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Informational Email 2011-15

The following is a message from Jim Ulvestad, Director of the NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences. We are forwarding it to our membership as a service to the NSF.

Dear Colleagues,

The NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST) is pleased to announce that we have assembled the committee to conduct our Portfolio Review. The Portfolio Review Committee will take a wide-ranging look at the entire AST portfolio in the context of future budget scenarios that are considerably more constrained than those originally considered by the Astro2010 decadal survey.

Dr. Daniel Eisenstein of Harvard University will chair the Portfolio Review Committee. The complete membership, as well as the charge to the Committee, can be found on the Portfolio Review web page at

The Portfolio Review Committee is a subcommittee of the NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee (MPSAC), and its meetings generally will be open only to NSF personnel. The Committee's recommendations and report will be presented to the MPSAC, and the final report will be publicly available after transmittal to NSF by the MPSAC.

The first face-to-face meeting of the Portfolio Review Committee will be held in closed session on October 21-23. The primary activities at this meeting will be (1) presentations on the overall federal and NSF funding landscapes; (2) summary presentations on all aspects of the current AST portfolio; and (3) committee organizational activities.

No later than November 4, a call will go out to the community describing the first opportunity for community input. The call will be posted on the above web site, and also will be sent via various e-mail exploders. Watch your e-mail and/or the web site for further information. We ask that you please refrain from sending comments or other material directly to committee members or NSF employees; instead, send your input to the portfolio review mailbox after the call for input is distributed.

Best regards,
Jim Ulvestad
NSF/AST Division Director

Mailed 20 October 2011