Friday, August 28, 2009

AASWOMEN Newsletter 08/28/09

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of August 28, 2009
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. Dr. Helen Walker Recognized

2. "She Is An Astronomer" 2010 Calendar

3. Poster Solicitation for Women in Astronomy and Space Science Conference

4. Sky Ranger Workshop at Bryce Canyon National Park


5. PostDoctoral Fellowships, Michigan Society of Fellows

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

7. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

1. Dr. Helen Walker Recognized
From: Pat Knezek []

An astronomer from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is leading a world-wide push to encourage organizations to do more to support and encourage female astronomers.

Earlier this month, in her role as Chair of the group 'She is An Astronomer', Dr. Helen Walker, from STFCs Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), successfully presented a new resolution to the world renowned International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in Brazil.

The new resolution states that IAU members should encourage and support the female astronomers in their communities and that national representatives should encourage national organizations to break down barriers and ensure that men and women are given equal opportunities to pursue a successful career in astronomy at all levels and career steps.

Even though astronomy continues to attract women, there is wide geographical diversity, with some countries having none and other countries having more than 50% female professional astronomers. These numbers drop towards more senior levels, suggesting that scientific careers are heavily affected by social and cultural factors, and are not determined solely by ability.

Dr. Helen Walker said, "The resolution is a great result which will help to ensure that organizations world-wide do more to support the careers of female astronomers. Ensuring that women have the same opportunities as men is not only beneficial to the increasing numbers of talented female scientists but also to the advancement of science which relies on continued interest by talented people, dedicated to pushing its boundaries. It?s great that STFC, which funds the majority of Astronomy here in the UK, is supporting the work of the 'She is an Astronomer' group."

She is an Astronomer is one of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009) Cornerstone projects. The overall aim of the project is to provide information to female professional and amateur astronomers, students and those interested in the gender equality problem in science. An objective of the project is to build and maintain an easy-to-handle forum and database, where people can get information about the subject, ask questions and find answers. The website

is the main tool to address the aims and objectives of this IYA2009 Cornerstone.

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2. 'She Is An Astronomer' 2010 Calendar
From: Andrea Schweitzer [>]

The 'She Is An Astronomer' cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy has produced a colorful calendar for 2010 featuring accomplished women astronomers from around the world. "With this calendar we aim to help reconstruct the history of women in astronomy, which, as in other fields of knowledge, is poorly known. We have highlighted exceptional women whose contributions to the advancement of science deserve to transcend anonymity and occupy a place in history. We have tried to give visibility and to value the contributions of women astronomers from different epochs and countries." The illustrated calendar can be downloaded from:

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3. Poster Solicitation for Women in Astronomy and Space Science Conference
From: Women in Astronomy 2009

The Women in Astronomy and Space Science Conference on Meeting the Challenges of an Increasing Diverse Workforce is to be held October 21-23, 2009 at The Inn and Conference Center in College Park, Maryland. Poster submissions are invited on all topics related to the general theme of the conference including

For Institutional Success: - Best practices for an effective mentoring program - What it takes to recruit a diverse pool of excellent applicants - Avoiding unconscious bias for research committees, promotion review, recommendation letters, etc. - How to set up family friendly facilities and policies, i.e., for lactation, childcare, long term care, etc.

For Individual Success; - Best practices for writing a winning proposal and giving an effective science talk - Things to accomplish during your postdoc that will help you land your first real job - Navigating the challenges of various workplace environments, particularly when you are a member of a non-dominant group - Managing your first graduate student and postdoc: What should your goals be?

To register your poster or to find more information on the meeting, please see .

Note that travel grants through AAS are also available and information can be found at the above listed website.

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4. Sky Ranger Workshop at Bryce Canyon National Park
From: Michele M. Montgomery

Sky Rangers workshops, which are part of the Astronomy from the Ground Up program, are designed for educators and interpreters from parks, nature centers, and other informal outdoor and environmental educational facilities. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific will offer two types of Sky Rangers workshops:

- Four-day workshop (October 13-16, 2009) at Bryce Canyon National Park This workshop covers hands-on astronomy activities for outdoor settings, sky navigation, and telescope operation. A stunning dark sky location, Bryce Canyon NP is a leader in astronomy in the parks. There is no workshop or materials fee, and participants will be allotted a $500 stipend toward transportation, food, and lodging for all non-NPS employees.

- Six-week online workshop This workshop covers hands-on astronomy activities for outdoor settings and sky navigation. Participants will become comfortable locating and interpreting objects in the night sky and will create a personal interpretive sky tour. There is no workshop or materials fee.

Both workshops are intended for beginners in astronomy, but will also appeal to those with more experience. Participants of all Sky Rangers workshops will receive a free toolkit of materials for outdoor astronomy activities, participate in short online follow-up sessions that cover seasonal skies, and become members of the Astronomy from the Ground Up online community of over 450 informal astronomy educators around the U.S.

Sky Ranger workshops and materials are developed and delivered by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), thanks to generous funding from NASA.

Additional eligibility and application information can be found at .

All materials must be submitted by August 30, 2009.

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5. PostDoctoral Fellowships, Michigan Society of Fellows
From: WIPHYS, August 25

Post Doctoral Fellowships in the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Professions 2010-2013

The Michigan Society of Fellows was founded in 1970 through grants from the Ford Foundation and Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies for the purpose of promoting academic and creative excellence in the humanities, the arts, the social, physical, and life sciences, and in the professions. In 2007, the Mellon Foundation awarded a grant to add four Mellon Fellows annually in the humanities, expanding the number of fellowships awarded each year from four to eight. The objective of the Society is to provide financial and intellectual support for individuals selected for outstanding achievement, professional promise, and interdisciplinary interests. We invite applications from qualified candidates for three-year postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Michigan.

Candidates should be near the beginning of their professional careers. Those selected for fellowships must have received the Ph.D. degree or comparable artistic or professional degree between June 1, 2007, and September 1, 2010. Fellows are appointed as Assistant Professors or Research Scientists in appropriate departments and as Postdoctoral Scholars in the Michigan Society of Fellows. They are expected to be in residence in Ann Arbor during the academic years of the fellowship, to teach for the equivalent of one academic year, to participate in the informal intellectual life of the Society, and to devote time to their independent research or artistic projects. Applications from degree candidates and recipients of the Ph.D. from the University of Michigan will not be considered.

Applications will be reviewed by Society members and University faculty. Final selections will be made in late January by Senior Fellows of the Society. Eight Fellows will be selected for three-year terms to begin September 1, 2010. The annual stipend will be $51,500.

The online application is available at:


Application Deadline: September 30, 2009.

MICHIGAN SOCIETY OF FELLOWS Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1070 An Equal Opportunity Program

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6. 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 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

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If you experience any problems, please email

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7. 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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