crater floor to examine impact breccias along the crater wall, and then along the rim to see the crater rim uplift, the overturned rim sequence and impact ejecta.  Prior to visiting the crater, we will also visit the ancient Native American cliff dwellings at Walnut Canyon National Monument.

Participants should be prepared for a rugged, 600 vertical foot (180 meter) descent, and ascent, and a rugged traverse of ~1/3 of the crater rim (the crater is 1.2 km in diameter), at 5,700 feet (1,700 meters) in elevation.  There will also be a 1-mile hike at Walnut Canyon, with a 185-foot, steep descent and ascent at an elevation of 7,000 feet (2100 meters).

Average low and high temperatures in Flagstaff at that time of year (2000 feet higher in elevation than the crater) are 22 and 51 degrees; it is possible for temperatures to reach 80 degrees inside the crater.  Participants will be required to bring appropriate clothing and hiking equipment.  We will depart by bus from Tucson mid-afternoon on Friday, 7 November and will return to Tucson by mid-day, Sunday, 9 November, staying both nights in Flagstaff.

Precise cost is TBD, but is expected to exceed $200 per person. The trip is limited to 35 participants. Please indicate your interest using the check box provided on the registration form. You will be contacted with details as soon as they are available. We will offer space on the trip in the order that we receive your indications of interest.

Additional Fees

DPS Abstract Book

Attendees who would like a hardcopy of the DPS Abstract Book will need to pre-order it at $10 per book.  The books will be distributed onsite at registration. A limited number of books will be printed to reduce overall meeting costs, so please order yours when you register.


DPS Meeting Carbon Neutrality

Air travel is a major part of the carbon footprints of many of us in the planetary community. If you drive 10,000 miles a year, your contribution to climate change is greater if you drive a Prius and make only two round-trip cross-country flights a year, than if you drive a 20 MPG SUV and otherwise stay home. Over 90% of the carbon emissions from a typical scientific meeting come from participant travel to the meeting. We are encouraging participants to contribute $30 towards the purchase of carbon offsets from Native Energy ( , which will be used for a variety of third-party certified projects to reduce carbon emissions. Offsets are not a panacea, but will go a small way towards compensating for the meeting's carbon footprint.

The Hartmann Student Travel Grant Program

Student travel grants to the DPS annual meetings prior to 2006 had been financed mostly through the generosity of corporate and private donors. In particular, Bill Hartmann has quietly been giving money for student travel for many years. To honor Bill, and to expand the number of student grants, at the 2006 Fall meeting the DPS announced the formation of the Bill Hartmann Student Travel Grant Program, to be supported by an endowment of $100,000. All interest on this money will go to support student travel grants to DPS meetings.  Your donation to the fund will ensure its viability in years to come.