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Congratulations to the New Horizons and OSIRIS-REx Teams

January 2, 2019

Just when you think space can’t get any cooler, both New Horizons and OSIRIS-REx got just a little bit closer to targets that will most likely answer questions about the origin and evolution of our solar system.

On December 31, 2018 (7:43 UTC), OSIRIS-REx entered a 62-hour orbit that carries it to within ~1 mile of asteroid Bennu’s surface.  Read more about the insertion here and see the list of OSIRIS-REx team members here.

Around the same time, New Horizons was flying by Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69, aka Ultima Thule or “Peanut”, the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft. The New Horizons team is also pretty cool: women make up ~30% of the staff and ~25% of the mission’s science leadership. See pictures and read interviews with some of our colleagues here.


Best wishes to you all in 2019!fireworks.3

Pellas-Ryder Student Paper Award Nomination Deadline January 31st 2019

December 20, 2018

It is time again to nominate deserving students for this award!   The 2019 Pellas-Ryder award, which is sponsored jointly by the Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America, will be awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student who is first author of the best planetary science paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2018. The award has been given since 2001, and honors the memories of meteoriticist Paul Pellas and lunar scientist Graham Ryder.

To nominate a student-led publication that was published in 2018, two letters of certification are required: (1) From the student’s department head attesting that the individual was a student at the time of paper submission to the publishing journal; (2) From the student’s advisor detailing the portion of the work done by the student and contributed by others including the advisor. Additional details are provided here:

Nominations can be made directly to the Chair of the Selection Committee. Submissions for consideration should be sent (as PDF documents) by email to Prof. Jon M. Friedrich.

Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship – due Nov. 15th

November 1, 2018

Hello All,

Just a reminder that the deadline for the Amelia Earhart fellowship is approaching – several planetary scientists have been awarded fellowships in the past :).

Thanks to Ella Sciamma O’Brien for sharing this info.



Cross-post: A personal recommendation for the AAS to collect data to determine participation of underrepresented groups

October 18, 2018

Hi All,

Please see the following post at the Women in Astronomy blog:

Reminder to Register for the WiPS Discussion hour at DPS – Knoxville – deadline today (Sept. 30th)

September 30, 2018

We still have a few spots left for the Women in Planetary Science Discussion Hour at DPS in Knoxville (Tuesday lunchtime, details at the link) – registration deadline for catering is TODAY (Sept. 30th) but we can take a few more after that :).

Announcement of DPS Workshop on Proposal Writing – Friday Oct. 26th

September 1, 2018

The success of scientists depends upon their ability to obtain funding. Using Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) from NASA as a primary example, this workshop will focus on teaching the audience key points to writing a successful proposal.

Topics to be covered include:

  • 8:00-8:15- General introduction and welcome
  • 8:15-9:15- Proposal lifecycle, guidance on writing for specific audiences, compliance checklist
  • 9:15-9:30: Break
  • 9:30-10:30- Evaluation criteria, the review process, programmatic balance, debriefs and appeals, and making changes to address review concerns
  • 10:30-11:00- General wrap up and group Q&A
  • 11:00-11:30- One-on-One Q&A as needed.

Read more…

Survey of interest in Planetary Science Engagement Institute for later this year

August 24, 2018

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s VORTICES program and the Lunar and Planetary Institute are considering offering a Planetary Science Engagement Institute for planetary scientists and engineers interested in engaging public audiences in planetary science and solar system exploration. This free 1½ day institute would be scheduled for late 2018. Content may include common solar system misconceptions, techniques for addressing controversial topics, simple activities and demonstrations for engaging audiences, and more. This scientist engagement event would be geared towards current researchers, college faculty, and graduate students and postdocs in planetary science.

To help us determine the best dates and location, please fill out our survey of interest at

Thank you for your help! Please contact us with any questions:
Christine Shupla, shupla at
M. Alexandra Matiella Novak, Ph.D., Alexandra.Matiella.Novak at

Invitation to the 2018 DPS Women in Planetary Science Discussion Hour! RSVP by Aug 30th.

August 7, 2018

DPS Women in Planetary Science Discussion Hour 2018 – Knoxville, TN

This event is an informal meeting for all interested parties. This means you do not have to be a woman to support women in science or be interested in learning some professional development tips – for yourself, or to share with others :).

The main topic for this year is Diversity and Inclusion. We will present an introduction to intersectionality, cultural climate, and race in STEM. (big topics! :))  More details and RSVP at:

A BIG Thanks to Aura and the DPS Committee for supporting this event!

Date: Tuesday, Oct 23rd
Time: 12:00-1:30 pm (lunchtime!)
Place: Knoxville Conference Center (DPS Main Venue) – Room TBD


**Registration Deadline is August 30th** This is the catering deadline. All are welcome but pre-registration is requested to be ensured a lunch (available for the first ~100 people who register). Please register even if you are bringing your own lunch – or if it is after the catering deadline – so we can balance the attendance size vs room size :). If you register and find you cannot attend let Kelsi (e-mail below) know and I will pass your lunch on to someone on the wait list.

We look forward to seeing you there and please pass this on to your colleagues who may be interested!

Planetary Allies – Men’s Auxiliary: a summary from the 2017 DPS meeting

August 4, 2018

The following article was was written by the event organizers: Brian Jackson, David Grinspoon, Bob Pappalardo, and Matt Tiscareno.  Thanks to the organizers and everyone who attended for a great event!  We look forward more great discussion in the future!

On Oct 29 during the 2017 annual Division of Planetary Sciences conference in Provo UT, the Planetary Science Allyship group, “the Men’s Auxiliary”, held a meeting to map out future actions its attendees could undertake to help increase diversity and tolerance in the academic community. Unlike previous years, we chose to place our meeting into the official DPS schedule, and the meeting was advertised with the following announcement on the conference bulletin boards:

Planetary Allies – Men’s Auxiliary

Please join us for discussion about harassment, bias, and what we can do to help change the culture. All DPS members are welcome, with the goal of continuing a conversation among men about how we can raise awareness and be proactive on these issues. This year’s discussion has the goal of transitioning from consciousness-raising to acting, so please come prepared with ideas for moving forward.

Read more…

Summary of the 2018 LPSC WiPS Event: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

July 2, 2018

A huge thanks to everyone who organized, presented at, and attended the 10th  Annual LPSC Women in Planetary Science Networking event!  The evening was a great discussion forum, and here we present some stories and summary strategies for combating impostor syndrome.


Example story – Imposter Syndrome in Graduate School:

There, I laid on my bed 8 consecutive days, not knowing how to place my feet on the ground and start my day. Eight days before, I was notified that I had passed my written comprehensive exam. This exam had haunted me for two years, through the course-work, through night and day, and day and night, in family vacations and in moments of solitude. I had passed this exam. However, instead of the joy and relief that news could have brought to me, it brought me immense sadness and unworthiness. My governing thought was they pitied me, they just passed me and I don’t have any right to be here because soon, they will figure out I am a fraud.

Ten days later, I called the counseling and testing center and was told about Impostor Syndrome, and was offered some self-compassion tips to deal with this.

This story is not atypical, and fortunately this student was able to receive some help, but many of us go through these types of feelings to variable degrees and with variable degrees of support.

The event started with Dr. Nicolle Zellner’s introduction about Dr. Susan Neibur and her contribution to the world as a scientist, mother, and wife. Dr. Carle Pieters shared a cartoon about Impostor Syndrome (See Fig: 1).


Figure 1 Cartoon sent by Dr. Carle Pieters

Read more…

Nominations for the GSA Ronald Greeley Award for Distinguished Service – due June 30th

June 18, 2018

Please considering nominating one of your colleagues for the Ronald Greeley Award for Distinguished Service by June 30th.

This award may be given to those members of the PGD (Planetary Geology Division of GSA), and those outside of the Division and GSA, who have rendered exceptional service to the PGD for a multi-year period. Send nominations for the award, which should include a description of what the nominee has given to the PGD community, to any of the PGD board members by June 30th. The award consists of a certificate signed by the Chair that will be presented at the Division’s Business Meeting/Awards Reception at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis (4-7 November).

 More information about the award and nomination process can be found here.

EGU Award Nominations Open – Due 15 June!

June 6, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to remind that Awards & Medals nominations for the year 2018 are currently open. The nominations of EGU medalists, as everything within EGU, is a bottom up process. Please consider  nominations for the following medals/awards specific to the PS Division:

Read more…