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Summer school – Impacts and their role in the evolution of Life

March 6, 2017

This was a requested post from Wolf Geppert who organizes this and other fabulous astrobiology workshops :).  I went to the below last time it was held and can highly recommend it.

Summer school “Impacts and their role in the evolution of Life” (Saaremaa, Estonia, 25 July – 3 August)

This school will give attendees a thorough introduction into impacts, impactors, and the role of impacts in the evolution of life. 

Apart from lectures, poster presentations, student-led discussions and excursions to geologically interesting sites several practical exercises including…


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Information Session at LPSC on Postdoc Opportunities at NASA Goddard – March 21 at Noon

February 21, 2017
Are you interested in a postdoctoral position at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center?
Join scientists from Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division ( for an information session at LPSC on Tuesday, March 21st at Noon in the Grogans Mill Room. We’ll discuss available opportunities and pathways, through the NASA Postdoctoral Program, cooperative agreements, and the NAI and SSERVI , as well as professional development opportunities like the Planetary Science Winter School, and other aspects of Goddard that make it a great place to work.
If you can’t make the lunchtime meeting, we will also hold an informal gathering prior to the Tuesday evening poster session for those that would like to talk more, or who can’t make the noontime meeting. We will meet at Grimaldi’s Pizza at 5:00 PM for food and discussion.
Please email Noah Petro (Noah.E.Petro at if you have any questions.


February 9, 2017

Women in Astronomy IV: The Many Faces of Women Astronomers, a conference sponsored by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the American Astronomical Society (AAS), with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), will take place June 9 – 11, 2017, following the 2017 AAS Summer Meeting in Austin, Texas.

Through extensive use of workshops, panels, and small group discussions, WiA IV will focus on issues that affect a broad spectrum of women in astronomy. It will address the challenges specific to women and what institutions can do to create welcoming, equitable workplaces. Workshops and breakout sessions will be structured with the aim of producing policy white papers, tool kits, and resource lists.

For more information, please visit the following link:

Dr. Brett Denevi: Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way

February 2, 2017

This interview is was conducted by Heather Meyer who is conducting her graduate studies at Arizona State University.


denevi_picDr. Denevi is a Planetary Geologist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), and she is currently serving as the Deputy Principal Investigator for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). She also served as the Deputy Instrument Scientist for the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) on board the MESSENGER spacecraft at Mercury leading the in-flight calibration and co-leading the Geology Discipline Group. Dr. Denevi was also a Participating Scientist on the Dawn mission  at Vesta investigating pitted terrain and the presence of volatiles. Her research interests include the origin, composition, and evolution of planetary surfaces. Her research focuses on the history of volcanism and crustal formation on terrestrial bodies, the mineralogy and chemistry of planetary surfaces, the space weathering history of airless bodies, and the development and evolution of regolith.

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New LPSC Childcare Discussion Board

December 21, 2016

Message from Julie Tygielski:

Join the #lpsc2017 childcare discussion forum. You’re invited to connect with other parents with childcare needs and share information on childcare providers and form parenting co-ops, all within the USRA Meeting Portal.


Thanks to the LPI staff for putting this forum together and taking the issue of childcare at the meeting seriously.  They are also pursuing other options for supporting childcare needs and a summary of those findings will be available at a later date.  They do plan to continue to have a mother’s room on site.

An open letter from women of science

November 25, 2016

A group of women scientists started a pledge to support scientists of all kinds and engage with the public to promote the importance of science.  Visit the below link to see their suggested actions and/or join the pledge:

Thanks to lovenstars for sharing this :).

Now More than Ever: Stepping Up Our Allyship

November 20, 2016

The following post was contributed by Andy Rivkin, Bob Pappalardo, and David Grinspoon.


For the second consecutive year, we held a “Men’s Auxiliary” event at the DPS meeting as a way to discuss harassment and bias issues, and to foster allyship and better awareness and support. We look forward to reporting on the event in this blog, as we did last year. In this post, however, we are separately addressing a topic that served as an unavoidable backdrop and discussion spur for our gathering: the then-upcoming and now-recent US elections. While our individual politics and personal responses may vary, those of us in more privileged positions in our community should be aware of and not dismiss our colleagues’ concerns, and must be vigilant in taking action to minimize bias and harassment.


The actions and upcoming policies of a Trump Administration are only poorly understood by the public, and some have called for a wait-and-see attitude. However, damage has already been done to more vulnerable communities including people of color, the disabled, LBGTQ people, immigrants, religious minorities, and all women. While we focus on the latter group here, our concerns are with the other communities as well.  It is not news that the election campaign was extraordinarily vindictive toward specific women (such as Alicia Machado and Elizabeth Warren) with unprecedented bile directed toward Hillary Clinton.


There are obvious lessons and parallels for men in science to learn and confront. Many have ruefully noted that the most qualified person in America, who happens to be a woman, was passed over for a promotion that was given to a less-qualified man. How many times has this happened in our own departments and institutions, if less publicly and with more deniability? Testimony of sexual assault from several women, and video and audio evidence of sexual harassment and bullying, were made available, and were seemingly forgotten as ostensibly-neutral pundits muddied the waters and the personal lives of apparent victims were investigated.  How many times have brave women in science trusted the system and reported harassment (or worse) by powerful men only to be asked for “proof,” and find their complaints waved away as “a disagreement” and violations left unpunished? How many of us congratulate ourselves for clearing the bar of not being as bad as Donald Trump, while acting like Billy Bush?


Some have called this a “post-truth” election. But as scientists, we are trained to be critical thinkers. The gaslighting on a national scale that has occurred over the campaign is likely to continue, but we have an obligation to support our colleagues and trust them when they say they’re hurting.  We must not tell them to “relax” or that they’re overreacting, especially given very real concerns that the election results may normalize some of the worst behaviors seen during the campaign.


More than that, we are under an obligation to improve matters in our field. We have been saying for years that we are committed to eliminating bias, but we have been slow to take concrete steps in our societies to do so. Studies from people like Dana Hurley, Julie Rathbun, Ferdinando Patat, and I. Neill Reid show that women are significantly underrepresented in planetary missions and do worse in telescope applications than expected from an unbiased process.   We must speak up when bias or harassment is recognized, and advocate more strongly and regularly for implicit bias training in our institutions and societies as a requirement for membership in leadership positions, in conference organizing committees, and in prize committees.  Similarly, we must encourage bystander training for members of our community.  We must make resources readily available for those who are interested in taking such training, and increase the pool of people who have taken such training.


We do not know how dangerous or uncomfortable the coming years will be for women and minorities, including in planetary science. However, the steps we should take would not be wasted in any administration.  We know from years of evidence that change does not come unbidden, and it is evident that things will not get better by themselves. It is incumbent upon us to confront ourselves in order to achieve full support of, and respect for, all our colleagues.


Columns in the main entrance lobby of MIT are currently covered in shared hopes, fears, and questions of that school’s community, many of them centered on women’s and minority disquiet about the recent campaign. Communities throughout academia have similar concerns about the directions that a Trump Administration may take.


Thank you Andy, Bob, and David for your sincere thoughts!