SPD 2013 Election

Solar Physics Division Election Ballot 2013 - Voting Ends on May 24, 2013 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time Zone)

Instructions:

The 2013 election for SPD Committee Persons is now open, and will close on May 24th, 2013.

You will need your AAS member login ID (which defaults to your membership number), and your password.

You should vote for two of the four candidates for Committee persons:

  • Sarbani Basu, Yale University
  • Giuliana de Toma, NCAR/HAO
  • Brian T. Welsch, Space Sciences Laboratory, UC-Berkeley
  • Stephen White, Air Force Research Laboratory

The successful candidates will serve on the committee for two years.

Current time: Friday, 28 November 2014, 11:49:33 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

Voting opened: Monday, 22 April 2013, 12:00:00 am EDT (-04:00 GMT)
Voting closed: Friday, 24 May 2013, 11:59:59 pm EDT (-04:00 GMT)

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Committee Persons

Description:

The Committee shall meet at least once each year. A request in writing from at least three members of the Committee shall render a convocation of an additional meeting of the Committee obligatory. Any member of the Committee unable to attend the meeting shall have the privilege of naming an alternate representative to participate in the meeting without vote, subject to the approval of the Chairperson. At any meeting of the Committee, five of its members shall constitute a quorum.

Term Elected For: June 2013 - June 2015
Currently Serving: Jon Linker, Janet Luhmann

Please select up to 2 option(s).

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Sarbani Basu


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Professor of Astronomy

Degrees and Education

Ph.D.

Affiliations

Yale University

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Solar and stellar astrophysics using models, as well as helio- and asteroseismic data from GONG, SDO and Kepler; using the solar interior to study inputs to stellar evolution calculations; the study of solar variability and the solar dynamo process; using other solar-type stars to determine the past and possible future of the Sun; comparing and contrasting the Sun and exo-planet hosts.

Services, Roles, and Activities

  • Member, Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize Committee of the AAS (2008- )
  • Chair, Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize Committee of the AAS (2010-2011)
  • Member, Solar Physics Division's Nominating Committee (2004)

Professional Experience and Positions

  • National Solar Observatory Visiting Committee (2012 - 2013)
  • Member, Steering Committee, Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium (KASC) (2010 - present)
  • Committee of Visitors, Upper Atmosphere Research Section, Division of Atmospheric Sciences Section, NSF (2008),
  • Management Operations Working Groups (MOWG) of NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) program (2006 - 2008),
  • National Solar Observatory Users' Committee (2005 - 2011),
  • Steering Committee of the Solar Physics Division Summer School (2005 - 2008),
  • Scientific Advisory Committee, Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) (2003 - present),
  • Data Users Committee, Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) (1999 - present)

Candidate Statement

Solar physics in the US is under tremendous pressure. There are very few university jobs which makes training the next generation of solar physicists difficult. Unlike most other academic disciplines, many solar physicists hold soft money positions which makes the this era of shrinking research funding much more difficult for solar physics than for many other disciplines. I believe that the SPD can play an important role in ensuring that solar physics gets a fair hearing. I shall work with the SPD to determine how we could lobby for continued support for solar physics. I also envisage one of my roles as being an ambassador for the solar and heliophysics community in the general astronomy community since my research straddles the day/night divide; these disciplines can learn a lot from each other but historically have not been in frequent communication.

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Giuliana de Toma


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Project Scientist

Degrees and Education

Ph.D. in Physics, University of Trieste Italy

Affiliations

NCAR/HAO

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

My main scientific interests are solar cycle variability and chromospheric and coronal observations, and in particular prominences and CMEs. I have studied solar variability, on both short and long time-scales, for many years and I find it a fascinating topic. In spite of great progress in recent years, we still have a lot of unanswered questions on the solar magnetic cycle and the origin of solar eruptions.

Services, Roles, and Activities

  • Member of AAS and SPD: since 1994

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Member of AGU: since 1993
  • Member of IAU: since 2009

Candidate Statement

We are living in an exciting time for solar physics because of the rapid advances in observations and modeling of the Sun. Heliophysics is a unique discipline that bridges astronomy and geophysics and I believe it is very important that we maintain and enhance active and fruitful collaborations with our colleagues in these fields. As an SPD committee member, I will work to strengthen the SPD connection with the astrophysics and geophysics community, both nationally and internationally, and will promote multi-disciplinary collaborations. I will actively work to establish new collaborations and to organize meetings that involve a broad community. I think a serious problem of solar physics in United States is that is under-represented in Universities. One of my priorities will be to encourage the participation of faculty members and students in solar physics meetings and initiatives. Another important priority for our Division, especially in these difficult budget times, is to effectively communicate with the general public and the press. SPD has worked very hard in this direction in the past years and I look forward to collaborating with the other SPD committee members to continue this important effort.

I would be honored to serve the SPD community as a committee member. If elected, I will work with the Division to strengthen the key areas of scientific collaborations, education, and public outreach.

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Brian T. Welsch


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Associate Research Physicist

Degrees and Education

  • B.S. in Physics, College of William & Mary, magna cum laude, 1994;
  • M.S. in Physics, Montana State University - Bozeman, 1998;
  • Ph.D. in Physics, Montana State University - Bozeman, 2002.

Affiliations

Space Sciences Laboratory, UC-Berkeley

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

My research efforts focus on the evolution of solar magnetic fields, particularly the transport of magnetic energy and magnetic helicity from the solar interior into the corona; photospheric flows associated with these processes; the roles of magnetic energy, magnetic helicity, and magnetic structure in flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs); and the physics of magnetic reconnection, flares, and CMEs.

Services, Roles, and Activities

  • Member, SPD's Popular Writing Awards Committee, (2008 - 2012);
  • Committee Chair, (2009 - 2011).

Professional Experience and Positions

I recently agreed to serve on the AGU's Outstanding Student Paper Awards committee for the Space Physics & Aeronomy section, as the Solar and Heliospheric representative.

Candidate Statement

I view the SPD as a well-run organization, so do not want to change it in any major way. Unfortunately, the SPD's goal --- to advance study of the Sun --- currently faces significant challenges due to recent significant cuts in federal funding for research. Beyond doing what I can to help the SPD continue running smoothly, I plan to participate in efforts to both (i) mitigate the effects of federal budget cuts on solar research and (ii) increase Congressional support for funding for basic science.

Regarding SPD affairs, I would like to pursue one minor change regarding the Popular Writing Award (PWA). I and other members of the PWA committee have noted that there are many excellent expositions of solar physics on the web that are currently ineligible for the PWA, which can only be given to articles appearing in printed periodicals. But readership of printed media is currently declining; people increasingly read online content that never appears in print. Since the goal of the PWA is to reward writers whose articles inform the public about solar physics, I favor modifying SPD bylaws regarding the PWA to make online-only articles eligible for the award. This should better align criteria for selecting awardees with the intent of the PWA program.

The precise language of a proposed amendment to the PWA bylaws would require some study. For instance, only North American publications are currently eligible. Should where a website is produced bear upon its eligibility? And should there be separate awards for print and online articles? One approach would be to form a committee of interested volunteers to generate a specific proposed amendment for a vote by the membership. (I would be willing to serve.) Other approaches could also be considered.

I would be honored to serve our community as a member of the SPD Committee.

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Stephen White


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Senior Research Radio Astronomer

Degrees and Education

  • B.S.(Hons.), Australian National University
  • Ph.D., University of Sydney

Affiliations

Air Force Research Laboratory

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Solar and stellar radio astronomy, radio emission mechanisms, solar radio bursts, coronal magnetic fields, flares, particle acceleration, solar atmosphere, abundances, space weather

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Adjunct professor at University of New Mexico;
  • NRAO Time Assignment Committee

Candidate Statement

Solar physics, like the rest of astronomy, faces uncertainty over the next decade as we enjoy the bounty of the current satellite and ground-based assets and work towards a successful build-out of ATST, but must also confront dwindling budgets and diminishing support for postdocs and students trying to establish careers, both at universities and other facilities. Future solar-related satellite launches are likely to be sparse, and there are threats to ongoing synoptic observations despite their recognized importance for understanding solar influences on the Earth. The role of the SPD is to continue to advocate for solar physics research and to work for the vitality of the solar physics community.

My background as a student was in plasma astrophysics and most of my subsequent research has been in topics that can be addressed with radio observations, from the lower chromosphere to the outer corona as well as other hot and cool stars. This has also led to work at EUV, X-ray and gamma-ray wavelengths, and has exposed me to several different astronomy communities. I spent the first part of my career at a university doing basic research and relying on grant support, and now have additional interest in operational space-weather issues as a government employee. I would use this range of experience to inform my positions on the issues that the SPD committee will face, and I would be honored to serve the solar physics community in this role.

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