Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Meet the CSWA: David Grinspoon


In our newest series on the Women in Astronomy blog, we'd like to introduce our readers to the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.  David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author. He is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and Adjunct Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado. His research focuses on climate evolution on Earth-like planets and potential conditions for life elsewhere in the universe. He is involved with several interplanetary spacecraft missions for NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth systems and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. His technical papers have been published in Nature, Science, and numerous other journals, and he has given invited keynote talks at conferences around the world. Grinspoon’s popular writing has appeared in Slate, Scientific American, Natural History, Nautilus, Astronomy, Seed, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the New York Times and Sky & Telescope Magazine where he is a contributing editor and writes the quasi-monthly “Cosmic Relief” column. He is the author and editor of several books. His newest book Earth in Human Hands was named a Best Science Book of 2016 by NPR’s Science Friday. His previous book Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Nonfiction.  Grinspoon has been recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science by the American Astronomical Society. He appears frequently as a science commentator on television, radio and podcasts, including as a frequent guest on StarTalk Radio and host of the new spinoff StarTalk All Stars. Also a musician, he currently leads the House Band of the Universe.

Describe the first time you made a personal connection with the planets and stars?

I think my first personal cosmic connection came as a child on Cape Cod where my family vacationed in the summer, lying on the beach at night staring for hours, awestruck, at the piercing stars floating above. 

Another important formative experience was watching the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon when I was in the 4th grade. From that moment I was hooked.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Meet the CSWA: Greg Rudnick


In our newest series on the Women in Astronomy blog, we'd like to introduce our readers to the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.  Here we introduce Greg Rudnick.  Greg grew up in Chicago and his interest in astronomy started with his desire to be an astronaut and was fostered by his family’s frequent camping trips to places with dark skies and bright stars.  He became convinced of studying astronomy after a Saturday morning astronomy program at the Adler Planetarium run by the University of Chicago and Adler.  During his career Greg has moved around a lot.  He started studying Physics at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and graduated in 1996, after which he moved to the University of Arizona for the Ph.D. program in Astronomy.  Half-way through his time there he moved to the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany to follow his adviser, who became director of MPIA. After his Ph.D. he moved to the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany for a postdoc, followed by a four-year stint as the Leo Goldberg Fellow at NOAO in Tucson.  He started as a faculty member at the University of Kansas in 2008 and has been there ever since.  He is currently an associate professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Greg is an observer who studies the evolution of galaxies using observatories in the ground and space.  He is especially interested in the environmental effects on galaxy evolution.  When not doing that he runs an outreach program at a local high school, and loves cooking hiking, biking and being with his family.

Describe the first time you made a personal connection with the planets and stars?

I always loved science fiction and space but the singular moment that sticks in my mind is when I was camping at Badlands National Park with my family in grade school.  We went to a nighttime interpretive program and one of the rangers showed me Saturn through a telescope.  I was blown away and, while I didn’t know it at the time, from then on I never really strayed from a path to an astronomy career.

Friday, December 1, 2017

AASWomen Newsletter for December 1, 2017

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 1, 2017
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. Women in Leadership: Influence             
2. Perspective: Communication in the Workplace
3. 2017 AAAS Fellows Recognized for Advancing Science
4. She's worked at NASA for 60 years, longer than any other woman
5. L’ORÉAL USA for Women in Science
6. Wonder Women
7. Job Opportunities   
8. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
10. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Women in Leadership: Influence


If, indeed, the key to successful leadership is influence, how do we become more influential? Is this something we can learn? Influence was a crucial component of the lecture on Power given by Dr. Mabel Miguel, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of North Carolina (UNC), at the “Women in Business – Transitioning to Leadership” workshop at the UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School that I attended in May. Remember that “Power is Good” (for a refresher, please see blog on Power), and we should all want more of it. If we define power as the capacity or potential to influence others, then we want to increase this capacity or potential. So think about a recent situation where you successfully wielded your influence. Did you win an argument, change a policy, or improve a situation? Ask yourself the following questions:

• How influential are you?
• What is your favorite influence technique?
• How do you tailor your strategy to the situation?
• Did you have a plan when you approached people?

There are several categories of strategies/tactics that we use to influence others. These are often referred to as the three Rs: Reason, Reciprocity, and Retribution. Here’s a summary of each and some indications of when they might be the most effective choice.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Perspective: Communication in the Workplace

An interesting article was posted recently on govexec.com by a woman who is facing her own role in the culture of "keep it quiet."  As she says in the article:

"At 37, I don’t think I am the only woman around my age who hashtagged #MeToo reluctantly, not because we do not all have mental ledgers full of things that angered and shamed us but because the expectation to brush and laugh off such things is so deeply ingrained that acknowledging the pain they caused somehow seems a failure."

This article certainly resonated with me, and I suspect will resonate with others.  Something to consider as we work to move forward to a more diverse and inclusive community.  For the entire article, please go to:

http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2017/11/what-can-we-say-each-other-work-now/142563/?oref=govexec_today_nl

You may need to click past an advertisement to access the article itself.

Friday, November 17, 2017

AASWomen Newsletter for November 17, 2017

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of November 17, 2017
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. Meet the CSWA: Maria Patterson            
2. Analysis: How Implicit Biases Hamper Women’s Participation in Science 
3. SA Women scientists honoured on global stage at L’Oréal-UNESCO programme
4. The first hijabi Barbie is here – but who are the other ‘Sheroes’?
5. Job Opportunities   
6. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
8. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Meet the CSWA: Maria Patterson


In our newest series on the Women in Astronomy blog, we'd like to introduce our readers to the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.  After earning a PhD in astronomy, Maria Patterson spent several years at the University of Chicago’s Center for Data Intensive Science, where she worked on cloud-based pipelines for automated analysis of NASA satellite imagery and architectures for interdisciplinary scientific clouds or “data commons”.  During the initial stages for NOAA’s move to the cloud with the Big Data Project, Maria worked with the Open Commons Consortium to ensure the interests of the academic and scientific community were represented.  She is currently a Research Scientist at the University of Washington, working on scientific data pipelines for managing streams of real-time data from large-scale astronomy projects, including the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).  Maria is passionate about open science, diversity in computing, and making everyone’s life easier through tech and was recently named a modern hidden figure in STEM in PepsiCo and 21st Century Fox’s “Search for Hidden Figures."

Describe the first time you made a personal connection with the planets and stars?

I’m not sure when the very first time was - I grew up with a constant close connection to all things space because my Dad has worked at NASA all my life.  I have pictures of me when I was little, dressed up as an astronaut, and we had a huge space shuttle mural on the wall.  My brother and I would go with my Dad to work, and I spent a lot of time at the visitor’s center at NASA Glenn (then Lewis) Research Center just staring at the piece of the moon and all of the exhibits on display.  I remember one time in particular being in the car with my Dad on a road trip when he was telling me about gamma ray bursts, and I was mesmerized.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Meet the CSWA: Angela Speck

In our newest series on the Women in Astronomy blog, we'd like to introduce our readers to the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.  Angela Speck was named after the iconic Angela Davis, she likes bright colors, is a nerd at heart, and has wanted to be an astronaut since she was 5 years old. Originally from Yorkshire (England) she went to college in London where she was able to pursue her childhood dreams by majoring in astrophysics. After a brief stint as a r&d technician in a Lancashire company run by crazy new-age hippies, she returned to London and completed a PhD in astronomy. Now the Director of Astronomy at Mizzou (University of Missouri), she continues to research and teach astrophysics and to share her passion for all things extra-terrestrial. Her research into the nature of stardust is apt for a woman called A Speck.

Describe the first time you made a personal connection with the planets and stars?

I decided that I wanted to be an astronaut when I was five. This was the year my dad started college; I regularly lectured his (PoliSci) classmates on the heavens and why the move the way they do.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cross-Post: American Physical Society Fellers




On October 17, Kerstin Nordstrom posted a blog about the relative representation of women among American Physical Society Fellows on the scienceprose.worldpress.com blog.  Unsurprisingly, women are underrepresented.  

The article opens with: "Are women underepresented as APS fellows? Yes. Is it anyone’s fault? It’s complicated. Is there anything simple that can be done? YES! Any member of APS can nominate a potential fellow starting early in the calendar year, with deadline varying by unit."

For the complete article, please go to:

https://scienceprose.wordpress.com/2017/10/15/american-physical-society-fellers/


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Yet Another Potential Roadblock for Women's Career Advancement

                              Image credit: Anna and Elena Balbusso 


On October 9th an article was released in Science Daily reporting that a study published in "Sex Roles" entitled "Dads are often having fun while moms work around the house."   As noted in the summary, "For the first time, researchers have evidence of exactly what dads are doing while moms are taking care of housework or tending to their child. The results will be disappointing for those who expected more gender equity in modern society."  

Citation:  Ohio State University. "Dads are often having fun while moms work around the house: Study first to show how couples spend time minute-by-minute." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171009084345.htm>. 

For the complete article, see: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171009084345.htm

The original Ohio State Press Release can be found here:
https://news.osu.edu/news/2017/10/09/what-men-do/

Friday, October 20, 2017

AASWomen Newsletter for October 20, 2017

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of October 20, 2017
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. 'Women of NASA' Lego Set to Launch for Sale Nov. 1
2. Women in science ask fewer questions than men, according to new research
3. Championing the Success of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, and Medicine
4. The stories behind a CV
5. Male scientists share more — but only with other men          
6. Star Stuff: How to Hold a Dead Star in Your Hand
7. Job Opportunities   
8. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
10. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 'Women of NASA' Lego Set to Launch for Sale Nov. 1 
From:  Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

“NASA astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, astronomer Nancy Grace Roman and computer scientist Margaret Hamilton are celebrated for their contributions to space exploration and astronomy in the new Lego Ideas set, ‘Women of NASA.’” Need I say more?

Read about the women and the Lego collection at


or at


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. Women in science ask fewer questions than men, according to new research 
From:  Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

“In new research published in PLOS ONE, the scientists studied question-asking behaviour at a large international [biology] conference. … The team observed 31 sessions across the four day conference, counting how many questions were asked and whether men or women were asking them. Accounting for the number of men and women in the audience, the findings show that male attendees asked 80% more questions than female attendees.” This finding supports that of astronomers who did the same study at at least one recent AAS meeting.

Read the summary of the PLOS ONE study at


Find the journal article at


Read the study of who asks questions at Astronomy meetings at


or at


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Championing the Success of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, and Medicine
From:  Kimberly Arcand [kkowal_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

A recent report “explores the role of women in STEM and the challenges they face, looking at areas of gender inequality, exploring potential causes of this inequality and offering solutions.”

Read the summary and find the report at


Read a Nature blogpost about the report at


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. The stories behind a CV
From: Parvathy Prem [premp1_at_outermail.jhuapl.edu]

I came across this article in the Sep 2017 volume of Science - thought it might be of interest.

“Based on my CV, you might think my path to becoming a tenured faculty member was pretty smooth: master’s degree, Ph.D., two postdocs, faculty position. The true story, however, is much more twisted.”

Read more at


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5. Male scientists share more — but only with other men 
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

A study of hundreds of researchers has found that men are more likely to share published work – but only with other men. The authors of the study suggest that phenomenon “might have evolutionary roots and point to an idea called the male-warrior hypothesis, which states that men have evolved to form strong bonds with other males in their group because in the past this enabled them to defend territory from hostile attackers.”

Read more at


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6. Star Stuff: How to Hold a Dead Star in Your Hand
From:  Kimberly Arcand [kkowal_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

An all-female team has researched and designed a 3D model of supernova remnant Cass A that you can print with a 3D printer!

Read more at


Find the 3D files at


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here: https://cswa.aas.org/#howtoincrease 

- Scientist, Open Rank, 2 positions at NRAO, North American ALMA Regional Center

- Research Associate, Next-generation VLA Configuration, NRAO

- ALMA Head of Science Operations, Santiago, Chile

- Tenure-track Assistant Professor, Dept. of Astronomy, Boston University, Boston MA

- Post-doctoral Research Position, Cosmology Studies, WFIRST, Johns Hopkins University

- PhD Positions in Solar System Science, Göttingen, Germany

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org 

All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email address. 

When submitting a job posting for inclusion in the newsletter, please include a one-line description and a link to the full job posting. 

Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email: 

Send email to aaswlist+subscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have subscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like. 

Be sure to follow the instructions in the confirmation email. (Just reply back to the email list) 

To unsubscribe by email: 

Send email to aaswlist+unsubscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have UNsubscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like. 

To join or leave AASWomen via web, or change your membership settings: 


You will have to create a Google Account if you do not already have one, using https://accounts.google.com/newaccount?hl=en  

Google Groups Subscribe Help: 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10. Access to Past Issues

  
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

New study highlights ‘hidden figure’ of sun-watchers

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has issued a press release about a study of the life of Hisako Koyama.   Although few have heard of her, she was a dedicated female solar observer.  She was born in Tokyo in 1916, and created one of the most important sunspot records of the past 400 years, according to new research.  For the complete press release and a link to the study itself, go to:

http://news.agu.org/press-release/new-study-highlights-hidden-figure-of-sun-watchers/ 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

AAS President's response to Charlottesville and letter to Congress about DACA

The AAS President, Christine Jones, has issued a statement in response to the events in Charlottesville.  That statement can be found here:

https://aas.org/posts/news/2017/08/message-aas-president-charlottesville 

She has also sent a letter to Congressional Leadership about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  You can read the letter here:

https://aas.org/posts/letter/2017/09/letter-congressional-leadership-aas-president-daca

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cross post: Mental Illness/Wellness and Your Career

Today we re-post "Mental Illness/Wellness and Your Career – LPSC WiPS Event Summary 2017" from the Women in Planetary Sciences blog.  It appeared on June 6, 2017, and summarizes a presentation by Holly Doggett, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at the the 9th Annual LPSC Women in Planetary Science Susan Niebur Networking Event, and notes from the subsequent questions and discussions.  


Contributed by Nicolle Zellner, Mallory Kinczyk, and Lillian Ostrach
In March, the 9th Annual LPSC Women in Planetary Science Susan Niebur Networking Event was held. Holly Doggett, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Texas spoke to us about mental illness/wellness and its effect on careers. One in five American adults experiences some form of mental illness in any given year, and across the population, one in every 25 adults is living with a serious mental health condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or long-term recurring major depression. During her presentation, Holly told anecdotes and suggested coping strategies for instances when we might be affected by changes to our mental wellness.

Friday, September 22, 2017

AASWomen Newsletter for September 22, 2017

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of September 22, 2017
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. A Letter to Congressional Leadership from AAS President on DACA
2. Two Surveys: Women in STEM
3. Regional Undergraduate APS Meeting at Kansas University 
4. AGU's Board Approves an Updated Ethics Policy           
5. Job Opportunities   
6. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
8. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. A Letter to Congressional Leadership from AAS President on DACA
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

AAS President Christine Jones, in consultation with the Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy and the Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy, sent a letter about DACA to Congressional leadership.

Read the AAS press release and letter at


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. Two Surveys: Women in STEM  
From: Laura McCullough [lauramccphd_at_gmail.com]

I am currently doing research involving two surveys about women in STEM. I’d like as many people as possible to see this because the populations I’m looking for are unique. One survey will assess the experience of women in STEM who also have been leaders: barriers, support, path, etc. The other survey will update the work (http://www.physics.wm.edu/dualcareer.html) by McNeil and Sher (1999) on couples who are both scientists.

To participate in research on women in STEM with leadership experience, please go to the anonymous link at: 


To participate in research on dual-science-career couples, please go to the anonymous link at: 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Regional Undergraduate APS Meeting at Kansas University
From: Greg Rudnick [grudnick_at_ku.edu]

On the weekend of January 12-14, 2018, the University of Kansas Department of Physics and Astronomy will host a regional American Physical Society (APS) CUWiP meeting for undergraduate physics and astronomy majors in the central region of the United States. Our region includes Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The APS CUWiP is a series of regional conferences held simultaneously around the United States for undergraduate women interested in physics and astronomy. The goal of this conference series is to encourage undergraduate women to pursue a career in physics or astronomy by giving them the experience of a professional conference. This includes networking with women in physics of all ages and professional levels, plenary talks by prominent women in physics, and panel discussions providing information about graduate school and career opportunities in physics.  

More information can be found at 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. AGU's Board Approves an Updated Ethics Policy
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

The American Geophysical Union’s Ethics Task Force spent over a year developing a new ethics policy. “This policy takes a much stronger stance against harassment by including it in the definition of research misconduct and expanding its application to AGU members, staff, volunteers, and non-members participating in AGU-sponsored programs and activities including AGU Honors and Awards, and governance.”

Read the press release at


Read the policy at


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here: https://cswa.aas.org/#howtoincrease 

- Tenure Track Assistant Professor, University of Kansas

- Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics,  California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

- Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Observational Astrophysics, University of Bath

- Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Bath

- Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Emergent Phenomena/Theoretical Soft-Matter or Statistical Physics, University of Bath

- Education and Diversity Programs Manager, American Physical Society

- Research Associate in Theory/Numerical Simulation of Optical Frequency Combs, University of Bath

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org 

All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email address. 

When submitting a job posting for inclusion in the newsletter, please include a one-line description and a link to the full job posting. 

Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email: 

Send email to aaswlist+subscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have subscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like. 

Be sure to follow the instructions in the confirmation email. (Just reply back to the email list) 

To unsubscribe by email: 

Send email to aaswlist+unsubscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have UNsubscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like. 

To join or leave AASWomen via web, or change your membership settings: 


You will have to create a Google Account if you do not already have one, using https://accounts.google.com/newaccount?hl=en  

Google Groups Subscribe Help: 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8. Access to Past Issues

  
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Power of Stories


I have never been a story teller. I’ve never developed the flair, pacing, and audience connections needed to tell a good story. So when I attended the “Women in Business – Transitioning to Leadership” workshop at the University of North Carolina’s (UNC)Kenan-Flagler Business School in May, I wasn’t expecting to tell a story. Dr. Heidi Schultz, Clinical Professor of Management and Corporate Communication at UNC and the facilitator of our Wednesday afternoon session, told us that the story a speaker tells is often the only thing an audience remembers! Once I heard that, I realized that I wanted to know more about the power of stories.

In her article for Forbes Magazine, How To Tell A Good Story, contributor Kristi Hedges shares the reasons why most people don’t consider themselves good storytellers.
  • I never think of it
  • I tend to ramble and lose the point
  • I have a hard time gauging interest
  • I am never sure how much detail to use
  • I don’t have good stories to share