AASWOMEN Newsletter 07/24/09

AASWOMEN Newsletter 07/24/09

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 24, 2009
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. Astronomer Receives Fellowship to Further Racial Equality

2. Blewett Scholarship Winners Announced

3. Women on the Moon

4. Seed Grants from the ASP

5. NASA Grant for Informal Education Groups in STEM Areas

6. USRA 2010

7. IAU Women in Astronomy Meeting

8. Women in Astronomy and Space Science Meeting 2009

9. SOAR Postdoctoral Fellow

10. NRAO Assistant Scientist/A


11. Faculty Openings, Carnegie Mellon University

12. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

13. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

1. Astronomer Receives Fellowship to Further Racial Equality
From: Geoff Clayton [gclayton_at_fenway.phys.isu.edu]

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Keivan G. Stassun from Vanderbilt University has been awarded a $50,000 fellowship from the Fletcher Foundation to support his efforts to increase the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing scientific careers. Stassun will apply the award to develop a model of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge program in collaboration with researchers at Columbia Law Schools Center for Institutional and Social Change. In just five years the program has attracted 30 underrepresented minorities, 60 percent of whom are women. The program is poised to become the top awarder of doctoral degrees to underrepresented minorities in physics, astronomy and materials science in 2010-11. To read more, please see

http://sitemason.vanderbilt.edu/news/releases/2009/07/23/vanderbilt-astronomer-receives-50000-fellowship-to-further-racial-equality.85011 .

2. Blewett Scholarship Winners Announced From: WIPHYS, July 20

The APS is proud to announce that three women physicists have been awarded Blewett Scholarships for 2009.

Klejda Bega, a Post-Doctoral Associate at Columbia University, will work to develop a novel approach to creating ultracold diatomic molecules in optical lattices at microKelvin temperatures, and to conduct precise measurements with these molecules. Bega, a native of Albania, earned both her PhD (2004) and BS (1999) at California Institute of Technology.

Marija Nikolic-Jaric, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, works in the field of biomicrofluidics. The award will enable her to build on her work on improving the detection and classification of biological cells by investigating fundamental aspects of the effects of shear-induced rotation of aspherical particles in the non-uniform electric field. Nikolic-Jaric received her BSc from the University of Belgrade in 1990 and her PhD from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in 2008.

Janice Wynn Guikema, an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a previous winner of a Blewett Scholarship in 2008, will expand her research on graphene for use as a magnetic field sensor and use scanning probe microscopy to better understand graphene. Guikema received her BS from Cornell University in 1998 and her PhD from Stanford University in 2004.

The Blewett Scholarship award was established by a generous bequest from M. Hildred Blewett, a particle accelerator physicist who died in 2004. Hildred Blewett was passionate about physics and recognized that women who have interrupted their research careers for family reasons can face many obstacles when they try to resume that research. The scholarship consists of a one-year award of up to $45,000 which can be used toward dependent care, salary, travel, equipment, and tuition and fees. Applicants are selected by a sub-committee of the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics. Details can be found at


Back to top.
3. Women on the Moon
From: 365 Days of Astronomy, Daily Podcast of the IYA

The July 12, 2009 podcast of the 365 Days of Astronomy is all about features of the Moon, 74 of which are named for women. Highlights of a few of these women (e.g., Maria Mitchell, Caroline Herschel, Henrietta Leavitt) is the subject of this podcast. The podcaster is amateur astronomer Lunar Mark who also is one of the owners of the Wiki on Women Astronomers discussed in AASWomen July 3, 10, and 17 Newsletters. To hear this podcast, go to

http://365daysofastronomy.org/2009/07/12/july-12th-women-on-the-moon/ .

Back to top.
4. Seed Grants from the ASP
From: AAS Electronic Announcement #198

Thanks to the support of the Planck and Herschel Missions, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is offering SEED Grants for 2009 to active researchers in astronomy, astrophysics, or space science to engage in public outreach, K-14 formal education, or informal education programs or activities. Maximum grants are $2,500; funds may be used to purchase equipment related to the proposed EPO activity, or to defray expenses associated with carrying out the activity. Given the nature of the Planck and Herschel Missions, SEED Grant proposals involving cosmology, galaxy and star formation studies, solar system investigations, and space science will be given special consideration. Proposal submission deadline is 31 July 2009, with announcement of awards by 15 September 2009. To learn more and to review the simple guidelines for proposals, go to

http://www.astrosociety.org/education/grants/grants.html .

Back to top.
5. NASA Grant for Informal Education Groups in STEM Areas
From: NASA Office of Education

On July 10, NASA Office of Education, Integrated Division announced #NNH09ZNE005N, a Competitive grant Program for Science Museums and Planetariums. This grant is targeted to e.g., observatories, planetariums, and informal organizations embedded in institutions of higher education so long as the organization has a separate DUNS number. Approximately $6 million is available for new awards. Grant proposals are due September 10. For more information, please see

http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={ABA44634-8D41-50FA-6BF3-9D9EA3D4D792}&path=open .

Back to top.
6. USRA 2010
From: Barbara Hammond [hammond_at_epo.usra.edu]

The NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program provides a unique academic experience for undergraduate students to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment of their choice. Application deadline, flight dates, and other important dates for the 2010 Campaign have been announced.

Letters of Interest (Optional) Due: September 16, 2009 Proposals Due: October 28, 2009 Announcement of Selected Teams: December 9, 2009

Information about the program and the application process can be found on the microgravity website:

http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov/ .

USRA Point of Contact: Barbara Hammond Program Manager Education Programs Office hammond_at_epo.usra.edu

Back to top.
7. IAU Women in Astronomy Meeting
From: iAU

The IAU XXVII GA Women in Astronomy Meeting luncheon will be held on Monday 10 August. The WAM will run from 12.30 to 2.00pm and all IAU delegates are invited. The meeting will be held in the SulAmerica Convention Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The format of the WAM will be similar to previous meeting, with a keynote address followed by break out groups of 10-12 who will discuss various issues over lunch and then report back to the group over coffee. The keynote speakers will be Duilia de Mello of the Catholic University of America and the Goddard Space Flight Center and Thaisa Storchi Bergmann of the Instituto de Física-Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul who will give their perspectives of life as a Brazilian astronomer. The focus of the break out discussions will be on the current status of women in astronomy and to recommend future actions that will improve the environment for all astronomers.

Registration for the WAM is available via the IAU GA registration website.


There is a limit of 250 attendees, so please be sure to register avoid disappointment!

Back to top.
8. Women in Astronomy and Space Science Meeting 2009
From: Anne Kinney [anne.l.kinney_at_nasa.gov]

The next Women in Astronomy and Space Science 2009 meeting is to be held October 21-23, 2009 in College Park, MD. Registration is now open! Travel grants through the AAS are available for early-career attendees (graduate students and recent graduates).

The focus of the meeting is on the challenges of an increasingly diverse workforce. The goal of the conference is to provide individuals and institutions in the sciences with strategies and skills to succeed. At the conclusion of the conference, those who have attended will have a better understanding and awareness of:

- How to foster a work environment that promotes success. - The role of minority-serving institutions in preparing future scientists. - How professional societies can aid in recruiting, retaining and advancing scientists - What it takes to succeed in our competitive workforce - The different career path choices in Astronomy and Space Science - How to prepare for hiring or for promotion - Managing expectations in work life balance

For more information, please see

http://wia2009.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html .

For copies of the poster, please see

ftp://crucible.stsci.edu/WIA_2009_Poster/ .

Back to top.
9. SOAR Postdoctoral Fellow
From: Nicole S. van der Bliek [nvdbliek_at_ctio.noao.edu]

The Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) consortium invites applicants for a three-year postdoctoral fellow position at its facilities in Chile. The 4.1-m SOAR Telescope is a state-of-the-art observatory located on Cerro Pachón adjacent to Gemini-South. For details on the telescope and instrumentation see:


The position has equal components of research and functional time. Functional duties will include assisting the Director, and other SOAR staff, with monitoring and optimizing the performance of the telescope, maintaining and calibrating the existing instruments, commissioning new instruments and telescope capabilities, and helping develop plans to maximize the scientific productivity of the facility. The successful candidate will be expected to spend 50% of their time pursuing an active program of research, preferably including use of SOAR and its instruments. Every effort will be made to align the scientist's functional duties with his or her research interests, and scientific support includes a modest annual research budget and coverage for page charges.

The ideal candidate will be an observational astronomer with hands-on experience of instrumentation. Specific interest in optical spectroscopy, infrared imaging and spectroscopy, and/or adaptive optics is advantageous, but all skill sets relevant to SOAR will be considered. Familiarity with modern observatory operations and scientific data management, as well as experience in the use and development of data reduction procedures will also be favorably considered in the selection process.

Applications received prior to September 15, 2009 are assured of full consideration; however, the position is open until filled. The position is open to candidates from all countries and AURA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We actively support efforts to broaden participation in all Observatory activities. Women and candidates from underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. For full advertisement see:


Applicants should submit electronically (preferred) to hrnoao_at_noao.edu, or by mail to the address below: a curriculum vita; a statement of current research interests, details of experience, and the name of three references. When applying for this position please reference SOAR Postdoctoral Fellow, Job #963.

Further details can be obtained from the Director of SOAR, Dr. Steve Heathcote, sheathcote_at_ctio.noao.edu.

Send resume to: Human Resources Office National Optical Astronomy Observatory P.O. Box 26732 Tucson, Arizona 85726-6732 Email: hrnoao_at_noao.edu FAX: 520-318-8456

Back to top.
10. NRAO Assistant Scientist/A
From: Dee Boyd [dlboyd_at_nrao.edu]

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is the world's largest fully steerable telescope. Working at wavelengths ranging from 100cm through 3mm, the GBT supports a diverse range of scientific research. Additionally, the GBT has a dynamic program of research and development which keeps the telescope at the cutting edge of science and technology.

The National Radio Astronomy is looking for an energetic person to join the scientific staff in Green Bank. The successful applicant will join the team of scientists at the Green Bank telescope to provide full scientific support to the GBT and the NRAO.

Responsibilities of the successful applicant will include supporting observers who use the telescope as well as working on a diverse variety of projects, which may include the development and commissioning of new instrumentation on the telescope, working with the engineering staff to improve the overall telescope performance, and aiding with the data reduction pipelines needed for the GBT. Must have strong knowledge of radio and/or millimeter astronomy and two to three years experience.

The successful candidate will have 25% of their time available for independent research. Support for research and travel are provided, as well as vacation accrual, health insurance, and a moving allowance. Position will be filled at the assistant, associate, or scientist level, depending on experience.

Minimum education required is a Ph.D. in astronomy, physics or a related field.

Benefits include medical and dental insurance, retirement benefits, vacation and sick leave accrual.

Applicants can apply online at


and should include a description of relevant experience, a curriculum vitae including a publication list, a statement of research interests, and the names of three scientists who have agreed to provide letters of reference.

Letters of recommendation may be submitted separately via email to scurry_at_nrao.edu. Please reference "Assistant Scientist/A, GB00131" in the subject line. Review of applicants will begin immediately; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Back to top.
11. Faculty Openings, Carnegie Mellon University
From: WIPHYS, July 20

The Department of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University invites applications for tenure-track faculty positions at the junior or senior level associated with the Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology.

The McWilliams Center for Cosmology, which has benefited from a major endowment gift to the university, joins efforts in particle physics and astrophysics within the Department of Physics at Carnegie Mellon. Historically, the Department has had a strong effort in particle theory and high-energy experiment. More recently, the Department has built up a theoretical and observational cosmology group, much of whose research is related to uncovering the nature of the dark part of the universe. The McWilliams Center synergizes these efforts within Physics and capitalizes on unique collaborative opportunities both within and outside Carnegie Mellon.

Powerful computing clusters have been created both within the McWilliams Center and in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science. Carnegie Mellon joined the LSST collaboration, has faculty working on BOSS in SDSS-III, and is engaged in trying to build a new type of radio telescope to explore the universe using the 21 cm radiation of neutral Hydrogen. Physical space for the McWilliams Center has been renovated within the Department of Physics. The first two McWilliams Postdoctoral Fellows are at the Center this year, and the first of several new faculty members has been hired. Please visit the Centers website at


for more details.

The research areas for the search include: theoretical astrophysics, with emphasis on computation and simulation; experimental astrophysics, with emphasis on the dark part of the universe and data mining; and theoretical particle physics, especially as related to LHC physics. We seek candidates with significant accomplishments and promise for further achievement in exploring the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Tenure-track appointments at the junior or senior level will be considered. Successful candidates are encouraged to enhance links between the Department of Physics and the School of Computer Science and the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Candidates should submit a curriculum vitae, publication list, statement of research plans, and arrange for three letters of recommendation sent to

Cosmology Search Committee Department of Physics Carnegie Mellon University 5000 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

For full consideration, all materials should be received by October 15, 2009. Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Back to top.
12. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

[Please remember to replace "" in the below e-mail addresses.]

To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomenaas.org All material sent to that address will be posted unless you tell us otherwise (including your email address).

To subscribe or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN go to


and fill out the form.

If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.org

Back to top.
13. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

Back to top.

- Aaswomen For July 30, 2010
Committee on the Status of Women Issue of July 30, 2010 eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson amp; Michele Montgomery This week's issues: 1. "The Literature" vs. Tierney2. Blewett Scholarship Recipients Announced for 2010*** FOLLOWING JOB POSTING TAKEN...

- Aaswomen For December 11, 2009
AAS Committee on the Status of Women Issue of December 11, 2009 eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery This week's issues: 1. I'm planning a research sabbatical next year and by the way, we're expecting a kid 2. On-line...

- Aaswomen For October 9, 2009
AAS Committee on the Status of Women Issue of October 9, 2009 eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery This week's issues: 1. Request for info: Funding for Women Returning to the Field2. AASWomen Survey for Women in Astronomy 2009...

- Aaswomen For July 17, 2009
AAS Committee on the Status of Women Issue of July 17, 2009 eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery This week's issues: 1. Most Inspirational Women Astronomers?2. Why Aren't More Women Tenured Science Professors?3. International...

- Aaswomen For February 20, 2009
AAS Committee on the Status of Women Issue of February 20, 2009 eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson, & Michele Montgomery This week's issues: 1. AAS Public Policy and The Stimulus Package2. AAS 214th Meeting Abstract Submission Extension3. AAS...