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Volunteer Reviewers Needed for NASA Programs

May 1, 2018

The following was contributed by Dr. Max Bernstein, SMD Lead for Research at NASA Headquarters:

As the lead for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD), I am often told by the NASA HQ folks who run the research programs that it’s a lot of work to find enough qualified proposal reviewers who are not conflicted. Similarly, it’s not uncommon for proposers who are unhappy with their evaluations to assert that the people who reviewed their proposal must have been unqualified. To solve both of these problems and, just as importantly, to increase the diversity of the pool of reviewers, I am writing this appeal to potential reviewers:

  • Please sign up using our web-based volunteer reviewer forms.
  • Each form asks for: 1) contact information 2) whether you are willing to be a panelist, mail-in reviewer, or executive secretary (good for graduate students and post docs who have never served as a reviewer before) and 3) identify specific technical areas of expertise.
  • There are many different technical areas depending on the program, from Solar Interior through Outer Heliosphere and the Interstellar Boundary in Heliophysics, from formation of the Solar System to technology development in planetary science, as well as Astrophysics data analysis and Earth Surface and Interior and Space Geodesy Programs.
  • Links to all of the forms may be found at:

Additionally, the SARA web page ( has all kinds of useful things like the program officers list, with a match up of the various research programs and their points of contact, a Grant Stats page where one can download an xls spreadsheet with numbers of proposals submitted and selected for various research programs, FAQs for ROSES (SMD’s annual research solicitation) and an RSS feed for the latest clarifications, corrections, and amendments to ROSES.


Bio: MaxPhotoDr. Max Bernstein studied good old-fashioned chemistry at McGill University and Cornell but got into space science right out of graduate school and never looked back. As the PI or Co-I on numerous NASA grants from the Astrobiology, Exobiology, PGG, and Origins of Solar Systems programs he supported himself and post-docs for a decade on R&A awards. Thus, he knows from personal experience, both as a soft money scientist and as a civil servant what it’s like to compete for funding, and how important it is for the proposal submission, review, and award pathway to be smooth. He is enthusiastic about NASA’s science research and proud to be helping to make it even better as SMD’s Research Lead.


In Memorium: Dr. Christine Floss – There are many definitions of success

April 23, 2018

The following was written by Dr. Maitrayee Bose, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Christine.  

141104_jaa_christine_floss_0219_760-300x200.jpgOn 18th April, Christine Floss, Research Professor in the Physics Department at Washington University in St. Louis and the McDonnel Center for Space Sciences died unexpectedly.

She played an influential role in my life. She taught me to think, read and write like a scientist. She taught me how to investigate an idea, step by step. She was intelligent, observant, organized and an excellent mentor. My first impressions of her, when I joined Washington University as a graduate student, was that of a successful career woman, who devoted her energy and time to her research and who was also enjoying her family life. She served as a role model for me.

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New Caroline Herschel Prize Lectureship for Early Career Astro-Scientists

April 2, 2018

The William Herschel and Royal Astronomical societies will celebrate
promising early-career female astro-scientists* with a new Caroline
Herschel prize: cash and two lectures.

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Announcing the 10th Annual Susan Niebur WiPS Networking Event – LPSC 2018

March 6, 2018

It is hard to believe we are on the 10th annual iteration since this event was named in honor of Susan Niebur.  This seems like a perfect time to thank everyone who was involved in any of these amazing events, including before Susan’s time and after.  So thank you!  And look forward to yet another great gathering this year!

Event Description

Ever feel like everyone in the room is smarter than you? That your accomplishments are just luck? Do you ever worry that your colleagues will figure out that you don’t really belong? You are not alone. Please join us for a short workshop on “Imposter Syndrome” and strategies for dealing with it. As always, all are welcome regardless of gender. To RSVP (not required, but requested so we will have an idea about attendance numbers), or for more information, visit

Event Details

Wednesday, 5:30 to 7:30 PM, Waterway 1-3 in the Woodlands Marriott Resort and Convention Center, Houston, TX (LPSC Conference Venue)

Appetizers and soft drinks will be served thanks to a generous donation from the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences!   If you are not already a member, find out more about the DPS, their annual conference, and all the other great support they give to the planetary science community here:


February 3, 2018

Deadline: April 1, 2018

Every year the DPS recognizes exceptional achievement in our field.

Please consider nominating a respected colleague for one of the annual

DPS prizes. The DPS sponsors five prizes:

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Pellas-Ryder Student Paper Award Nomination Deadline Extended to 9 Feb, 2018

February 1, 2018

The 2018 Pellas-Ryder award, which is sponsored jointly by the Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America, will be awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student who is first author of the best planetary science paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2017. The award has been given since 2001, and honors the memories of meteoriticist Paul Pellas and lunar scientist Graham Ryder.

To nominate a student-led publication that was published in 2017, two letters of certification are required: (1) From the student’s department head attesting that the individual was a student at the time of paper submission to the publishing journal; (2) From the student’s advisor detailing the portion of the work done by the student and contributed by others including the advisor. Additional details are provided here:

Please email completed nomination packages (as PDF documents) to: Prof. Brad Thomson, 2017–2018 PGD Chair, bthom at by Fri, Feb 9, 2018.

Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship Applications due Nov. 15th

October 23, 2017

From Ella Sciamma O’Brien:


The goal of the Amelia Earhart (AE) Fellowship, established in 1938 in honor of the legendary pilot and Zontian, is to assist the future of women in the fields of aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering.

Each year, 35 talented women, pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering around the globe, are chosen to receive the US$10,000 Fellowship.

Women of any nationality pursuing a Ph.D./doctoral degree who demonstrate a superior academic record in the field of aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering are eligible. To download the 2018 AE Fellowship application, click here.

Amelia Earhart Announcement Flyer for posting