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50th DPS Meeting Workshops & Events

Free Public Sagan Talk   |   Workshops   |   Events   |   Contributions

Free Public Sagan Talk

Earth's Above - The Search for Live in Outer Space

Tuesday, 23 October | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Room #32 | Alumni Memorial Building | University of Tennessee
Bonnie Buratti, Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication View the flyer for more information and a campus map showing the location of the lecture. (Walking path to Sagan talk)


Bystander Intervention Training

Sunday, 21 October | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
FREE Event. 
This program will give you the skills, confidence, and motivation to move from being a passive bystander to an active bystander, to step up and intervene in workplace climate issues. We will cover the Bystander Effect, the five stages necessary to move from being a passive to being an active bystander, factors that affect action, and how to create a culture of respect, accountability, and shared responsibility.

DPS Early Career Presenters Review

Sunday, 21 October | 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Monday, 22 October | 7:00 am – 8:30 am Monday, 22 October | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Monday, 22 October | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm FREE Event.
Early Career Presenters Review at DPS. Early career scientists are invited to practice their oral or poster presentation and receive feedback before presenting during the regular meeting. Participants also have the opportunity to network with their peers and future colleagues. Registration is free but required for participants. Please contact Sanlyn Buxner ( with any questions.

WorldWide Telescope Tutorial for Planetary Sciences

Monday, 22 October | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm FREE Event. 

PDS RMS Node Advisory Council

Monday, 22 October | 2:40 pm – 4:10 pm FREE Event. 
Two way communication between the node staff and representatives of our user communities. Updates on current activities and plans for the coming year with inputs from the participants.

AIDA/DART Didymos Observers

Monday, 22 October | 3:45 pm – 5:00 pm FREE Event. 
We will meet to discuss the current status of planning for the 2019 Didymos apparition. We will focus on the recently submitted telescope proposals for the 2019A semester. This meeting is primarily for participating observers, but other interested parties can attend.

Education and Outreach Sharathon

Monday, 22 October | 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm FREE Event. 
Join us to share your best activities and materials for education and outreach. Learn what others are doing as you prepare for your own events looking towards the Apollo 11th 50th Anniversary next summer. Additionally, we are soliciting your feedback about what support you need and want from the DPS to support your education and outreach work. Stop by and talk to others doing education and outreach events and learn how to get involved in various settings. Participants are welcome to bring materials to hand-out and do demonstrations. Please contact Sanlyn Buxner ( with questions.

JWST Solar System Observers Town Hall

Tuesday, 23 October | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
FREE Event. Registration required.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is an infrared-optimized telescope that will now be launched to its orbit around the Earth-Sun L2 pointin early 2021. JWST has a robust suite of astronomical instrumentation (imaging and spectroscopy) operating from 0.6-28.5 microns. The call for General Observer (GO) proposals is expected to be re-issued in late 2019, with the deadline about 3 months later. At this town hall we will provide a brief overview of JWST instrumentation; a status report on observatory integration and preparations at the science operations center (Space Telescope Science Institute); an overview of the currently planned Guaranteed Time Observer proposals; a summary of observation planning tools; and an overview of use documentation. More details about expected proposal dates and future solar system observer planning workshops will be provided. Our goal is to support the DPS community in preparing and submitting a robust set of observing proposals so that we can all benefit from the capabilities of JWST.

Mentoring Workshop

Tuesday, 23 October | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
FREE Event. Registration required.
On the path from undergrad to a PhD and beyond, each of us will have a variety of mentors with their own unique style. A mentor's style can have a large impact on the career of a mentee and it is important to consider best practices when advising. But what does it mean to be a good advisor and how does one know that they are advising well? How can advisees best work with mentors to make the most of those relationships? In this one hour workshop hosted by DPS Professional Development, we will discuss methods and practices of mentoring as well as provide breakout session scenarios to drive discussion. This workshop is open to all levels of mentors and mentees.

AAS Publishing Exhibit Beer Break

Tuesday, 23 October | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
FREE Event. 

Planetary Scientists of Color Networking Event

Tuesday, 23 October | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
FREE Event. Registration required.
Come meet and network with other planetary scientists of color!

Arecibo Observatory Town Hall

Wednesday, 24 October | 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
FREE Event. Registration required.
Arecibo Observatory is now being managed by a group led by the University of Central Florida. The observatory is in an era where decreasing funding from NSF will require the management team to come up with new funding sources to assure that the facility continues to operate and produce cutting edge science into the future. We are also looking to the users' community to guide what the scientific priorities of AO should be. In this town hall, we will present an update about the AO management transition and operations, a description of the current and future financial situation, and a brief summary of the status of the planetary radar system. We will then have an open discussion about any of these topics, as well as about: what the community wants to see as AO's planetary science priorities, what the best ways would be to promote such priorities, and what synergies we can continue and enable with other observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum in pursuit of the science goals. Other discussion topics are of course welcome, and we invite everyone to attend and join the discussion.

International Outer Planet Watch Atmospheres Node

Wednesday, 24 October | 4:10 pm – 6:40 pm
FREE Event. 
The International Outer Planets Watch Atmospheres Node hosts a workshop to discuss on Jupiter Saturn and Icy Giants observations over the last year and plan further observations for the upcoming 2018. As usual the workshop will also host short presentations of scientific themes not accommodated on the oral and poster sessions. The list of topics includes: - Jupiter observations from the ground - Jupiter impacts- Saturn observations from the ground- Model simulations of atmospheric dynamics of Jupiter/Saturn - Observations of Uranus and Neptune. If you are willing to provide some topics for presentations/discussions over the workshop please e-mail Santiago Perez-Hoyos ( with a title and an estimation of time required for your presentation. Discussion on current amateur observations of the Giant planets from Jupiter to Neptune are also welcomed.

Laboratory Studies of Atmospheres and Plumes (LAD special session)

Thursday, 25 October | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
FREE Event. Registration Required
This workshop on "Laboratory Studies of Atmospheres and Plumes” is organized by the Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD) of the AAS. The object of the Laboratory Astrophysics Division is to advance our understanding of the Universe through the promotion of fundamental theoretical and experimental research into the underlying processes that drive the cosmos.
This LAD special session will consist of five 15-minute-long invited talks showcasing the laboratory astrophysics work being conducted to support planetary missions for the exploration of our solar system and beyond. The invited talks will demonstrate how missions like Cassini, New Horizons, Rosetta, and future missions focused on the plumes of Europa or exoplanets can benefit from these experimental and theoretical studies.
The five invited talks will each be followed by a 10-minute panel discussion to encourage participants to explore the laboratory astrophysics needs for planetary science studies and initiate conversations that could lead to future collaborations and new research investigations.

Other Workshops (open to all attendees, no registration is required)

Sunday, 21 October +  
Monday, 22 October +  
Tuesday, 23 October +  
Wednesday, 24 October +  
Thursday, 25 October +  
Friday, 26 October +  


Student & Postdoc Reception

Sunday, 21 October | 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
FREE Event. Registration required.
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.

Opening Reception

Sunday, 21 October | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Complimentary with meeting registration
Open to all attendees and registered guests, the Opening Reception kicks off the DPS 50 meeting in Knoxville. Please join us for light refreshments.

DPS Group Runs

Monday, 22 Oct | 6:15-7:30am Tuesday, 23 October | 6:15-7:30am AND 6:15-7:30pm Wednesday, 24 October | 6:15-7:30am Thursday, 25 October | 6:15-7:30am AND 6:15-7:30pm Friday, 26 October | 6:15-7:30am Free event, no registration required
Tired of too much sitting indoors at the meeting? Join fellow runners each morning and two evenings for runs (or walks, or a combination, whatever pace is right) around Knoxville. Local planetary science runners will guide groups on their favorite paths around the city. Three distances are offered for each run -- 6 miles, 3 miles, and 1.5 miles, so you can choose the distance that suits you. All fitness levels are welcome!

Meet at the Clinch Avenue (north side) entrance to the Knoxville Convention center (in other words, near the pedestrian bridge) to start the runs. Please be on time (or a few minutes early) so everyone can be back in time for the meeting. Please address any questions to Devon Burr (, Cole Nypaver (, and Josh Emery (

Agency Update

Monday, 22 October | 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ballroom F-G
NASA and NSF will be represented.

DPS Banquet

The Knoxville Museum of Art, located at 1050 World's Fair Park in Knoxville, Tennessee, presents the rich visual legacy of East Tennessee and new art from the region and beyond.
Wednesday, 24 October | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Banquet Cost: $90, $50 for Students
6:00 pm Reception
6:30 - 8:30 pm Buffet Dinner
7:00 - 9:00 pm Knoxville Museum of Art galleries open
9:00 - 11:00 pm Open Mic Night
Working Menu
  • Arugula, Roasted Beets & Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Seeds, Cayenne Mapple Vinaigrette (Veg-Vegan)
  • Grilled Vegetable Stacks (Veg-Vegan)
  • Roasted Asparagus (Veg-Vegan)
  • Roasted Purple Peruvian Potatoes with Rosemary (Veg-Vegan)
  • Flat Iron Steak with Au Poivre Sauce
  • Seared Brown Butter Shrimp with Garlic
  • Chickpea Meatloaf (Veg-Vegan)
  • Artisan Breads
  • Coconut Date Bars (Vegan)
  • Triple Berry Tiramisu
  • Beverage Service
  • Cash Bar

Schedule of Activities:

  • 6:00 pm - Doors Open, Reception
  • 6:30 - 8:00 pm - Buffet Dinner
  • 7:00 - 9:00 pm - Knoxville Museum of Art Galleries Open to View
  • 9:00 - 11:00 pm - Open Mic Night (Open to All Attendees no purchase necessary)

Little Lessens for Lina

Thursday, 25 October | 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Ballroom C
FREE Event
Little Lessons for Linatells the astonishing but true story of Caroline Herschel (Lina) and her older brother William. Caroline (1750-1848) was the first woman to be a professional astronomer, yet she had only a rudimentary education and no math. She came from Germany to England to join her brother William as a singer for his musical concerts in the resort city of Bath.

William had the equivalent of a middle school education and was a musician for the first 40 years of his life. In his middle 30's, he took up the hobby of astronomy, built telescopes bigger and better than any in the world (he didn't realize it for years), and discovered the planet Uranus. Thereafter, as a professional astronomer, he discovered infrared radiation, the motion of the Sun through the star field, our position in the Milky Way, how stars form, and more. Caroline helped William make his breakthroughs and discovered eight comets and many new nebulae on her own.

Until the Herschels, astronomy was limited to the motion of the Sun, Moon, and planets. The Herschel Revolution expanded astronomy to encompass the nature and origin of stars, nebulae, galaxies, and the universe.

This play tries to recreate those moments of discovery – and the lives of two extraordinary human beings.


DPS Meeting Carbon Neutrality

Contribute to the purchase of carbon offsets: $25-$200
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, 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.

Hartmann Student Travel Grant Program

Support student travel to meetings by donating $25-$200
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.

Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund

Support professional development by donating $25-$200
The DPS's Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund provides financial assistance to qualifying members in order to facilitate their meeting attendance by offsetting dependent care costs during the meeting either at the meeting location or at home. Susan was a tireless supporter and strong advocate for creating professional development programming for early career planetary scientists. It is the Division for Planetary Sciences’ hope that this fund will provide an additional legacy for Susan's contributions to the planetary science community.