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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.

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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,



EGU Galileo Conference “Geosciences for Understanding Habitability in the Universe”

April 9, 2017

Posting at the request of Wold Geppart – looks like an interesting, interdisciplinary conference!  🙂   Also see posts on the Graduate Student section for two early career astrobiology events (also for post-docs and other early career scientists up to 8 years out of PhD).

EGU Galileo Conference “Geosciences for Understanding Habitability in the Universe”

Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, Furnas, Azores, 25 – 29 September 2017

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LPSC Women in Planetary Science Annual Susan Niebur Networking Event 2017

March 12, 2017

We are pleased to announce the 2017 WiPS Networking event named in honor of Susan Niebur!   Wednesday, March 22, 2017; 5:30 to ~7:30 pm

This year’s highlighted topic is: Mental Wellness/Illness and Your Career. 

Two members of The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Texas Chapter have graciously  agreed to come and speak.  We will have plenty of time for discussion and questions.  Light refreshments provided by the Division for Planetary Sciences  (thank you again!!).

Please RSVP and find updated information at

Event Details:

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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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