Confirmed: 239th AAS Meeting Will Be In-Person
Kevin Marvel American Astronomical Society (AAS)
Paula Szkody University of Washington, Seattle
After careful consideration at its monthly meeting on Thursday, 7 October, the AAS Board of Trustees has confirmed its decision to hold the 239th AAS meeting — scheduled 9–13 January 2022 — in person in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a partial virtual component available to registrants unable to attend in person.
In confirming this decision in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Board weighed many factors, including current Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, local and national infection and vaccination statistics and trends, institutional recommendations, and input from the community — particularly the AAS members who are feeling the greatest impact from the pandemic.
We understand that while this decision will be welcomed by many in the community, the pandemic has created a wide range of personal circumstances, and some people are still unable to attend an in-person meeting or are uncomfortable doing so. We are working hard to make the meeting as accessible as possible to all attendees, whether on-site or online.
Extended Deadline for Early Registration and Abstract Submission
We are extending the early registration deadline to 29 October 2021. Note that the final day to register for AAS 239 is 4 January 2022, and there will be no on-site registration at this meeting. The deadline to submit abstracts has also been extended to 29 October 2021.
COVID-19 Safety Measures
Our first priority in all meetings and events decisions is the safety and welfare of our attendees, exhibitors, members, volunteer leaders, partners, and employees. Consistent with CDC guidance, all on-site attendees, staff, and support contractors will be required to individually submit proof of full vaccination prior to registration, through a secure, third-party system. We will be following all CDC guidelines for meetings and conferences, which currently include mask-wearing for vaccinated people in large gatherings indoors.
Due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, on-site COVID-19 requirements may change prior to the meeting. We are committed to alerting all attendees of any changes via e-mail and our social media account, but be sure to check the AAS 239 Health and Safety Information Center for the most up-to-date information on our plans to help protect the health and safety of everyone in the meeting venue.
For those individuals who are unable to attend in person — or who don’t feel comfortable doing so — we are providing a virtual AAS 239 registration option at a reduced rate. You are also encouraged to submit an iPoster abstract and share your scholarly work using that option. The content available to virtual registrants will include participation in live plenary talks and town halls, live press conferences, and the iPoster gallery; access to prerecorded exhibitor webinars; and access to the AAS 239 Slack workspace.
Something for Everyone
After two full years of virtual events we are delighted to be able to gather again as a community. While some aspects of the meeting may be different due to safety measures, we are optimistic that we can provide an engaging, meaningful, and valuable experience for everyone who chooses to participate in our meeting — whether in person or virtually. We look forward to an exciting science program, a long-overdue opportunity to interact with colleagues, and a safe experience in Salt Lake City.
The decision to hold an in-person AAS 239 was not made lightly, and future navigation of in-person, virtual, and hybrid meetings will continue to be a learning process for us all. The Board of Trustees actively seeks feedback from the community to help us learn how best to serve members for AAS 239 and future meetings. You can submit concerns and suggestions to AAS239feedback@aas.org.
AAS 239 Resources: