SPD 2014 Election

Solar Physics Division Election Ballot 2014 - Voting Ends on 18 April, 2014 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time Zone)

Instructions:

The 2014 election for SPD Vice-Chair and Committee Person is now open, and will close on 18 April, 2014.

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

You should vote for one of the two candidates for Vice-Chair:

  • Dana Longcope, Montana State University
  • Sarah Gibson, NCAR/HAO

The successful candidate will serve for one year as Vice-Chair, then two years as Chair and a fourth year as Vice-Chair, plus two years as Committee person.

You should vote for one of the two candidates for Committee person:

  • Mark Cheung, Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory
  • Nicholeen Viall, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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

Current time: Sunday, 21 December 2014, 03:29:21 am EST (-05:00 GMT)

Voting opened: Friday, 14 March 2014, 12:00:00 am EDT (-04:00 GMT)
Voting closed: Friday, 18 April 2014, 11:59:59 pm EDT (-04:00 GMT)

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Vice Chair

Description: The Vice-Chairperson may act for the Chairperson at the latter's request and shall act for the Chairperson in the event that the latter cannot discharge the duties of the office. The Vice-Chairperson shall with the assistance of the Program Committee, be responsible for organizing the scientific programs of the Division.
Term Elected For: June 2014 - June 2015
Currently Serving: David Alexander

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Dana Longcope


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Professor of Physics, Montana State University

Degrees and Education

  • B.S., Cornell University (1986)
  • Ph.D., Cornell University (1993)

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

I do primarily theoretical research into topics ranging from the rise of magnetic flux through the convection zone, to the storage of magnetic energy in active region coronae, to the release of that energy through magnetic reconnection in solar flares.

Services, Roles, and Activities

I have served the AAS on the SPD committee (2001-2004) and the SPD Prize Committee (2013). I have served on both the LOC and SOC organizing the 2013 stand-alone SPD meeting in Bozeman, MT. I have also served the Solar Physics community on numerous other committees. I serviced on NASA committees including SH-MOWG (as chairman) and SECAS (2001-2004); NRC committees including Decadal Survey panels or working groups (Astronomy and Astrophysics 1999, Solar and Physics 2012) and on the CSSP (2005-2010); AURA committees including the Solar Observatory Council (2008-2014), Nominating Committee (2012-2014), ATST Science working group (2005-2008) and the search committee for the NSO director (2012-2013). I have been a member of the editorial board of Solar Physics (the journal) since 2008.

Candidate Statement

I have been an SPD member since 1993 and have attended every SPD meeting, and business meeting, since the meeting at Stanford in 1993. This has left me with impressions enough that planning meetings for the 2013 meeting often devolved into recollections of lessons learned. The exercise of helping to organize the Bozeman SPD meeting was extremely informative, especially as we interacted with our parent organization, the AAS.

I have participated in many forms of scientific advice, including the SH-MOWG and SECAS at NASA, the CSSP and Decadal surveys for the NRC, and the Solar Observatory Council at AURA. This has provided me insight into the issues and opportunities currently facing our field. The impression I formed is of a positive condition Solar Physics. The D.K. Inouye Solar Telescope, now under construction, promises to invigorate our field with unprecedented solar observations. The suite of solar spacecraft currently operating continues to challenge us and lead us to a better scientific understanding of the Sun. Solar Probe Plus will offer unique insights into the heating and acceleration of the solar wind. Clearly there is much to be done to assure new opportunities beyond those. This must be undertaken by the community, and the SPD must serve as their collective voice.

Its members are undoubtedly the most valuable asset of the SPD. Our field is distinguished from most others by its collegiality and professionalism. My research has brought me into contact with several other sub-disciplines, and in every one I observed interactions with far less good will than is the norm in Solar Physics. One contributing factor is that most SPD members share an interest and enthusiasm for a broad range of the scientific questions being addressed by our field. I have had the privilege of publishing papers with at least 75 different coauthors. This afforded me the opportunity to learn from many of the best and brightest. The role of the SPD is, above all else, to foster this kind of collegiality and shared enthusiasm.

During my twenty years of SPD membership I have observed a marked improvement in the presence of Solar Physics at US educational institutions. This success, however, carries the imperative to maintain a field rich in opportunities for the next generation we are even now attracting. Here again is a place the SPD must act. I see the role of the leadship as focusing and motivating these collective actions. Were I to be honored with this position I hope to be able to work with all members to maintain and improve the situation of our field.

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Sarah Gibson


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Senior Scientist/Section Head, High Altitude Observatory/National Center for Atmospheric Research

Degrees and Education

  • Physics B.S., Stanford University (1989)
  • Astrophysics M.S., University of Colorado (1993)
  • Ph.D., University of Colorado (1993)

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

My research centers on solar drivers of the terrestrial environment, from short-term space-weather drivers such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), to long-term solar-cycle variation with an emphasis on the Sun-Earth system at solar minimum. I have led and coordinated international working groups on both of these subjects.

I am interested in understanding the role of twisted coronal magnetic fields in storing the energy liberated in CMEs. I have employed theory, models, and ground- and space-based observations in studying precursors such as soft X-ray sigmoids and coronal prominence cavities. I recently led an International Space Science Institute (ISSI) International Team on Prominence Cavities, which produced eight publications probing the magnetic and thermal properties of cavities, and am currently leading another ISSI team on Coronal Magnetism.

I was a leader of the international Whole Sun Month and Whole Heliosphere Interval coordinated observing and modeling efforts to characterize the three-dimensional, interconnected Sun-heliospheric-planetary system at solar minimum. My personal research has focused on global coronal magnetic fields and associated solar wind streams during times of low solar activity. I recently led an International Astronomical Union Working Group on Comparative Solar Minima, which promoted analyses of the degree and nature of variations within and between solar and stellar minima, and which sponsored an IAU symposium on the subject in Mendoza, Argentina in 2012.

Services, Roles, and Activities

  • Committee Member (2002-2004): AAS/SPD

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Board Member (2013-present): Space Studies Board
  • Committee Member (2013-present): National Research Council Committee on Solar and Space Physics
  • Committee Member (2013-present) Steering Committee of IAU Division E (Sun and Heliosphere)
  • Member and Co-Chair Group B (2013-2014): COSPAR Space-Weather Roadmap Committee
  • Committee Member: NRC Committee to Review NASA SMD 2014 Science Plan
  • Committee Member (2013-2015): IAU Commision 10 on Solar Activity
  • Committee Member (2013-2015): IAU Commision 49 on Interplanetary Plasma and Heliosphere
  • Vice-Chair (2010-2013)/Committee Member (2007-2010): Solar Observatories Council to the AURA Board
  • Committee Member (2010-2012): Steering Committee of the Heliophysics Decadal Survey
  • Scientific Editor (2008-2011): Astrophysical Journal
  • Committee Member (2009-2010): Astro2010 Decadal Survey; Radio, millimeter, and submillimeter Program Prioritization Panel
  • Committee Member (2006-2010): Heliophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council
  • Editor (2009): Highlights of Astronomy IAU GA JD16 Proceedings
  • Chair (2008-2009): AURA Solar Decadal Committee
  • Committee Member (2005-2009): ATST Science Working Group
  • Committee Member (2002-2005): Space Studies Board, Committee on Solar and Space Physics
  • Guest Editor (2000-2001): Advances in Space Research, COSPAR 2000

Candidate Statement

I became a solar physicist because it is a subject where fundamental science meets societal relevance, and where astronomy is dynamic and viewed through a zoom lens. The past few years have been difficult ones, with shrinking budgets and mounting anxiety about the future of our field. But we should not despair! We have an incredible asset in the Sun itself: aesthetically engaging, intellectually intriguing, and occasionally worrying in its potential to upset the modern technological apple cart.

Heliophysics is a subject that has broad appeal to the general public, not just to our scientific community. It should be one every college student is familiar with – not just those destined for a future of scientific research, but also those who would benefit from a clear understanding of the basis of space weather (such as aerospace engineers or meteorologists) and even those who seek enrichment of their liberal arts education. The recent Solar & Space Physics decadal survey recommended “that 4-year institutions of higher education should also [along with Ph.D.-granting institutions] be considered eligible for FDSS [Faculty Development in Space Sciences; NSF] awards as a means to further broaden and diversify the field.” Now, more than ever, we need to expand our reach beyond our community, so that we are not isolated from the public interest that drives funding.

The Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society is an ideal forum for raising popular awareness of our field. As SPD vice-chair, I would set the goal not only to attract talented young people into our field, but also to convert an even broader audience into “Heliophysics enthusiasts”. Let’s invite the world to join with us as we ponder the puzzles the Sun poses, and to delight in our discoveries of the future.

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Committee Person

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 2014 - June 2016
Currently Serving: Thomas Berger, Shadia Habbal, Therese Kucera, Brian Welsch, and Stephen White

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Mark C. M. Cheung


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Staff Physicist, Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA

Degrees and Education

  • Dr. rer. nat. in Astronomy & Astrophysics (summa cum laude), University of Goettingen (2006, Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Manfred Schuessler & Prof. Dr. Franz Kneer)
  • B. Sc. in Physics (First Class Honours), University of Adelaide (2002)

Affiliations

  • AAS/SPD, member (since 2007)
  • AGU, member (since 2007)
  • Scientific Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany (2006)

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

My research focuses on the interaction of magnetic fields with plasma motion in the solar convection zone and the overlying atmosphere with an emphasis on comparing observations with 3D numerical MHD simulations. My studies focus on topics such as the dynamics of magnetic flux tubes rising through the convection zone, the turbulent properties of magnetoconvection, observational signatures of magnetic flux emergence, the physics of active region formation and decay, and the evolution of coronal magnetic fields in response to photospheric driving.

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Science Lead for SDO/AIA (since 2011)

Candidate Statement

It's a treat being a solar physicist. Everyday I get to work on diverse topics such as radiative transfer, fluid mechanics, plasma physics, optics and topology. Everyday I am treated to mesmerizing eye candy from our telescopes. I get to develop AJAX codes for websites, exploit graphics cards for scientific computing and develop parallel simulation codes for supercomputers. I also get to place bets on which AR is about to flare (a.k.a. observation planning).

In my opinion, our community has the most open data access policies and best data sharing infrastructure of any area of astronomy and astrophysics. This aspect of our culture is important for scientific advancement as well as for public outreach (think how easy it is for anybody to check out the latest solar images using smartphone apps or Helioviewer). Prior to the launch of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), I was deeply involved in the development of the Heliophysics Events Knowledgebase (HEK). Due to the data rate of SDO, we knew we needed a tool to help researchers find data relevant for their science goals. For this reason I developed the iSolSearch GUI (http://www.lmsal.com/isolsearch) and heavily pushed for the development of an application programming interface (API) for third party applications (e.g. Helioviewer is a third party client that uses the HEK API).

I have served on numerous scientific organizing committees for conferences but I have also slaved away on local organizing committees. When organizing these meetings, I always worked hard to facilitate attendance by students and early career researchers by applying for financial support from the SPD and the funding agencies. For me it is important that upcoming researchers have the forum to showcase their work and to develop their careers.

If elected to the SPD Committee, I will strive to help fellow SPD members get the resources they need. I will advocate on their behalf about the importance of continued support to foster a thriving research ecosystem. It's a treat being a solar physicist but I don't take for granted the opportunities presented to me and the resources at my disposal. It's a privilege being a solar physicist and I will work hard to give back to the community.

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Nicholeen Viall


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Research Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Degrees and Education

  • B.S. in Physics and Astronomy, University of Washington (2004)
  • M.A. in Astronomy, Boston University (2007)
  • Ph.D. in Astronomy, Boston University (2010)

Affiliations

  • Solar Physics Laboratory in the Heliophysics Division at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Dr. Viall currently studies solar coronal heating, the solar wind, and solar wind-magnetosphere interactions. Her solar coronal heating research is on active regions and quiet Sun plasmas; she developed new analysis techniques and applied them to the multi-wavelength Solar Dynamics Observatory/ Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (SDO/AIA) data. Additionally, she employs physics-based coronal flux tube models to understand coronal heating and for the interpretation of line-of-sight effects in coronal observations.

Dr. Viall also studies non-turbulent periodic density structures in the ambient solar wind, their affect on the Magnetosphere, and investigates their relationship to source regions and source mechanisms of the solar wind. She uses the white light telescopes on Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory/ Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (STEREO/SECCHI) and Wind/Solar Wind Experiment data for these solar wind studies.

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Outstanding Student Paper Awards Committee and Executive Council of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Space Physics and Aeronomy section, 2011-2013
  • Steering committee member of NASA's New and Developing Professionals Advisory Committee, 2011-present
  • Steering Committee and Science Organizing Committee member of the international 'Coronal Loops' Workshop, 2012-present
  • SHINE student representative, 2008-2009
  • Organizer and session chair of Fall AGU session titled 'Recent Advances in Solar Coronal Heating', 2012
  • Working group leader at the 'Tracing the Connections of Eruptive Events' workshop, Fall, 2012
  • Member of Women in Aerospace, 2013-present

Candidate Statement

The annual meeting of SPD is the premier venue for the solar physics community to exchange research results and engage with our colleagues. The opportunity for the entire solar community to come together once a year is invaluable for advancing our field and research. As such, my first goal would be working to maintain the successful meeting structure that we have seen over the past several years, and to keep meetings affordable and at reasonably accessible locations. My next goal as an SPD committee member will be to engage the SPD community more with the broader Heliophysics community. In this current time of severe budgetary stresses, I believe that it is especially important for the SPD to be united with all of Heliophysics. I have been a very active member of the American Geophysical Union, and as an SPD committee member, I will use these ties to encourage synergistic engagement of SPD with the rest of Heliophysics.

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