Tuesday, December 30, 2008

AAS Meeting: CSWA Town Hall

Here's a plug for the CSWA Town Hall, on Monday, January 5, at 12:45-1:45 in Rm 104B. This year's session will feature a panel of women astronomers at various stages in their careers. The idea is to reflect on how far we've come and where we're going in terms of gender equity in astronomy. The panelists will be
  • Virginia Trimble
  • Meg Urry
  • Jennifer Hoffman
  • Jane Rigby
  • Ginny McSwain
  • Caty Pilachowski

I'm sure it will be a great discussion, so come on by!

AAS Meeting

It's late December. Christmas is past, universities are on winter break, and New Year's is just around the corner. It's a special time of year for astronomers in particular, because...

... next week is the AAS Meeting!!!

It's sometimes said that a year's worth of astronomy gets done in the last week of the year, and that probably isn't too far off. However, my poster is already ready to go, since I'm recycling one from a previous conference. But the conference I presented it at last wasn't a pure astronomy conference, so I'm not cheating, right?

I always find the January AAS Meeting to be overwhelming in size. It's hard to take in everything. Then again, if you compare the 3000 or so who descend on the AAS Meeting to the tens of thousands who go to the AGU Meeting every year, maybe I shouldn't complain.

I'm not alone in my feelings about big meetings. Science Woman feels the same way about the AGU.
It's not the science, it's the meeting (people). As DrugMonkey says over and over again, it's all about the networking.

So this AGU, my poster was the excuse to spend the money on the plane ticket, hotel, registration and food. (San Francisco is not cheap!) And this AGU, I did listen to some really amazing scientific talks and read some excellent posters. But mostly, I wanted to talk to the movers and shakers and rising stars in my subdisciplines.

Yeah, that sounds about right. So, on Sunday I'll be off to Long Beach, pre-displayed poster on hand, off to meet and greet. You know, it's funny, we women are supposed to be such social animals, always chatting with our friends and using our great communication skills. Yet, when it comes to the networking that leads to opportunities and success, we somehow get left our of the loop. What's with that anyway?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grand Re-opening

Welcome to the Women in Astronomy blog!

Yes, this blog has been around for several months already, but now we're going to dust it off, clear out the cobwebs, and use it as part of our effort to bring the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) into the 21st century, at long last.

One idea is to move the AASWOMEN newsletter away from an email distribution list to an RSS feed.  Our first step toward doing that will be to post that newsletter here on this blog.  We will also be posting other items of interest from time to time.

Please bear with us as we figure out this new-fangled technology.  I already have at least one blog post formulating, along the lines of passion for science, and whether that's necessary or even helpful for promoting women and minorities in science.

AASWOMEN for December 12 & 19, 2008

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 12 & 19, 2008
eds. Joan Schmelz, Hannah Jang-Condell & Caroline Simpson

This week's issues:

1. CSWA Website Adds 'Advice' Link

2. CSWA Town Hall at the Long Beach AAS Meeting

3. New Women and Minority Fellows of the American Physical Society

4. AWIS Educational Foundation Awards for Undergraduates

5. APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors

6. Postdoc Positions at Berkeley

7. Tenure-Track Position at Columbus State University

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

9. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

1. CSWA Website Adds 'Advice' Link
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

CSWA is pleased to announce the implementation of its new 'Advice' link.

Often, certain issues regarding women in astronomy occur over and
over again. This page is designed to give some advice on these issues
from CSWA members. We are starting with the following topics, but
plan to expand this list and elaborate on the contents.

1. Top Ten Ways to be a Better Advisor for Graduate Students
2. Advisors, How Do You Deal with Student Tears?
3. Yes, Virginia, Discrimination and Harassment Do Still Happen
4. Advice on When to Raise a Family
5. Advice for Postdocs Applying for Tenure-Track Positions
6. The 2-Body Problem: New Advice for an Old Problem?

The advice document is posted at:


Our thanks to John Feldmeier, CSWA member and web manager, for
implementing the updates.

2. CSWA Town Hall at the Long Beach AAS Meeting
From: Geoff Clayton [gclayton_at_fenway.phys.lsu.edu]

"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back" (Chinese Proverb)

We are a century removed from the days of the Harvard Computers,
Williamina Fleming, Henrietta Leavitt, and Annie Jump Cannon.
Obviously, we've come a long way but where are we exactly, and how
much further do we have to go? The CSWA is convening a panel at the
Long Beach AAS meeting to discuss this topic. The panel will be a mix
of senior astronomers who have knocked their heads against the glass
ceiling, as well as junior astronomers who assume that the sky's the

Please join us on Monday, January 5, 2009 12:45 - 1:45 pm for a panel
discussion on how far we've come and where we go from here.

3. New Women and Minority Fellows of the American Physical Society
From: WIPHYS December 15, 2008

Congratulations to the seventeen women and four minorities who are
among the 225 new Fellows of the American Physical Society:

Peggy Cebe, Tufts University
Bulbul Chakraborty, Brandeis University
Christine Coverdale, Sandia National Laboratory
Elisabeth Guazzelli, CNRS-Paris
Anna Hasenfratz, University of Colorado
Ann Heinson, University of California, Riverside
Vassiliki Kalogera, Northwestern University
Qi Li, Pennsylvania State University
Alenka Luzar, Virginia Commonwealth University
Carmen Menoni, Colorado State University
Amy Mullin, University of Maryland
Giulia Pancheri-Srivastava, INFN Lab Natl of Frascati
Amanda Petford-Long, Argonne National Laboratory
Norna Robertson, Stanford University
Annabella Selloni, Princeton University
Leslie M. Smith, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Lucy M. Ziurys, University of Arizona

Pablo Laguna, Georgia Institute of Technology
Stephen C. McGuire, Southern University and A&M College
Sekazi Mtingwa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Allen Sessoms, University of District of Columbia

Details on all APS Fellows and how to nominate an individual to
fellowship can be found at


4. AWIS Educational Foundation Awards for Undergraduates
From: WIPHYS December 16, 2008

New this year! The AWIS Educational Foundation has re-focused its
grant giving priorities. New scholarships are available for
undergraduate women in science. Application Deadline: January 23,
2009. Click here for more information:


5. APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
From: WIPHYS December 11, 2008

The American Physical Society is once again pleased to offer the APS
Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors. This
excellent, highly competitive scholarship program not only provides
funding to students, but also a great deal of student support. We
encourage all eligible students to apply right away using our new
online application.

Eligibility includes:
-African Americans, Hispanic Americans, or Native Americans
-High school seniors, college freshmen or sophomores
-US citizens or permanent legal residents
-Physics majors and those planning to major in physics

-$2,000 for new students, and $3,000 for renewal students
-A local physics mentor
-An APS physics mentor

To Apply:
-Check out the new, easy-to-use online application.
: February 6, 2009. The online application form must be
completed and all supporting documents must be postmarked by the
deadline date

Questions? Email minorityscholarship_at_aps.org

6. Postdoc Positions at Berkeley
From: Don Backer [dbacker_at_astro.berkeley.edu]

The following postdoctoral positions will be open until filled:


This is position that Joeri van Leeuwen held. Requirement is
involvement with the ALFA pulsar search program that ranges from
acquiring data, to searches with supercomputing resources, to follow-
up. We started a pulsar program at the Allen Telescope Array, and
have about $50k for a small compute cluster there to do real-time
signal processing of phased array beam, which Joeri & visiting
student Peter MacMahon started.


This position is to conduct next steps with PAPER experiment whose
goal is detection of power spectrum of 21cm brightness temperature
fluctuations during epoch of reionization. Effort involves fieldwork,
analysis development using AIPY and other software toolkits, possibly
real-time imaging/calibration, could include use of array for
transient source discovery.

7. Tenure-Track Position at Columbus State University
From: Zodiac Webster [webster_zodiac_at_colstate.edu]

The Department of Chemistry and Geology at Columbus State University
invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track appointment at the
level of Assistant Professor to begin teaching in August 2009.
Teaching duties will include courses and laboratories for
introductory Physics, Physical Science for elementary school
teachers, and courses to support the Physics minor and proposed Earth
and Space Science degree. Candidates must be committed to quality
teaching; continued scholarly and instructional development; and
active involvement with recruiting, educational outreach, and other
service duties. Applicants should hold a doctorate degree in Physics
Education, Physics, Astrophysics, or related field by the time of

Review of complete applications will begin January 20, 2009.
Applicants should submit all of the following: a letter of interest,
a curriculum vitae, a statement of teaching philosophy, a statement
of research interests applicable to a primarily undergraduate
institution, a reprint of a recent publication(s), unofficial
transcripts, and evidence of successful teaching experience.
Applicants should arrange for letters from at least three references
who may be contacted. Applications may be submitted electronically to
williams_rosa_at_colstate.edu, or by mail to: Chair, Physics Science
Search Committee, Department of Chemistry and Geology, Columbus State
University, 4225 University Avenue, Columbus, GA 31907. Applicants
must provide official transcripts at the time of interview.
Minorities and women are encouraged to apply. Columbus State
University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. See
full details about this position at


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

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

To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomen_at_aas.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
http://lists.aas.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/aaswomen and fill out
the form.

If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.org

9. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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