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Dear Colleague

May 18, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

At LPSC, we kicked off a new community project:  51 Women in Planetary Science.  Today, I invite you to visit the Women in Planetary Science web site and read about the first five women to be featured as part of this series.  The first five have worked at universities, teaching colleges, a NASA Center, and industry doing research, teaching, education/public outreach, and mission development, for between two and thirty years.  They’ve been Co-Investigators on missions, principal investigators for grants, held fellowships, changed research interests, and succeeded in their work.  Each of the first five has published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2010, and we start each interview with a recent abstract.  It’s been great fun putting this together for you, and I want to thank each of the first five for participating.

Are you proud of a recent publication?  Send us the abstract and we’ll feature it (and you) on the web site and link to the full paper so it can be read by an even wider distribution of your colleagues.  Have you just completed another big project that isn’t exactly part of a standard publication record?  Let us know that, and we’ll work out a way to feature that work as well.  We’re looking for 51 women to volunteer for this project over the course of the year, so now is the time for you to nominate yourself or another woman in the field for inclusion in the project.

Who inspires you?  If you’re not ready to volunteer yourself, nominate another woman and tell us what you’d like to see her talk about.  Does a colleague work on mission after mission and you’d like to know how she does it?  Is she the one that is frequently recognized and you’d like to know how she got her start?  Does she work tirelessly in the laboratory in support of her research — or her colleagues?  Is she the woman who always has time to mentor a graduate student or serve on a committee?  Does she have an innovative way — or the struggle that many of us have — to balance work and family?  We’d like to recognize women succeeding at all levels and in a variety of ways, so nominate someone else today!

And last, students, if you could sit down with any woman in the field for an hour, what would you like to know?  Now’s your chance to ask the questions, and even tell us who you’d like to answer them if you have someone in mind.  Kelsi Singer, graduate student at Washington University, took the initiative to interview Lucy McFadden last month, and the result was really great!  Send in your questions and we’ll pass them on, or even connect you two for an interview over email.

I’m very excited about this new project, and I hope you are too. If you’re considering participating, but haven’t volunteered yet, do read this article by Megan Elwood Madden, where she lays it on the line:

Thank you,


Letter from the email list 5/15/10

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