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Advocacy and Public Policy at AAS 233 in Seattle - SHUTDOWN UPDATE

Monday, January 7, 2019 - 15:20

AAS 233 LogoOriginally published: 21 Dec. 2018; updated with schedule changes.

The 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington, is approaching! In case you're interested in science advocacy or the policies that guide and govern federally funded research and education in astronomy, I have compiled the relevant sessions and events here. Policy highlights at this meeting include:

  • The official community kickoff to the next Decadal Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics (Astro2020) at a Town Hall with the co-chairs. Science white papers will be accepted starting the Monday of the conference (7 January), and the submission window was extended all the way to 19 February in anticipation of significant collaboration on white papers to come at the meeting.
  • An open listening session with the advisors to the National Space Council, a chance for the AAS community to share concerns, priorities, and thoughts on national space strategies and policies.
  • Annual meetings of the NASA Astrophysics Program Analysis/Assessment Groups. Most of the meetings occur on Saturday and/or Sunday before AAS 233 officially begins.
  • Updates and community forums at the NSF and NASA Town Halls with agency leadership.
  • A panel discussion on what helps and hurts your cause when astronomers go to Congress to advocate for their science. Panelists are former Hill staffers with direct experience working on the NASA/NSF/science portfolios.

And that's not all! Check out my full list of policy events below (all times Pacific, all locations in the Washington State Convention Center).


Saturday, 5 January

AAS Board of Trustees Meeting
8:30 am − 5:00 pm
Room 605/610

NASA Exoplanet Analysis Group (ExoPAG), Day 1
1:30 pm − 5:45 pm
Room 4C-2


Sunday, 6 January

NASA Exoplanet Analysis Group (ExoPAG), Day 2
9:00 am − 1:15 pm & 3:45 pm − 5:45 pm
9:00 am − 4:00 pm
Room 4C-2
Time and agenda adjusted due to shutdown.

NASA Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group (COPAG)

  • UV-VIS Science Interest Group (SIG)
    10:00 am − 12:00 pm
    Room 303
  • Technology Interest Group (TIG)
    10:00 am − 12:00 pm
    Room 310
  • Great Observatories Science Analysis Group (SAG)
    10:00 am − 12:00 pm
    Room 401
  • COPAG General Meeting
    3:00 pm − 6:00 pm
    Room 4C-3

Joint NASA Program Analysis Group Meeting (PhysPAG, COPAG, and ExoPAG)
1:30 pm − 3:00 pm
Room 4C-3

CANCELLED due to shutdown.


Monday, 7 January

120. NASA Town Hall CANCELED due to shutdown
REPLACED with DOE Office of Science Town Hall

1:00 pm − 2:00 pm
Plaza Ballroom BE
The DOE Town Hall has also been cancelled.


Tuesday, 8 January

221. National Science Foundation (NSF) Town Hall
1:00 pm − 2:00 pm
Room 6B
Note: this Town Hall will be led remotely by NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Division Director Richard Green due to the shutdown.

222. NASA Decadal Preparations: Large Mission Concept Studies
2:00 pm − 3:30 pm
Room 6A


Wednesday, 9 January

309. When Astronomers Lobby Congress: Congressional Staffer Advice on Advocacy and the Decadal Survey
10:00 am − 11:30 am
Room 609

324. Astronomer Advice for the President’s Advisors: A Listening Session with the National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group
1:00 pm − 2:00 pm
Room 6E

322. The National Academies Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy
1:00 pm − 2:00 pm
Room 6C

384. Implementing the Next Decadal Survey: Status Report on Astro2020 from the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics at the National Academy of Sciences
6:30 pm − 8:00 pm
Room 6B


Thursday, 10 January

NASA Physics of the Cosmos Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG)

  • Gravitation Wave Science Interest Group (SIG)
    9:15 am − 10:15 am
    Room 310
  • PhysPAG General Meeting
    11:15 am − 12:45 pm
    Room 4C-3
  • Gamma-Ray Science Interest Group (SIG)
    1:15 pm − 2:45 pm
    Room 310
  • X-Ray Science Interest Group (SIG)
    3:15 pm − 4:45 pm
    Room 310

440. Plenary Lecture
From Data to Dialogue: Confronting the Challenge of Climate Change
Heidi Roop (University of Washington)

3:40 pm − 4:30 pm
Room 6E


I will be attending most, if not all of these sessions (save the simultaneous events, given that I still have not mastered time travel, even in my second year as AAS Bahcall Fellow), so please come say hello!

Have I missed something? Get in touch to recommend additions to the list. See you in Seattle!

Ashlee N. Wilkins
John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellow
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