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Women in Planetary Science Lunch at DPS 2017! – Register by Sept. 29

September 20, 2017

Announcing the 2017 DPS Women in Planetary Science Lunch! Join us for an informal meeting and discussion hour over lunch at the Division of Planetary Sciences Meeting in Provo, UT.

We are in the process of securing a keynote speaker, and will update the information on the registration page as we finalize the schedule.  We will present some info but leave plenty of time for discussion! 🙂

A BIG Thanks!! to both AURA and the DPS commitee for sponsoring this event again this year!


Event Details

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 17th
Time: 12:00-1:30 pm (lunchtime!)
Place: Cascade C Meeting Room (Level 3, Utah Valley Convention Center)


12:00-12:15 – Pick up lunches
12:15 Start of formal program


**Registration Deadline is Sept. 29th** All are welcome but pre-registration is required so we can place lunch orders (available for the first ~100 people who register) and balance the attendance size vs room size :).   If you register and find you cannot attend at a later date let Kelsi (kelsi.singer at know and we will pass your lunch on to someone on the wait list.

Registration page:


Please share widely!  We look forward to seeing you there!

~Kelsi Singer, Jennifer Hanley, Karly Pitman and The Professional Development Committee of the DPS


DPS Professional Culture and Climate Subcommittee (PCCS) – Seeking Nominations for New Member

September 15, 2017

From Christina Richey:

The DPS Professional Culture and Climate Subcommittee (PCCS) is currently soliciting nominations (including self-nominations) for membership for a two-year term.  The purpose of the PCCS is to work towards making the community of planetary scientists an environment in which professional merit is the only criterion that determines each person’s success.  The detailed charge of the PCCS, along with a list of current members, is available on the DPS web site:

The PCCS is seeking new members who are interested in working on issues that promote a broadly inclusive professional planetary science community.  Members are expected to participate in bi-monthly telecons, along with completing individual or group tasks between our regularly scheduled calls.  Any active DPS member who is interested in participating in the PCCS should send an expression of interest containing:
– a 2-3 sentence biographical sketch
– a 2-3 sentence description of why you wish you serve on PCCS, including a description of any prior experience you may have in working on diversity and inclusion-related issues

Expressions of interest should be sent to the PCCS Incoming Chair, Julie Rathbun, at rathbun at

Solidarity Statement on Charlottesville

August 17, 2017

Dear fellow planetary scientists:

This is a cross-posting in full support of Astronomy in Color’s Statement on Charlottesville.  As members of the Division for Planetary Science’s Professional Culture and Climate Subcommittee, we denounce all forms of hate and racism, and the systematic causes that resulted in this weekend’s events.  White supremacy is wrong and should be stopped.  We would like to offer our full support to the members of the Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy, and thank them for their leadership with this message and their actions within the astronomical community.  We extend our solidarity with planetary scientists of color and will continue to work towards providing a safe, welcoming environment and equal opportunities for all.  And we mean for all, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability status, and any other identity that makes for the greatest foundation of our existence as human beings, but has no place in becoming the illogical rationale for unnecessary hatred and violence. 

Dr. Christina Richey

Prof. Nancy Chanover 

Dr. Matthew Tiscareno

Prof. Sarah Horst 

Dr. Franck Marchis 

Dr. Julie Rathburn

 *The above signatories are private citizens exercising their constitutional right to express their personal views. This is not an official statement by the DPS, the PCCS, nor the AAS, and should not be construed as such.


Dear fellow astronomers,

Two days ago a group of armed white nationalists disrupted the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, with a message filled with racism and hatred. This message was accompanied with deadly acts of violence. Unsurprisingly, a large portion of the media continues to avoid calling this for what it is: white supremacist terrorism. Sadly, the POTUS failed to unambiguously reject against these hate groups – many of whom inspire the very base that elected him. These instances confirm to astronomers of color that the executive may not have their safety and interest in mind.

Read more…

Cross-Post: New Survey Highlights Gender, Racial Harassment in Astronomy

July 11, 2017

A recent study, published in JGR-Planets, highlights gender and racial harassment faced by women and women of color. The study was conducted by social scientists Kate Clancy and Katherine Lee, space physicist/astrophysicist Erica Rodgers, and planetary scientist Christina Richey.

Find the summary AGU-AAS press release and a link to interviews with authors on the Women in Astronomy blog.

Read the original study.

And let’s find ways to improve the field for all.

Flying High: Two planetary scientists receive Zonta Amelia Earhart Fellowship

June 29, 2017

Meet Sara Port and Marie McBride, two of 35 recent recipients of Zonta’s Amelia Earhart Fellowship for women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering. They are the only recipients this year whose research is in the field of planetary science. Congratulations!

port.1Sara Port attained a B.S. in Astronomy/Planetary Science and Physics from Stony Brook University in 2014. She is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas pursuing a PhD in Space and Planetary Sciences. She is studying the formation of “metal frost” on the highlands of Venus through experiments and computer modeling. At the University of Arkansas, she tests metal frost mineral candidates in a chamber that simulates the temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric conditions on Venus to observe their stability. She will be traveling to Japan this summer to work with Dr. George Hashimoto on modeling the climate history of Venus to determine the origin of metal frost.


McBride-M_7698_cropMarie McBride is a PhD student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN advised by Dr. Briony Horgan. Marie received her BS in Solar, Earth, and Planetary Sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2013. After graduation, Marie worked at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, CA as a member of the Mars Curiosity Rover’s MAHLI camera team before enrolling at Purdue to earn a PhD in Planetary Science. Marie’s research focuses on volcanic deposits found on the Moon. She uses spectroscopy of glasses on the lunar surface as well as analog samples on Earth to understand the volcanic eruptions from which they formed. Marie is a science team collaborator on both the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020 rover missions.

Read more…

Mental Illness/Wellness and Your Career – LPSC WiPS Event Summary 2017

June 6, 2017

Contributed by Nicolle Zellner, Mallory Kinczyk, and Lillian Ostrach

In March, the 9th Annual LPSC Women in Planetary Science Susan Niebur Networking Event was held. Holly Doggett, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Texas spoke to us about mental illness/wellness and its effect on careers. One in five American adults experiences some form of mental illness in any given year, and across the population, one in every 25 adults is living with a serious mental health condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or long-term recurring major depression. During her presentation, Holly told anecdotes and suggested coping strategies for instances when we might be affected by changes to our mental wellness.

First and foremost, Holly emphasized that mental illness can affect anyone at any time (common signs) – it’s not the same for everyone, no two days are the same, and our own experience(s) can look completely different at different points in life. Mental illness often has stigma and/or self-stigma connected to it, whereby we feel disgraced, discredited, shame, anger, and/or hopelessness, to name just a few. Even worse, it affects us in the workplace.

It’s important to fight stigma and treat ourselves effectively by practicing self-care. This can take on a variety of forms, from managing expectations in the workplace (e.g., setting priorities, planning ahead, and learning to say NO) to managing stress at home (e.g., avoid wasting time, take time for reflection). These methods should be complementary to taking care of yourself by exercising, getting regular sleep, practicing meditation, eating healthy, and avoiding excessive alcohol or smoking. Other coping strategies can also help. At work, it’s important to establish a support system and to have options (e.g., working from home) for those days or times when you feel your mental health is not up to par. If possible (and you feel safe doing so), let a few people in the workplace know about your medical issues and how these people can be supportive when you are in need. NAMI has compiled resources and strategies for achieving success at work.

Listed here are notes from the questions and ensuing discussion after Holly’s presentation, with link to additional resources: Read more…

Childcare Opportunity at MetSoc

May 5, 2017

E-mail from

Karen Ziegler <>

Dear MetSoc2017 participants,

If you are interested in taking advantage of a childcare opportunity during the week of MetSoc 2017 in Santa Fe, please respond to me BY MAY 31st!

Please let me know HOW MANY kids you’d like to register –  and their AGE/S.

I am in contact with a professional childcare provider in Santa Fe; she is licensed and insured and has >30 years of experience, and has a team of people.

After May 31st, once I will have all of your childcare registrations, I will communicate with you about the details of the childcare options. I want to make sure that it will be a safe and enjoyable experience for both your kids and you parents.

Unfortunately, this service (including supplies, meals, etc.) will not be free, and we will have to charge you for it.

Looking forward to seeing all of you very soon in Santa Fe,