The AAS leadership and Executive Office staff thank our 3,000+ attendees, the venue staff, our logistics contractor, our audiovisual contractor, our speaker-ready contractor, our volunteers, and especially our exhibitors and sponsors.
Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the considerations that go into choosing where to hold our semiannual meetings, including how we strive to minimize the cost to attendees.
Kevin Marvel reports on the Journals Futures Workshop, which considered ApJ and AJ in light of the ongoing communications revolution, and offers some thoughts on AAS staff training, our impending office relocation, and his upcoming mini-sabbatical.
The AAS honored Tom Gergely, who is retiring from the National Science Foundation after 27 years of service to the astronomical community and other disciplines that utilize radio spectrum to perform their research. At a special lunch for him hosted at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC on March 28 with NSF colleagues past and present and his family, AAS Executive Officer Kevin Marvel read a congratulatory letter from AAS President David Helfand and presented him a certificate of recognition that reads:
The AAS is pleased to announce the "soft-launch" of our new website and member communication system, which represents the culmination of very large amount of work by members of the AAS staff and external contractors over the past year and more. We will be rolling out the website and its new functionality over the coming months, so stay tuned for some exciting new features.
The Long Beach meeting is underway as I write this column (during a break between sessions). Roughly 2500 people attended the meeting and judging by the hoarse voices and happy grins mid-week, most valued the opportunity to speak with and hang-out with their colleagues. Organizing a meeting of this size and logistical complexity is not easy and takes real professionals working both on site and for years (literally) ahead of time to pull it off.
By the time you read this column, the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting for 2012 will be history and the results will no doubt be bouncing around the Internet. The AAS is proud to help organize the annual meeting of the DPS when it is held in the US and support our largest Division to accomplish their goals. We have expanded and improved our support for all of our Divisions in the last several years, with what I think are very positive results. Our Divisions play a central role in our Society by bringing focus to specific areas of our diverse science.
The AAS is sad to announce the passing of former AAS Vice-President Gart Westerhout. When the AAS incorporated in Washington, DC, Dr. Westerhout signed the Articles of Incorporation. He was a life-long supporter of the AAS.
As I write this column, I am preparing and packing for the long trip across the Pacific Ocean to the 28th International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in Beijing, China. More than 500 US astronomers will be attending as well, more than a hundred of which had their travel enabled through support provided by a grant from the NSF and administered by the AAS as our International Travel Grant Program.
The AAS strives to minimize its overall environmental impact as it carries out its mission.
The AAS publishes a Job Register, which is the premier location for employers who are seeking astronomers. The Job Register is published on the first of each month and usually contains about 50 or more jobs each month.
I want a job as an Astronomer. Can the AAS find me one? In a word, no. But, by attending one of our career seminars, learning how to perform a job search, and regularly tracking opportunities in the Job Register, you stand a good chance of finding the kind of job you want.
Employment statistics are available on the AAS Career Services website, through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Science Resources Studies, and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Statistical Research Center.
The AAS Board of Trustees establishes formal positions of the AAS. Any member may suggest topics appropriate for development of a position and the appropriate committees will consider the issues and make a recommendation to the Council on the matter. The more recent official position statements of the AAS are available online.
Subject: Last chance to submit comment to the National Research Council ad-hoc committee on the assessment of the strategic direction of NASA
President Debra Elmegreen presented oral testimony on behalf of all AAS members at a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on March 22, 2012.