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LPSC Women in Planetary Science Networking Event 2015

March 7, 2015

Announcement of the 2015 Susan Niebur Women in Planetary Science Networking Event at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference!

This event is open to all interested persons, and we will spend most of the time discussing the topics below.

Light refreshments will be served thanks to generous support from the Division for Planetary Sciences!  If you are not familiar with their resources and programs check out:
When: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015; 6:00 to ~7:30 pm
Where: Montgomery Ballrooms A-C (in Conference Venue – Woodlands Waterway Marriott, Houston , TX)

We will have tables setup for the following topics, and will conclude with a full room discussion:

• negotiating a new position
• careers outside of academia
• the two body problem
• the n-body problem (kids)
• managing and reducing stress
• social media and your professional career
• the proposal submission and reviewing process
• imposter syndrome

Come with ideas of what you would like info on, and what you could contribute info on! :)
Refreshments: I will put up the details of the snack assortment once we have finalized that with the hotel caterers. (note we are not able to provide a full dinner)


Please forward this invitation/sign-up to your colleagues and friends who might be interested! Registration is not required but we would like to get some idea of numbers. Anyone is welcome to come late or leave early if they need.

For questions about this event, contact one of this year’s organizers:
Sarah Noble, sarah.noble-1 (at)
Nicolle Zellner, nzellner (at)
Zibi Turtle, Elizabeth.Turtle (at)
Kelsi Singer, kelsi.singer (at)

Childcare at LPSC – what solutions have you found/heard of?

January 28, 2015

HI All

There is no formal childcare program sponsored by LPSC for liability reasons.  However, there are quite a few people who are in need of such services :).  What solutions have you used or heard of from past conferences?  

  • Note there will be a mother’s room available at the conference starting Sunday – ask at the LPSC registration desk for details.

Emily Lakdawalla recommends to find great sitters — you can list a job and interview people before hand.   She  has also had very good experiences getting a referral to a babysitting service from the hotel concierge and hiring a local babysitter to sit her kids in her hotel room.

Also, if there are people interested in trading “sitting time” feel free to express interest below.

Conference Announcement: Planetary Systems – A Synergistic View

January 25, 2015

Hi All,

I had a request to post this conference call, and since sounds quite interesting and is not one of the annual conferences, just helping spread the word :).



International Center for Interdisciplinary Science Education

Quy Nhon, Vietnam

19-25 July 2015


 With exciting new results coming from both exoplanet observations and solar system exploration missions, it sometimes seems that the two fields of “planetary studies” aren’t talking to each other.  What new insights might come from a synergistic approach to planetary studies, where exoplanet and solar system scientists share data sets, develop and tune models jointly, and encourage postdoctoral fellowships and faculty positions that transcend the exoplanet/solar system divide?

Read more…

Evidence of sexism in science doesn’t convince men on the internet that there’s a problem

January 11, 2015

The Washington Post reports on a study that examined the comments left by readers on stories about sexism in the sciences posted by outlets including The New York Times, Discover Magazine, and IFL Science:

…it isn’t surprising that a pile of evidence saying “sexism is a major problem in STEM fields” would make a bunch of male-identifying commenters foam at the mouth. But since commenting threads can produce a kind of herd mentality, and since evidence shows that their tone can influence readers’ perspective of an article, it’s troubling to see these results laid out.


New CSWA Survey on Workforce Climate!

January 5, 2015

From Christina Richey:

The new Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) survey on workplace climate is now online.  All colleagues in the fields of astronomy and planetary science are encouraged to fill out the survey at your earliest convenience.  For more information, please see my blog post on the Women in Astronomy Blog:

Interview with Dr. Miriam Rengel: Identify professional and personal goals, monitor them and work hard to reach them!

December 1, 2014

Miriam RengelDr. Miriam Rengel is an astrophysicist with a wide range of topical interests. She studies solar system objects at the far-IR and submm wavelengths (planetary atmospheres and small bodies), protostars and young stellar objects. She also conducts space based observations and related science on instruments onboard the Herschel Space Observatory, and sub-millimeter ground-based observations. She is involved in two key Herschel programs called “Water and related Chemistry in the Solar System” and “TNOs are Cool“.

She is also a collaborating scientist at the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) Instrument Control Center (ICC), for the HIFI onboard the Herschel Space Observatory. In addition to conducting research, she also participates in the preparation and data analysis focused on HIFI calibration (responsibilities include test software campaigns, creation and maintenance of documentation for astronomers, and investigations of quality assessment of final products with HIFI). During 2005-2007 she applied her capacities and skills for cometary studies with the OSIRIS instrument onboard Rosetta (which has just successfully placed a lander on a comet for the first time), that also included calibration activities. She has led several observational programs in world-wide facilities (e.g. IRAM30m, APEX, SMT, SEST, JCMT, SMA). She has participated in observing runs at the 2-m Schmidt telescope at the TLS Landessternwarte Tautenburg (Germany), at the 1‐m Schmidt telescope at the Venezuelan National Astronomical Observatory, and in the 2.2m telescope on Calar Alto, Spain.

Check out Miriam’s website, where you can find more information about her work and pictures of some of the many telescopes she has worked at ☺.

Read more…

Dr. Christina Viviano-Beck: “Be nice to people, and conduct yourself professionally and your science responsibly – it matters”.

November 24, 2014

Interview conducted by Dr. Lynnae Quick:

CBeck_picDr. Christina Viviano-Beck is a Staff Scientist in the Planetary Exploration Group at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).  I first met Dr. Christina Viviano-Beck while finishing up my dissertation at APL (she was gracious enough to share an office with a then-grad student! :).  She works on the CRISM instrument, specializing in visible/near-infrared and thermal infrared spectroscopy, and the geology of Mars. Her interests lie in understanding the evolution of Mars over time, and the environments that existed during the early history of Mars, as preserved in the rock record.


Recent Publication:

Viviano-Beck, C., Seelos, F., Murchie, S. Kahn, E., Seelos, K. Taylor, H. Taylor, K., Ehlmann, B., Wisemann, S., Mustard, J. and Morgan, M. F. (2014), Revised CRISM spectral parameters and summary products based on the currently detected mineral diversity on Mars, JGR-Planets, 119(6), 1403-1431.


1.  How did you first become interested in planetary science?

My grandparents on my mom’s side were science oriented – my grandmother was a science teacher and my grandfather had a landscape business (and a degree in forestry).  So growing up, many of our family visits would include small experiments in the kitchen and exploring the outdoors.  My siblings and I would spend our summer vacations trying to find brachiopods washed up along my grandparents’ cottage shore on Lake Erie.  The encouragement for exploration and uninhibited curiosity during those visits stuck with me.  I took to math and physics in school and was encouraged by my parents to pursue that interest.  After taking my first astronomy and geology courses in college, I knew a more multidisciplinary approach to science would appeal to me.  I had to test out the field quite a bit to find my niche.  I think my motto must have been “try everything!” I counted and classified diatoms in Antarctic sediments, I characterized seismic activity in Colorado, and finally I took my first remote sensing course on a semester abroad in Australia.  I absolutely loved playing around with the images in ENVI and realized if I could somehow merge this with my interest in space/physics/geology it would be a winning combination.  And lo-and-behold there was an actual discipline called planetary science.

Read more…


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