LAD 2017 Election

Laboratory Astrophysics Division Ballot 2017 - Voting Ends on 30 May 2017 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time Zone)

Current time: Tuesday, 11 December 2018, 05:37:25 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

Voting opened: Tuesday, 2 May 2017, 12:00:01 am EDT (-04:00 GMT)
Voting closed: Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 11:59:59 pm EDT (-04:00 GMT)

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Vice-Chair

Description: 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. With the advice and consent of the Committee, the Vice-Chair shall select the Program Committee and, with the assistance of the selected Program Committee, be responsible for organizing the scientific programs of the Division. The Chair shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Program Committee.
Term Elected For: Two years as Vice-Chair, then two years as Chair, and finally two years as Past-Chair
Currently Serving: Randall Smith

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Murthy S. Gudipati


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Principal Scientist

Degrees and Education

Indian Institute of Science, 1987

Affiliations

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Evolution of interstellar, protoplanetary, cometary, and outer solar system ice and organics (including non-water ice)
  • Astrobiology
  • Exoplanet atmospheric chemistry
  • Condensed-phase optical and mass spectroscopy
  • Planetary instrumentation
  • Services, Roles, and Activities

    Committe Member, Working Group of Laboratory Astrophysics (WGLA) 2008-2012. I have been actively involved with LAD since its inception as WGLA (since 2008) as well as the Astrochemistry Division of ACS and organized several meetings with both of these organizations.

    Professional Experience and Positions

  • Member of Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC) and Local Organizing Committee (LOC)
  • Member of several DPS (Division of Planetary Sciences) and EPSC (European Planetary Society) meetings
  • Conducted several DPS/LAD joint Sessions at DPS meetings and worked as a Liaison between DPS and LAD
  • Organized several International Workshops such as the "Science of Solar System Ices" and "How Primitive are Comets".
  • Candidate Statement

    Cryogenic ice and PAH chemistry and spectroscopy has been my laboratory research focus for over two decades. My work started with astrophysical applications (interstellar and dense molecular clouds) and expanded into planetary sciences (outer solar system icy bodies, comets, KBOs, etc), including exoplanet research. Astrobiology is another mainstream research area that I pursue.

    I see that LAD has a unique place and role to play in the rapidly expanding fields of Space Sciences. LAD needs to work with Astronomy on one side and Planetary Sciences on the other. I would work with DPS (which is also a subdivision of AAS, just like LAD) and the four other subdivisions of AAS to ensure that we leverage on mutually complementary expertise. This includes combined annual meetings once every few years.

    I will work towards integrating LAD into the emerging areas such as on Exoplanets and cross-discipline research such as Space Instrumentation. Laboratory researchers are best suited to develop future instrumentation needed for Planetary and Astronomical missions. These include in-situ instrumentation for robotic and human space missions to Mars, comets, asteroids, and outer solar system; remote-sensing exoplanetary atmospheres several light-years away; and future ground- and space-based telescopes such as ALMA and JWST.

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    Phillip Stancil


    Biography

    Professional Title/Position

    Professor

    Degrees and Education

    Old Dominion University, 1994

    Affiliations

    University of Georgia

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    The focus of my work is the application of atomic, molecular, and surface physics to various astrophysical and atmospheric environments. We perform computations of atomic and molecular collision processes including collisional excitation, photodissociation, photodetachment, charge transfer, radiative association, and gas-grain interactions. These processes are relevant in the general interstellar medium, the early Universe, and stellar and planetary atmospheres. In particular, we use laboratory astrophysics data, some computed in our group, to model the recombination era, supernova remnants and ejecta, photodissociation regions, and cometary atmospheres. I am also interested in electronic structure calculations of small molecules and atoms in strong magnetic fields.

    Services, Roles, and Activities

    Laboratory Astrophysics Division, 2014

    Professional Experience and Positions

  • Professor of Physics, UGA, 2000-present
  • Wigner Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1996-1999
  • Postdocotoral Fellow, UNLV, 1994-1996
  • Predoctoral Fellow, SAO, 1992-1994
  • Chair, SouthEast Laboratory Astrophysics Community (SELAC), 2012-present
  • Secretary, SELAC, 2003-2008
  • Chair, IAU Commission 14, Working Group 3, Collision Processes, 2007-2009, co-chair, 1999-2016
  • NASA Proposal Review Panel Chair, 2016, 2008, 2007; reviewer 2015, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001
  • NSF proposal reviewer 2016, 2011, 2010, 2009.
  • Candidate Statement

    The majority of information about the Universe outside of Earth's atmosphere is delivered to us primarily by photons, but also by cosmic rays, neutrinos, meteorites, etc. These photons are generated and/or modified by atomic, molecular, and/or surface processes. Our understanding of the Universe, therefore, is largely dependent on our knowledge of these and other fundamental, microscopic processes. Fortunately, these processes may be studied on the Earth - by experiment, theory, or computation - and used to interpret, analyze, and/or model astronomical observations. The subject of Laboratory Astrophysics has played a critical role in astronomy from the moment an astronomer recorded the first spectrum. The importance of laboratory astrophysics can only continue to grow with advances in detector resolution and sensitivity. It is therefore essential to not only maintain the health of the current laboratory astrophysics enterprise, but to expand it into other relevant areas, to draw in younger researchers, and to promote exciting progress. The LAD should be engaged on all of these tasks, besides organizing our annual meeting. Further, the LAD may consider other roles which aid laboratory astrophysicists, assist with dissemination of laboratory astrophysics data and/or products, identify future laboratory astrophysics needs, and consult with funding agency representatives. Since receiving my Ph.D. in 1994, I have been engaged in nearly all of these aspects and will bring this background into my role as an LAD officer, if elected.

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    Member-at-Large (Ices)

    Description: The Members-at-Large sit on the Committee of the Division which has general charge of the affairs of the Division
    Term Elected For: 3 years
    Currently Serving:

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    Ella M. Sciamma O’Brien


    Biography

    Professional Title/Position

    Research Scientist

    Degrees and Education

    University of Texas (UT) at Austin, 2007

    Affiliations

    NASA Ames Research Center / BAERI

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Planetary science (laboratory simulation of atmospheric chemistry, aerosol and ice production and chemistry)
  • Astrophysics (laboratory simulation of interstellar and circumstellar environments at cold temperatures (50-150K) both in the gas and solid (aerosol+ice) phases)
  • Plasma physics (as an energy source for the chemistry between molecular precursors relevant to planetary, interstellar and circumstellar environments, as well as the ionization of molecules of interest)
  • Diagnostic tools for in situ and ex situ analyses of gas and solid phase products: mass spectrometry, plasma emission spectroscopy, cavity ring down spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure spectroscopy, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, ellipsometry, optical constant determination
  • Professional Experience and Positions

    Editor of the AstroPAH newsletter, which was created in 2013 to bridge the gap in communication between scientists working on different aspects of the PAH model (laboratory, theory, astronomical observation) and in different fields (Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, …), to promote further developments.

    Candidate Statement

    I am honored to be nominated as Member-at-Large for the Laboratory Astrophysics Division of AAS. After receiving my PhD in plasma physics from UT Austin in 2007, where I developed plasma emission spectroscopy diagnostic tools to characterize an electric propulsion system for future crewed missions to Mars, I redirected my focus to planetary science. I am now using my plasma physics expertise to simulate the complex organic chemistry in Titan’s atmosphere by plasma discharge in N2-CH4-based mixtures. I have been characterizing the gas and solid phases of the Titan Haze Simulation experiment at the NASA Ames COSmIC facility since 2011. As a member of the Astrophysics and Astrochemistry Laboratory at NASA Ames, I have expanded my scientific interest to the carbon chemistry and dust formation in the interstellar medium (that can also be simulated in the COSmIC chamber), and I have started collaborating with Ames laboratories studying ices, both in the Astrophysics and Earth division. As a Member-at-Large, I would like to encourage and promote pluridisciplinary collaborations, which in my opinion is the essence and the strength of Laboratory Astrophysics. I hope to achieve that goal by enabling a better communication between the many fields that compose our division.

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    Geoffrey A. Blake


    Biography

    Professional Title/Position

    Professor of Cosmochemistry & Planetary Science, Professor of Chemistry

    Degrees and Education

    California Institute of Technology, 1987

    Affiliations

    California Institute of Technology

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Star and planet formation
  • Molecular astrophysics
  • TeraHertz Time Domain Spectroscopy (THz TDS) of astrophysical analog materials
  • Optical-THz pump-probe studies of liquids, ices, and materials used in solar energy conversion
  • Services, Roles, and Activities

  • Full AAS/LAD Member
  • Professional Experience and Positions

    Member and Chair, various observatory Time Allocation Committees and NASA/NSF Peer Review Panels, including those tied to Laboratory Astrophysics

    Candidate Statement

    As the mentor of a group of students and postdoctoral fellows carrying out both astronomical observations and supporting research in the laboratory astrophysics of molecules and molecular ices, I see two key roles for an official position within the Laboratory Astrophysics Division - especially in light of the upcoming Decadal Survey activities. On the one hand, it is critical to look forward and help to identify the key experimental and theoretical work to undertake in support of ongoing and new observational activities. This involves a close coordination of LAD work with the broader AAS membership. Second, it will be essential to continue to effectively inform the AAS and federal agencies of the key role that laboratory astrophysics plays in the fullest utilization of B$+ astronomical facilities. Stable, long term support is critical, especially to our junior-most colleagues; and I expect to be involved in both LAD/AAS policy work and to continue my ongoing roles in science assessment in service of NASA and NSF peer-reviewed programs.

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    Member-at-Large (Nuclear)

    Description: The Members-at-Large sit on the Committee of the Division which has general charge of the affairs of the Division
    Term Elected For: 3 years
    Currently Serving:

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    Artemis Spyrou


    Biography

    Professional Title/Position

    Associate Professor - Associate Director for Education and Outreach

    Degrees and Education

    National Technical University of Athens, 2007

    Affiliations

    Michigan State University

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Nuclear astrophysics
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Nuclear structure and reactions for astrophysics
  • Experimental techniques for astrophysics
  • Professional Experience and Positions

  • Member of advisory committee for the NSF center: Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics – Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE)
  • Member of Program Committee, American Physical Society, Division of Nuclear Physics, 2014-2015
  • Member of Mentoring Award Committee American Physical Society, Division of Nuclear Physics, 2016-2017
  • Member of the User Organization Committee for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, 2014-2016
  • Member of Director’s Advisory Committee, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams
  • International Advisory Committee, p process: present status and outlook, Istanbul, 2011
  • LOC, American Physical Society, Division of Nuclear Physics Fall meeting, 2011
  • LOC, Nuclear Astrophysics Town Meeting, Detroit, 2012
  • Co-Organizer: p-process workshop, Cyprus, 2015
  • LOC, Forging Connections: From Nuclei to the Cosmic Web, East Lansing, MI, 2017
  • International Advisory Committee, Nuclear Physics in Astrophysics 8, Italy, 2017
  • Organizing Committee, p-process workshop, Notre Dame, IN, 2017
  • Reviewer for NSF, site visit panel
  • Reviewer for Nuclear Instruments and Methods A & B, Nuclear Physics A, Physical Review C, Physics Letters B, European Journal A
  • Candidate Statement

    I believe that the Laboratory Astrophysics Division of AAS is at a unique position to bring together experts from different fields to answer some of the most important questions about stellar phenomena. It is the perfect forum for making connections between these fields, exchanging ideas, and understanding each other’s language. My own field of research is Nuclear Astrophysics, which is by default interdisciplinary. I am a member of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics – Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE). Through JINA-CEE, I have experienced first-hand the power of building bridges between different communities, and creating in the end a single community that includes observers, astrophysics modelers, nuclear experimentalists, and nuclear theorists. Because of my involvement with JINA-CEE I have a better appreciation of the importance of making connections, and I’d like to build on these experiences to strengthen the l inks between LAD and the nuclear astrophysics community. In particular, on the nuclear physics side, the construction of the next generation facility, the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), is underway. FRIB will offer exciting opportunities for new measurements, producing isotopes that are currently beyond our reach, and which participate directly in nucleosynthesis processes. I believe that serving on this committee I can help to build stronger connections between the nuclear astrophysics community and LAD, so that we can all work together to better understand our Universe.

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    Moshe Gai


    Biography

    Professional Title/Position

    Professor

    Degrees and Education

    SUNY at Stony Brook, 1980

    Affiliations

    University of Connecticut

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    Nuclear Astrophysics: Stellar Evolution, Oxygen Formation in Helium Burning, The Standard Model of the Sun and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (the Primordial 7Li Problem)

    Candidate Statement

    Nuclear Astrophysics has matured to become a precision science that allows the use of stars (like our sun) to test fundamental aspects of Physics (like neutrino masses). However, many open questions remain unsolved not the least of which is the rate of oxygen formation during stellar helium burning; a problem designated by Willie Fowler in his 1984 Nobel speech as of "utmost importance" which unfortunately is still unresolved today. New measurements in new facilities such as underground accelerator based facilities and high intensity gamma-ray facilities, are promising to tackle some of these open questions. The field is poised for further developments with the use of these new tools to tackle some of these unsolved problems.

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