Monday, October 31, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cross Post: Women in Astronomy & Computer Science: There’s Still Work To Do #WiSTEMspotlight

This feature is a re-post from The Digital Science, which can be found here. As part of Digital Science’s celebrations for Ada Lovelace Day, for the month of October they are running series of blog posts where inspiring women and men in STEM are sharing their personal stories. Anyone can get involved and we encourage you to read and share your thoughts using the hashtag #WiSTEMspotlight.

About the author: Kimberly Arcand is Visualization Lead for the Chandra X-ray Observatory. She is a co-author of popular science books including “Light: The Visible Spectrum and Beyond“ and “Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos.”

This is my story, but it is also the story of countless others.

My career is found at the intersection of two forward-looking and fast-paced fields: astronomy and computer science. While I never mapped out this particular trajectory, it’s been a compelling and fascinating journey so far – I look forward to where I can go from here.

Unfortunately, success in these STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines is not a given for many, especially women and people of color. Far too often, there are hurdles and obstacles – many unseen and unrecognized – to reach key milestones for those who fall outside the traditional perception and background of what a scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician should be and where they should come from.

Friday, October 21, 2016

AASWomen Newsletter for October 21, 2016

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of October 21, 2016
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. Checking In     
2. Sexual Harassment Workshop: Highlights and Outcomes
3. Blue Waters Graduate Fellowships  
4. What To Do When You're Called A 'Diversity Hire' 
5. Women need to be seen and heard at conferences 
6. Gender pay gap is widest during workers' 50s, analysis shows 
7. Women in computing to decline to 22% by 2025, study warns 
8. Job Opportunities
9. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
11. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

Monday, October 17, 2016

Checking in

Happy Monday. How are y’all doing?

I’m going to be honest. We’re all feeling a bit fatigued in my physical and virtual neck of the woods. We don’t often talk politics in this particular venue, but I’m going to say - This presidential election season has been especially brutal on my soul.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

DPS Professional Culture & Climate Subcommittee/Announcement of DPS Plenary

The Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) created the Professional Culture and Climate Subcommittee (PCCS) this past year with the goal of considering and recommending actions that the DPS can take to remove or reduce factors in our professional culture that lead to anything other than scientific merit in consideration of any members's ability to achieve success as a planetary scientist.

Top, L-R: Christina Richey, Nancy Chanover, Rebecca Oppenheimer, & Karen Meech
Bootom, L-R: Guy Consolmango, Sarah Horst, Matthew Tiscareno, & Sona Hosseini

The current members of the PCCS are:
Christina Richey (co-CHAIR, ASRC Federal and NASA HQ)
Nancy Chanover (co-CHAIR, New Mexico State University)
Rebecca Oppenheimer (American Museum Natural History)
Karen Meech (University of Hawaii IFA)
Guy Consolmagno (Vatican Observatory)
Sarah Horst (Johns Hopkins University)
Matthew Tiscareno (SETI Institute)
Sona Hosseini (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month: The Arecibo Observatory Space Academy

Photo montage by Ricardo Correa 

Today’s guest bloggers are Edgard Rivera-Valentin and Luisa Zambrano-Marin. Ed is the Project Manager for the Space Academy and a staff scientist in the Planetary Radar group at the Arecibo Observatory. Luisa is the Program Coordinator for the Space Academy and a data analyst for the Planetary Radar Group at Arecibo Observatory.

We are Latinos, we are Scientists, and we are Educators. We often struggle to succeed in a field in which we are underrepresented and devalued both consciously and unconsciously by peers. Our upbringing, culture, and expectations are diverse and diverge from the “norm”. We understand what it’s like to feel unprepared for college, graduate school, and the professional workforce. And all too often, we know the struggle of breaking through established barriers in the scientific community. We are the 3%. 

Hispanics and Latinos are the largest underrepresented group with a measured interest in STEM fields. Studies show that Hispanic and Latino students are equally as interested in entering a STEM major in college as their White counterparts, and yet we are less likely to graduate with a degree in a STEM field (Crisp and Nora, 2012). There is indisputably a gap to be filled, one that we know occurs past the interest in STEM and before the student decides their career path. At the professional stage, it gets even more noticeable, despite the fact Latinos and Hispanics compose nearly 20% of the U.S. population, we only account for 3% of the STEM doctoral degrees and 3% of Physics faculty in the United States. 

So something is very wrong when we have a significant percentage of the population of which a significant number show strong interest in STEM fields and yet are not well represented in the professional stage.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Guest Post: Understanding Gender Fluidity

Today's guest post is by Dr JJ Eldridge. Dr. Eldridge is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and prefers them/they pronouns. They study exploding binary stars and have also been trying to explode the myth of a gender binary. They also read and watch (almost) too much sci-fi.

I’m a person who when asked to specify my gender (when filling out a survey, for example) am frustrated that there are usually only male or female options. Trying to explain my gender is difficult as my own understanding has evolved with time. It is also something I’m still struggling with so there isn’t an easy answer. It hasn’t been until recently, when a friend pointed out to me that I’m not a woman but I’m not really a man either, I’ve begun to understand that I’m somewhere between the two and want to switch between how I want to present over time. I don’t want to be just one or the other all the time.