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DPS WIPS Lunch 2014! – Register by October 15th

September 14, 2014

Join us…

for an informal meeting and discussion hour over lunch on Tuesday, November 11th from 12:00-1:30.  This year’s topics will revolve around the ideas of powerful communication and how to be an ally to minority community members.  We will have presentation material interspersed with plenty of discussion time.  Please feel free to bring any information/announcements related to women in astronomy and planetary science to share.


Thanks to the generosity of the DPS committee, we will be able to provide lunch this year.  All are welcome(!), but pre-registration at is required due to space limitations.  Please try to register before October 15th so we can accurately place the lunch order (we will get a few extras, but lunch is not guaranteed after that point).


  • This year’s organizers are Sondy Springmann, Maggie McAdams, and Kelsi Singer (from afar – sadly I won’t be attending this year).


We will also continue this year with our “bring a guest” theme –   Invite a friend or colleague who has never been to a WIPS lunch but might be interested to come with you as your guest.  We are hoping this will make a wider crowd feel welcome attending.   Most of the topics we discuss are of a general professional development nature, but of course we also have a focus on supporting female scientists.  As always, you don’t have to be a female scientist to support female scientists :).  (Please have them RSVP as well though, so we know to order them a lunch!)

SESE Planetary Science Faculty search

September 9, 2014

Assistant Professor (JOB #10878)
Arizona State University
School of Earth and Space Exploration

The School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) at Arizona State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Planetary Science to begin August 2015. Preference will be given to candidates whose research focus is on Solar System planetary science, and who have research strengths that complement or extend those of current SESE faculty (

Read more…

Summary from LPSC WIPS Event 2014 – Anti-harassment Policies

September 8, 2014

Harassment and Anti-harassment Policies

As I am about to announce the upcoming DPS WIPS event, I thought I should really get around to posting a summary from the amazing Susan Niebur Women in Planetary Science Networking event held in March 2014 at LPSC. Zibi Turtle was the event lead this year.

The overarching topic was harassment and anti-harassment policies.  Christina Richey gave an excellent presentation that was followed by an outstanding attendee discussion.  Even though the topic is not a fun one, it was satisfying to get the conversation going openly about these issues.

A sampling of the many points and questions that were brought up:

Reporting Harassment

  • Do you know the anti-harassment policies of your institution? Or at least where to find them?  It is better to know this info in advance of any situations you or someone you know might encounter.
  • If you feel you might be the victim of harassment (which comes in many forms, this post is not just about sexual harassment – see Christina’s presentation), document as much as possible, and approach someone you trust (an institutional leader and/or a peer).
  • Don’t wait for things to become too bad, or for too much time to pass. If you can talk to someone higher in administration, the sooner the better, as they may be able to deal with the situation the best.  Often official policies have a time limit for when you can report an incident (e.g., +/- 60 days).
  • There may be more ways than you think to deal with the situation. Don’t feel like you are caught in a situation you can’t get out of, seek help.  You should be comfortable in your workplace, and outside of it too.
  • LPSC has a no tolerance policy (not technically official, but this is the sentiment that will be acted on if cases are brought forward).


Common-sense practices to counteract harassment (or potentially prevent harassment):

  • Look out for your colleagues and friends – watch for signs of issues (lack of productivity, lack of socialization) – use a buddy system in potentially uncomfortable situations.
  • Be aware that harassment has many forms and can happen in many situations, don’t assume it doesn’t.
  • If you see a seriously unsafe situation – tell an authority figure.
  • Alcohol is not a good addition to situations where harassment might occur – steer clear of this combo.
  • Every situation is different, and that fact makes harassment difficult to counteract. There are situations where no clear rules apply, or are potentially adverse to ones career – such as inter-institutional harassment, a small company may not have the resources dedicated to dealing with these issues, a situation with a superior, etc.
  • Often it is difficult to come forward with harassment cases – emotional support is needed as well as legal support. There are also anonymous support hotlines.
  • Someone could be wrongly accused of harassment – how does someone clear their name with both the accuser and the institution in such a situation?
  • Where is the line between a sincere joke, a cultural misunderstanding, and harassment?


Thank you to everyone who attended the event!  We had a record number of male supporters this year, thanks for your contributions to the discussion!


As a result of this meeting, an entire anti-harassment policy was setup by Sanjoy Som for the Blue Marble Space Institute J.


  • If you remember other great points that were brought up, please post them below!


Bonus:  This summer the Women in Astronomy blog featured a great series of posts about sexual harassment specifically, check them out here.




Women in Physics around the World

September 6, 2014

Fascinating quotes about the status of Women in Physics from a variety of countries – gathered at the International Conference on Women in Physics in Waterloo, Canada and published in a short piece in Scientific American:

I have heard a very successful, senior, female professor in the US say she felt left out of the loop when she wasn’t invited to play basketball with her lab after work in her early days – in Finland female scientists can’t go the men’s sauna after the conference :P.


AAS/DPS Astronomy Ambassadors Outreach Workshop

August 16, 2014
Graduate students, postdocs, and early-career faculty and research scientists are invited to apply for an upcoming workshop providing training and resources for effective outreach to K-12 teachers and students, families, and the public. The workshop, based on the popular and successful AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program, will be offered all day Sunday, 9 November, at the 46th annual AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting in Tucson, Arizona.
Participants will be introduced to discussion and questioning strategies, ways to avoid technical jargon, specific hands-on activities usable in a variety of settings, and ways of finding outreach partners in their own communities. They will also learn about and receive a set of written and electronic resources, including The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD and the MOOSE, or Menu of Outreach Opportunities for Science Education. Some of the discussion will focus on how to establish ongoing partnerships with local schools, museums, parks, fairs, and community centers. The workshop will include presenters from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the DPS.
The number of participants is limited. To apply, please complete the workshop application by Wednesday, 27 August. You will be notified of your acceptance by 9 September. We especially encourage applications from members of groups that are underrepresented in science as well as from those who are new to outreach.

Job Opportunity

August 13, 2014

This just in! If you are interested, please contact Michele Thornley ASAP. Good luck!

The Department of Physics & Astronomy at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, invites applications for an immediate opening for a one-year Visiting Assistant Professor position for the 2014/2015 academic year. Candidates are expected to have at minimum an ABD in physics, astronomy, or a related field. Successful applicants will demonstrate an interest in and potential for teaching and interacting effectively with students having a range of backgrounds, interests, and perspectives, and will be expected to teach at all levels of the undergraduate physics curriculum. Successful candidates will also demonstrate an ability to collaborate effectively with students and colleagues from a range of backgrounds, interests, and perspectives. The Physics & Astronomy Department comprises 12 permanent faculty and maintains a small teaching observatory.

To apply, please submit a curriculum vitae or resume, a statement that addresses your potential and experience as a teacher, a statement of scholarly interests, and the names and contact information for three references to the department chair, preferably by email:

Michele Thornley
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Award Winners: Women in Planetary Science

July 3, 2014

Amelia Earhart Fellowship (Zonta)
Congratulations to Tanya Harrison! She is just one of 35 women, and the only planetary scientist this year, to be selected as a 2014 Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellow.  Tonya is a graduate student at the University of Western Ontario and studies mass movement processes – landslides – on Earth and Mars. In particular, she is interested in martian geomorphology and terrestrial analogues, spectroscopy, and glaciology; her PhD advisors are Dr. Gordon Osinski and Dr. Livio Tornabene. Previously, Tonya was a member of the science operations team for NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) and Mars Color Imager (MARCI) at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS).  While working at MSSS, Tanya was interviewed by Susan Niebur in 2010. Tanya is also a professional photographer.

Read more…


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