HEAD 2015 Election

High Energy Astrophysics Division Election 2015 - Voting Ends on 30 December 2015 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time Zone)

Instructions:

The 2015 election for Executive Committee Members is now open, and will close on 30 December 2015.

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Current time: Tuesday, 11 December 2018, 06:30:18 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

Voting opened: Tuesday, 1 December 2015, 11:59:59 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)
Voting closed: Wednesday, 30 December 2015, 11:59:59 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

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HEAD Vice-Chair

Description: The officers of the Committee and of the Division shall [include] a Vice-Chair who in addition to the duties specifically assigned to them by these by-laws shall discharge the other duties usually incident to their respective office. The Vice-Chair may act for the Chair at the latter's request and shall act for the Chair in the event that the latter is incapacitated. The terms of office for officers and committee members shall be two years for Chair and Vice-Chair. The Vice-Chair at the end of one term shall automatically become Chair for the following year.
Term Elected For: January 2016 - January 2018
Currently Serving: Chris Reynolds

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Robert Petre


Biography

Affiliations

X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA / GSFC

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Observational X-ray astrophysics, especially supernova remnants; X-ray optics; X-ray instrumentation and mission development.

Written Biography

Rob Petre is the chief of Goddard Space Flight Center's X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory. He has spent his entire career at GSFC since receiving his PhD from MIT (1982), first as an NAS/NRC research associate (1982-4), then as a University of Maryland research associate (1984-5), and more recently as a Goddard staff scientist (1985-2000) and lab chief (2000-). His primary astrophysics research area is X-ray studies of supernova remnants in all their manifestations, but his research has also included normal and active galaxies, X-ray binaries, and X-ray emission from stars. Additionally, he has been active throughout his career in X-ray optics development. He is author or co-author of approximately 175 refereed papers. He has served as the Instrument Scientist for the Broad Band X-Ray Telescope, US Project Scientist for ROSAT and Suzaku, Deputy US Project Scientist for ASCA, and Deputy Study Scientist for Constellation-X/IXO. He has been a member of the AAS-HEAD executive committee (1993-1995) and the NASA High Energy Astrophysics Management Operations Working Group (1992-1996). He is currently the US Project Scientist for Astro-H and the US Study Scientist for Athena.

Candidate Statement

HEAD is one of the most vibrant and innovative divisions of the AAS, due in large measure to its active membership and outstanding leadership. I would strive to continue the tradition of leadership excellence by building on HEAD's strengths, both to make HEAD more responsive to all its members and to broaden its reach both scientifically and demographically.

The scientific diversity encompassed within HEAD continues to grow, for instance with recent advances in neutrino astrophysics and the anticipated detection of the first gravitational wave signals and searches for their electromagnetic counterparts. At the same time, the traditional scientific areas within HEAD remain strong and will benefit from upcoming missions like Astro-H and NICER. Burgeoning and traditional areas should both be highlighted at HEAD meetings and HEAD-sponsored AAS sessions, in a way that conveys the importance and relevance of our results to the entire astronomy community.

The most significant challenge faced by HEAD members is the uncertain future due to constrained research funding. HEAD should lead the advocacy to the funding agencies on behalf of its constituency, especially for continued funding of both existing and new high energy astrophysics space missions and ground facilities. Further, as the 2020 decadal survey approaches, HEAD should continue to be proactive in supporting strategic missions that address our scientific interests. HEAD should continue special sessions that provide a forum for rational discussion of potential future science objectives and missions that address them. Additionally, HEAD should use its sessions at the general AAS meetings to educate the astronomical community about the value of high-energy astrophysics missions and programs to all.

HEAD should set the standard in welcoming and serving the needs of all its members. To that end I would like to initiate a dialog to strengthen ties with the various AAS committees, including those on the Status of Women, Minorities, and Sexual-Orientation & Gender Minorities in Astronomy. Students represent our future; I would try to involve them more actively in HEAD activities. One possibility is to have a session at each HEAD meeting organized by students, during which only students make presentations.

HEAD's members make it a terrific organization; serving as one if its officers would be a great honor.

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Steven Kahn


Biography

Degrees and Education

  • AB (summa cum laude) Columbia, 1975
  • PhD Physics UC Berkeley 1980

Affiliations

Stanford University

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Experimental Cosmology, X-Ray Spectroscopy, Instrumentation

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Center Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 1980-82
  • Assist. Prof. of Physics, Columbia, 1982-84
  • Assist., Assoc., Full Prof. of Physics and Astronomy, UC Berkeley, 1984-95
  • I.I. Rabi Prof., and Prof. of Physics and Astronomy, Columbia, 1995-2003
  • Cassius Lamb Kirk Prof. in the Natural Sciences, Stanford and SLAC, 2003-present
Selected Special Appointments:
  • PI for US participation, and Senior Co-I, XMM-Newton Reflection Grating Spectrometer
  • Director, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
Selected Previous Service Roles:
  • Chair line, Astrophysics Division, American Physical Society, 2006-2010
  • Member, Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey Committee, NRC, 1998-2001
  • Member, Structure and Evolution of the Universe Sub-Committee, NASA, 1996-98
  • Member, Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, NRC, 1996-97
  • Member, Astrophysics Subcommittee, NASA, 1995-96
  • Member, HEAD Executive Committee, AAS, 1990-92

Candidate Statement

Having worked in the field of High Energy Astrophysics for nearly forty years, I have seen a tremendous evolution in this field from the era of the first rocket and early satellite experiments to the current era, where X-ray and gamma-ray astrophysics, and gravitation and fundamental cosmology are firmly established as core areas of astronomy and physics. Over that period of time, ground-based and space-based opportunities have become larger and more expensive, and, consequently, much less frequent. Our field has had to adapt to a significantly changed social and political reality. In recent years, I have interacted extensively with scientists coming from other, more traditional areas of astronomy, through my role as Director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. I have benefitted from that perspective in thinking about how we can best advance the field of high energy astrophysics in this new, very competitive environment. I believe I can be an effective Vice-Chair of HEAD, given this background and overview. We have many challenges ahead, and HEAD will need experienced, broad-minded scientists in its leadership positions.
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HEAD Secretary

Description: The Secretary shall send out necessary notices and announcements to the members of the Committee and to members of the Division, and shall work directly with the Society's executive office and the Society's Secretary. Announcements of meetings of the Division shall be prepared by the Secretary and transmitted to the appropriate officer of the Society for publication and distribution to all Society members at least nine weeks before the date of each meeting. The Secretary shall assist the Committee with arrangements for the meeting and for publication (if any) of the proceedings. The Secretary shall also coordinate elections as described in the By-laws. The Secretary shall also prepare minutes of each meeting of the Committee, and of the Business Sessions of the Division, and submit these minutes to each member of the Committee and to the Secretary of the Society within three weeks after each meeting.
Term Elected For: January 2016 - January 2019
Currently Serving: Randall Smith

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Michael Corcoran


Biography

Affiliations

Universities Space Research Association

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Stellar X-ray astrophysics

Written Biography

Received PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, where, as a graduate student in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, he learned the (often frustrating) art of visible-band photometry and polarimetry from Dr. R. H. Koch. In 1988 Mike found a job at NASA/GSFC as a post-doc with Advanced Computer Concepts (ACC) studying stellar wind behavior via analysis of UV spectral lines with Dr. S. Heap. After finishing his tenure at ACC in 1989, Mike inverse-Compton scattered his way to an NRC post-doc at the X-ray group at GSFC working with Dr. J. Swank, and at that time, he developed an obsession with the X-ray behavior of Eta Carinae. In 1991 Mike went to work for Universities Space Research Association and joined the ROSAT Guest Observer Facility at GSFC as lead archive scientist. In 1993 Mike joined the HEASARC, and now serves as the manager of the HEASARC Calibration Database and HEASARC archive scientist for the Fermi mission, in addition to his continuing duties as ROSAT archive scientist. In 2008 Mike became USRA Associate Director for the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST) at GSFC, and in 2016 Mike will start his tenure as the Director of the NASA Postdoctoral Program.

Candidate Statement

To quote the current HEAD Secretary, "The job of the HEAD secretary is to communicate, a task whose details have changed many times over the years as technology improves." As HEAD secretary I would work to promote communication between the disparate HEAD programs, and communication with the more extended astrophysical and physics community, using both traditional methods and social media, and to help support young scientists in their professional development as high-energy astrophysicists.
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Pete Roming


Biography

Degrees and Education

1992-1998 PhD, Physic & Astronomy (2nd Emphasis in Mechanical Engineering), Brigham Young University

Affiliations

Southwest Research Institute, Space Science & Engineering Division

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Gamma-Ray Bursts, Core-Collapse Supernovae, Astronomical Space-based Instrumentation

Written Biography

  • 2013-present Adjoint Professor, University of Texas – San Antonio, Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • 2010-present Staff Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Space Science & Engineering Division
  • 2006-2010 Senior Research Associate, Penn State University, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • 2005-2014 Graduate Faculty, Penn State University, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • 1998-2006 Research Associate, Penn State University, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
Relevant Project Experience
  • 2012-Present Principal Investigator, Scaling Kinetic Inductance Detectors for Space-based Applications
  • 2010-Present Executive Committee Member, Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission
  • 1999-Present Principal Investigator, Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission, UVOT Instrument
  • 2007-2009 Principal Investigator, Joint Astrophysics Nascent Universe Satellite (JANUS) SMEX Concept Study
  • 1998-1999 Instrument Scientist (X-Ray Mirrors), Penn State University Rocket Program

Candidate Statement

Astrophysics, particularly those objects and events associated with the high energy regime, excite the public’s imagination. It is that same excitement that started me on my path in astrophysics and has led me through an exhilarating adventure in the field. I would like the rising generation of astrophysicists to share that same thrill. In my 20+ years in the field, I have learned that the combination of theorists, observationalists, instrumentalists, and those involved in public outreach are all crucial for continuing this thrilling journey. It is true that there are challenges before us, but in those challenges come opportunities. Because of my mission, hardware, and observational background, I believe I would bring to the executive committee and the HEAD a broad perspective in facing some of our exciting opportunities. As secretary, I intend to build on the great work and tools of those who have served previously, to facilitate greater interaction within the HEAD community.
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HEAD Treasurer

Description: The Treasurer shall handle the funds and make disbursements in accordance with a budget approved by the Committee with due regard to Article VII, Para. 4 of the By-laws of the Society. The Treasurer shall work directly with the Treasurer of the Society and the financial department of the Society's executive office. The Treasurer shall submit to the Committee an annual financial report which, after approval by the Committee, shall be submitted to the Council. The Treasurer shall assist the Committee with arrangements for meetings of the division, particularly with any financial arrangements such as sponsorship of the meeting and contractual arrangements for future meeting sites (to be coordinated with the Society who acts on behalf of the Committee in contractual matters). The Society shall collect the enrollment fees and divisional dues set by the Committee and approved by a majority of the Division members present at a business session.
Term Elected For: January 2016 - January 2019
Currently Serving: Keith Arnaud

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Keith Arnaud


Biography

Degrees and Education

PhD IoA Cambridge 1985

Affiliations

Center for Research Excellence in Space Science and Technology, Goddard Space Flight Center and Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland.

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Data analysis methods
  • Astrostatistics

Written Biography

  • CfA 1985-1988
  • Goddard Space Flight Center and UMD 1988-present

Candidate Statement

I have been Treasurer since the position was split out from the Secretary-Treasurer. The job of the Treasurer is to monitor the Division's financial state and with the rest of the Executive Committee decide on expenditures. The HEAD budget is dominated by the Divisional Meeting so the most important job for the Treasurer is working with the AAS Office staff to accurately estimate the income and expenditure for the meeting.
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HEAD Executive Committee Member

Description: The Committee of the Division (hereinafter called the Committee) shall consist of the Officers of the Division, the available Past-Chair whose term has most recently expired provided this officer has served the full term, and six Committee Members. All members of the Committee shall be members of the Division of the Society. The Committee shall have general charge of the affairs of the Division, and through the Chair or Secretary shall report the activities and needs of the Division to the Council of the Society. The Committee Members shall also serve, in addition to their other duties described in this Article, as the Selection Committee for the Bruno Rossi Prize awarded by the Division, as described in Article XII. The terms of office shall be three years for Committee Members.
Term Elected For: January 2016 - January 2019
Currently Serving:
  • Daryl Haggard
  • Henric Krawczynski
  • Daniel Wang
  • Mark Bautz
  • Elizabeth Hays
  • Colleen Wilson-Hodge

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David R. Ballantyne


Biography

Degrees and Education

  • B.Sc. Physics & Astronomy (1998) Univ. of Victoria
  • M.Sc. Astronomy & Physics (1999) Univ. of Toronto
  • Ph.D. Astronomy (2002) Univ. of Cambridge

Affiliations

Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Accretion disks, AGN evolution, X-ray spectroscopy and surveys, X-ray bursts from neutron stars

Professional Experience and Positions

  • 2002-05 Postdoctoral Fellow, CITA
  • 2005-08 Prize Fellowship in Theoretical Astrophysics, Univ. of Arizona
  • 2008-14 Assistant Professor, Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, Georgia Tech
  • 2014-present Associate Professor, Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, Georgia Tech
  • 2015-present NASA-nominated member of Athena Study Science Team Working Group on Supermassive Black Hole Evolution
  • 2007-present Member, NuSTAR Science Team
  • 2006-present Member, LSST Science Collaboration on AGNs
  • 2014-2015 Member, LOFT Working Group on Type 1 X-ray Bursts

Candidate Statement

It remains an exciting time to work in high-energy astrophysics. The satellite-based observatories in X-rays and gamma-rays continue to provide astonishing new data, and ground-based (or even under-ground-based) experiments are shedding light on the most energetic regions of the Universe. In the coming years, spectro-polarimetry missions and gravitational-wave detections will provide revolutionary changes in our understanding of our favorite sources. My research background and experiences has given me a broad perspective of many aspects of our field of study, and, if elected to the HEAD EC, I will work to represent the scientific interests of the entire high-energy community. By strengthening the ties to all areas of high-energy astrophysics, we can clearly demonstrate that our field of science is growing, youthful and vigorous. I believe this path will yield positive outcomes in resources that will benefit our entire community.
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W. Niel Brandt


Biography

Degrees and Education

  • Ph.D., Astronomy, University of Cambridge, 1996
  • B.S., Physics, Caltech, 1992

Affiliations

Penn State University

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

AGNs, Cosmic Surveys, Galaxies, X-ray Binaries, LSST

Professional Experience and Positions

  • V.M. Willaman Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Professor of Physics, The Pennsylvania State University, 1997-2015
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, 1996-1997
Selected Relevant Experience:
  • Science definition team member for X-ray missions planned and under development.
  • Regular scientific organizing committee member for international conferences and workshops.
  • Supervisor of more than 30 postdoctoral researchers and students.
  • Chair of the Science Collaboration on Active Galactic Nuclei and the Interest Group on Deep Drilling Fields for LSST.
  • Member of the Executive Committee for the Mid-Atlantic Section (2014-2015) and the Astrophysics Division (2006-2008) of the APS.
  • Chair and member of the AAS Warner/Pierce Prize Committee (2009-2011).
  • Regular reviewer of grants, observation proposals, dossiers, and national reports. Regular teacher of courses on high-energy astrophysics, black holes, and active galaxies (1997-2015).
  • Lead instructor for summer outreach workshops for high-school teachers on galaxies, cosmology, and black holes (2000-2015).

Candidate Statement

High-energy astrophysics remains a major worldwide activity with fantastic discoveries appearing weekly from multiple space-based and ground-based observatories. I will work to ensure that these discoveries are strongly represented at HEAD, AAS, APS, and other meetings, so that they will be appreciated broadly across astronomy and physics. HEAD meetings, in particular, need to remain high-profile, attractive events in order to maintain the scientific vitality of our field, support future mission proposals, and boost the profiles of our outstanding young researchers seeking long-term positions. I will also ensure that the HEAD Prizes highlight some of our community's best work, so that it gets the highest visibility possible. HEAD activities must continue to broaden into new areas and take full advantage of the exponential growth of information technology that continues to transform our world radically at an accelerating rate; I have interacted substantially with some relevant communities here. For example, LSST and other leading deep-wide-fast surveys have great complementarity with HEAD missions, and their ability to survey massive cosmic volumes for rare events will let them address scientific topics that have traditionally fallen into the domain of high-energy astrophysics. Working with the Executive Committee, I will as appropriate promote HEAD's great achievements to those funding our scientific/outreach endeavors and the press.
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John Kovac


Biography

Affiliations

Center for Research Excellence in Space Science and Technology, Goddard Space Flight Center

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Observational Cosmology, particularly Cosmic Microwave Background, Radio Astronomy

Written Biography

Dr. John M. Kovac is Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Harvard University. His cosmology research focuses on observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) to test models of early-universe cosmology and to probe the nature of dark matter, dark energy, and neutrino physics. His research over the past two decades has involved the design, deployment, and operation of nine generations of CMB telescopes. In 2002 his PhD work, with John Carlstrom on the DASI project, included the first detection of polarization of the CMB. He currently co-leads the BICEP and Keck Array series of experiments and is active in organizing community-wide planning for "Stage-4" CMB surveys of the next decade.

Candidate Statement

High energy astrophysics connections to frontiers in fundamental physics and cosmology have grown ever stronger in recent years. Exciting observational progress on many fronts has focused the attention of an expanding community on the universe as the best laboratory for beyond-standard-model physics. Frontiers span a huge variety of observational approaches complementary to traditional high energy missions, among them direct radio imaging of event horizon-scale phenomena, cosmological surveys that probe neutrino physics and the particle nature of dark matter, CMB observations of cluster physics and high energy physics in the very early universe. If elected to the committee I hope to bring a helpful perspective as an observational cosmologist and instrumentationalist, and to help continue to advance the goals of the Division and the health of high energy astrophysics as a diverse and vibrant field that continues to bear on the most fundamental of questions accessible to astronomy.
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Laura Lopez


Biography

Degrees and Education

  • SB, Physics, MIT, 2004
  • MS, Astronomy & Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz 2007
  • PhD, Astronomy & Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz, 2011 (PhD Advisor: Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz)

Affiliations

The Ohio State University

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

Supernova Remnants, Compact Objects, the Interstellar Medium, X-ray and Gamma-ray Observations

Professional Experience and Positions

  • NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow and Pappalardo Fellow in Physics, MIT, 2011-2014
  • NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, 2014-2015
  • Assistant Professor of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 2015-Present

Candidate Statement

As a HEAD executive committee member, I will promote the exciting research across high-energy astrophysics as well as encourage broadened participation and engagement from the wider astronomy community. I will champion the continued and remarkable contributions of existing observing facilities (e.g., Chandra, XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, Swift, Fermi, Veritas, HESS, LIGO), and I will publicize the benefits and science cases of future missions (e.g., Astro-H, eROSITA, X-ray polarimeters). Furthermore, I will aim to build stronger ties between high-energy observers and theorists through dedicated topical sessions and discussions at meetings. Finally, as a junior member of the HEAD EC, I will serve to get early career researchers excited about and involved with HEAD, helping to ensure the longterm relevance and success of the division.
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Deirdre Shoemaker


Biography

Affiliations

Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

general relativity, gravitational waves, numerical relativity

Written Biography

Deirdre Shoemaker investigates the astrophysics of binary black hole systems by solving the equations of Einstein's theory of general relativity, using numerical simulations to predict the characteristics of the gravitational waves emitted. Shoemaker received her bachelor's degree in physics in 1994 from Penn State and her doctoral degree in physics in 1999 from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State and Cornell University before joining the physics faculty at Penn State in 2004. In 2008 she joined the physics faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology and was promoted to associate professor in 2011. She is the Director of Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, the Chair of the Topical Group on Gravitation for the APS, and was named fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014.

Candidate Statement

Members of HEAD research a wide variety of phenomena in astronomy and astrophysics, covering "high energy events, particles, quanta, relativistic gravitational fields, and related phenomena in the astrophysical universe."  As gravitational wave detectors move into their observational era, HEAD has an exciting opportunity to represent and promote the results from multi-messenger astronomy that may be forthcoming. As a member of the HEAD executive committee, I would work toward representing the gravitational wave astronomy community, many of whom are already members of HEAD, and encourage a greater participation.
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