HEAD 2017 Election

Please vote for one of the candidates for Vice Chair (to replace Rob Petre, the current Vice Chair who will become the HEAD Chair in January 2018), and up to 2 candidates for membership on the HEAD executive committee (to replace Liz Hays and Colleen Wilson-Hodge, whose terms are ending). The HEAD Vice Chair serves for two years as Vice Chair, then serves as Chair for 2 years following their service as Vice-Chair, and then will serve as Past Chair for another 2 years. HEAD executive committee members serve 3-year terms. Details regarding the duties of Vice Chair and HEAD committee members can be found in the HEAD Bylaws (https://head.aas.org/bylaws)

Instructions:

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Current time: Tuesday, 11 December 2018, 06:25:01 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

Voting opened: Friday, 10 November 2017, 12:01:00 am EST (-05:00 GMT)
Voting closed: Friday, 15 December 2017, 11:59:59 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

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HEAD Vice-Chair

Description:

The Vice-Chair of the HEAD is one of the four officers of the Division. Along with the other officers and the Committee Members, the Vice-Chair participates in monthly HEAD telecons and in an annual Division meeting to discuss particular matters of concern to the Division, and to help organize meetings of the Division as well as provide input on the award of the Divisional prizes. Specific duties of the Vice-Chair include acting for the Chair at the Chair's request, and acting for the Chair in the event that the Chair is incapacitated. The Vice-Chair serves for a term of 2 years; at the end of one term the Vice-Chair automatically becomes Chair for a term of two years, followed by service as Past Chair for two years.

Term Elected For: January 2018 - January 2020
Currently Serving: Rob Petre

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Fiona Harrison


Biography

Degrees and Education

PhD, Physics, University of California, Berkeley (1993)

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Galactic binaries
  • AGN
  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • Ultraluminous X-ray Sources
  • Instrumentation

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology
  • Chair, NAS Space Studies Board
  • President, APS Division of Astrophysics

Candidate Statement

http://www.srl.caltech.edu/personnel/fiona/

The opening up of the gravitational wave window, and the recent detection of an electromagnetic counterpart of a LIGO-detected binary neutron star merger presents tremendous opportunities for the HEAD community. There are many connections to topics of central interest to high-energy astrophysics: the nature of short gamma-ray bursts, relativistic outflows, nucleosynthesis, black hole binary formation and evolution. This creates an opportunity to expand our membership and enliven scientific meetings. I would plan to work with the executive committee to make stronger scientific connections to this nascent field. Looking forward, the next decadal survey will begin formulation in the next year. Efforts are already underway to prepare for the survey, and in particular our community needs to articulate the central importance of high energy astrophysics to modern astronomy.

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Dieter Hartmann


Biography

Degrees and Education

PhD, Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz (1989)

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Extragalactic Background Light
  • Gamma-ray Bursts
  • Active galaxies
  • Cosmic star formation

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Professor, Clemson University
  • Chair of Swift Users Group
  • Member, Fermi Users Group
  • ApJ Scientific Editor
  • JSARA Editorial Board
  • AAS E-Book Editorial Board

Candidate Statement

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dieter_Hartmann2

High energy astrophysics has a rich history of discoveries, fundamental observations of objects whose power output lies in the transition region from thermal to non-thermal astrophysics. With the advent of multi-messenger approaches this road of exploration is bound to continue into an exciting new era. But good things are more likely to happen to the prepared, and the HEAD Executive Committee plays an important role in ensuring continued success in the development of your research fields. I view it as crucial that the HEAD does not limit its perspective to HE, but actively engages with all other branches of modern astrophysics as an integral and crucial part of the new multi-wavelength, multi-messenger paradigm. We do live in the golden age of astronomy, although we all wish for much more financial support to do all those great experiments we dream about. But even in times of flat budgets, it is important to create new opportunities for the next generation of researchers. Collaboration between federal agencies such as DOE, NASA and NSF is crucial for creating advanced instrumental landscapes needed to study frontiers of the Universe in all their beautiful and interconnected facets, while ensuring broad community access to mid-class instruments that allow training and development of the workforce. Time-domain astronomy offers a rich pallet of transient events that can only be revealed and understood with a wide-ranging global portfolio of ground- and space-based observatories. Our graduate students should be trained as multi-mission, multi-wavelength, multi-messenger professionals, and must embrace the role of large teams in addition to the creativity individual minds bring to the table. As a member of the AAS HEAD leadership team, my focus is on promotion of HE within the broader astronomy community, with the creation of opportunities for career development for colleagues at institutions across the nation, and I will pay attention to education and public outreach. I have a background in nuclear astrophysics and gamma-ray astrophysics, supernovae, gamma-ray bursts and cosmic chemical evolution in particular. I have used optical telescopes (1m - 4m class) and used data from INTEGRAL, Swift, Fermi and others. I serve our community on User Groups of space missions, as a Science Editor for the AAS ApJ, and have been invited to the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee at the NSF. My professional life is based on a balanced mix of research, teaching and service.

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HEAD Executive Committee Member

Description:

The Executive Committee of the Division consists of the four officers of the Division, The Past Chair of the Division, and six Committee Members. 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 AAS Board. Along with the officers, the Committee Members participate in monthly telecons and in an annual Division meeting to discuss particular matters of concern to the Division, and to help organize meetings of the Division as well as provide input on the award of Divisional prizes. Committee Members serve for a term of three years.

Term Elected For: January 2018 - January 2021
Currently Serving:
  • Liz Hays
  • Colleen Wilson-Hodge
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    Ryan Hickox


    Biography

    Degrees and Education

    PhD, Astronomy, Harvard University (2008)

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    • Active galactic nuclei
    • Galaxy evolution
    • Large-scale structure
    • The cosmic X-ray background
    • X-ray binary stars

    Professional Experience and Positions

    Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College

    Candidate Statement

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~hickox/

    The HEAD, and the broader AAS, are extraordinarily important to high-energy astrophysics as they advocate our common interests and bring us together as a community. I have been a member of the HEAD for over a decade and, and would be excited by the opportunity to give back to the Division as a member of the Executive Committee.

    High-energy astronomers are hugely fortunate to have achieved a remarkably rapid pace of discovery, and we have an exciting future ahead. Throughout my career I have made extensive use of data from Chandra, XMM, Suzaku, NuSTAR, and other high-energy missions, and as a member of the Science and Technology Definition Team for the NASA Lynx concept mission, I have been actively exploring the capabilities of the next generation of observatories. To ensure the success of our field going forward, we must work diligently to secure the best possible resources for future missions, maintain strong relationships with the broader astronomical community and with the public, and ensure equal opportunities and a supportive environment for all members of the field.

    As a member of the HEAD Executive Committee, I would look forward to the opportunity to move high-energy astrophysics forward through organization of HEAD meetings and AAS sessions, recognizing exceptional achievements through HEAD prizes, and serving as a representative of our field as we move into an exciting and challenging future.

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    Gabriela Gonzalez


    Biography

    Degrees and Education

    PhD, Syracuse (1995)

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    Gravitational waves

    Professional Experience and Positions

    • Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University
    • Spokesperson, LIGO Scientific Collaboration

    Candidate Statement

    http://www.phys.lsu.edu/faculty/gonzalez/

    I am a physicist by training, working for decades with many colleagues to build the LIGO instruments and make them sensitive enough to gravitational waves. The elusive signals were first detected in September 2015 from the merger of black holes, and more recently in August 2017 from the merger of neutron stars, with spectacular results from follow up detections in the rainbow of electromagnetic waves of many different wavelengths, from gamma-rays to radio. High Energy Astrophysics is at the core of gravitational wave astronomy, and if honored with election in the HEAD Executive Committee, I'll work hard on strengthening the ties between the physics and instrumental community and the observational and theoretical astrophysicists. I will also focus on increasing the HEAD outreach activities and helping the career of young scientists, especially women and minorities, not only to increase the talent pool in the field, but also highlighting the insertion of scientists in many STEM fields in the US and abroad.

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    Laura Brenneman


    Biography

    Degrees and Education

    PhD, University of Maryland, College Park (2007)

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    • Black hole spin
    • accretion and outflows
    • angular momentum and energy transport in AGN
    • AGN absorption; strong gravity

    Professional Experience and Positions

    • Astrophysicist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    • Science and In-flight Calibration Lead for Arcus

    Candidate Statement

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Laura_Brenneman

    High-energy astrophysics is facing a crisis: while every other energy regime will have a new, major observatory facilitating breakthrough discoveries in and beyond the next decade, there is a lack of U.S.-led, large high-energy missions in the landscape. This is a destabilizing force for the HEA community. Filling in this gap in the mission timeline requires a concerted push in two areas: (1) focusing community support and expertise in the design of new HEA missions, and (2) garnering support for HEA science through synergistic engagement with the rest of the astronomical community and through outreach efforts with the public at large. As a HEAD EC member, I will bring a vast array of mission-related leadership experience to the committee, encompassing simulation and calibration work, science planning, operations organization and oversight on missions ranging from SMEXs to MIDEXs, Probes and Flagship-class observatories. I have a particular interest in fostering the development of projects that promote multi-wavelength study (e.g., AGN physics). I will also work to ensure that HEA science and missions receive improved exposure with the public and members of Congress, both through my own ongoing outreach efforts and by prioritizing similar activities on a Division-wide scale.

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    Jack Hewitt


    Biography

    Degrees and Education

    Ph.D. Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University (2009)

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    • TeV and Gamma-ray astrophysics
    • Multi-messenger astrophysics
    • Supernova remnants
    • Pulsar wind nebulae

    Professional Experience and Positions

    Assistant Professor of Physics, University of North Florida

    Candidate Statement

    http://www.unf.edu/coas/physics/Faculty___Staff.aspx

    With the start of another decadal review process, the excellent science potential of high-energy astrophysics must not be overlooked by the larger astronomy community. I will work to ensure that the accomplishments of HEAD members are considered for recognition beyond just the high-energy community. As a member of the Fermi-LAT and IceCube-Gen2 collaborations, I recognize how crucial the next years will be for the future of our community. The Executive Committee must continue to organize excellent scientific meetings and to broaden HEAD membership in this era of multi-messenger astronomy. As a faculty member at a public undergraduate institution, I have a unique perspective on the accessibility of HEAD meetings. I will promote policies to keep meetings affordable, such as wider use of Early Career Registration and childcare waivers.

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    Francesca Civano


    Biography

    Degrees and Education

    PhD, Astrophysics, Alma Mater Studiorum-UniversitaÕ degli Studi di Bologna, Italy

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    • High redshift AGN
    • AGN population studies
    • Surveys
    • Star-formation
    • BH accretion (high and low)

    Professional Experience and Positions

    • Astrophysicist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    • Chandra X-ray Center Deputy Data Processing Manager

    Candidate Statement

    https://francesca.civano.it/cv/

    X-ray astronomy has been my passion and my expertise since I was an undergrad. I truly believe a continuity in X-ray missions is needed for great discoveries as shown by the recent ground breaking results connected with GW. I will make sure that the division is fully invested in promoting and supporting the development of future facilities, both large and small scale ones, by organizing meetings, workshops and even hands-on data sessions in the next years. Multiple future X-ray missions are needed both to complement the planned observatories in other wavebands and to continue addressing the scientific questions that can be exclusively investigated with hard X-rays. As a HEAD Executive Committee member, I would also focus on representing and supporting the young members of the division, listening to their needs with the goal of promoting X-ray astronomy and increasing the availability of permanent jobs.

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    Alexander van der Horst


    Biography

    Degrees and Education

    PhD, Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam (2007)

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    • Gamma-Ray Bursts
    • Magnetars
    • X-Ray Binaries
    • Tidal Disruption Events
    • Radio Astronomy
    • Gamma-ray Astronomy
    • Multiwavelength Modeling

    Professional Experience and Positions

    • Assistant Professor, Physics, the George Washington University
    • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Physics Department, George Washington University

    Candidate Statement

    https://expert.gwu.edu/display/ajvanderhorst

    High-energy astrophysics is an extremely exciting and quickly developing field, transitioning from multi-wavelength to multi-messenger astrophysics, and entering a new era of time-domain astrophysics. These developments bring fantastic opportunities, but they also come with great challenges. These challenges include the continued support for high-energy space missions, the enormous amounts of data generated by current and future ground-based observatories, the computational resources available for data analysis and simulations, and the coordination of efforts between 'traditional' astrophysicists and their multi-messenger partners. The AAS High-Energy Astrophysics Division, and in particular its Executive Council, should play a leading role in focusing the efforts of the high-energy astrophysics community and establishing collaborations between groups who want to face these challenges.

    As a HEAD Executive Council member I will strive to enable and facilitate such efforts and collaborations, at HEAD meetings and AAS HEAD sessions, but also outside these venues. However, talking to each other is not enough, so I will also aim for a better communication between the high-energy astrophysics community and other astronomy communities. It should be made clear that certain resources that are crucial for our science are beneficial for all areas of astronomy, for instance the infrastructure for time-domain astrophysics and computational resources to handle big data. Finally, we should communicate well all the exciting developments to the world outside of the astronomy community. I feel that my research in multi-wavelength observations and modeling of high-energy transient sources, my involvement in several space-based missions (e.g. former member of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor team) and ground-based observatories (e.g. Project Scientist for OCTOCAM on the Gemini Observatory, member of the Low Frequency Array Transients Key Project), and my public outreach efforts for a wide variety of audiences, provide a very suitable background from which I can work to achieve these goals.

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    Edmund Hodges-Kluck


    Biography

    Degrees and Education

    PhD, Astrophysics, University of Maryland, College Park (2011)

    Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

    • Galactic haloes
    • Adio galaxies
    • Active galactic nuclei
    • Gas flows in galactic nuclei
    • Black holes

    Professional Experience and Positions

    Assistant Research Scientist, University of Michigan

    Candidate Statement

    https://lsa.umich.edu/astro/people/research-scientists-and-postdocs/hodgeskl.html

    High energy astrophysics is necessary to understand almost all major research topics in astronomy, from the formation of galaxies to the formation of habitable planets, and high energy missions will be needed to understand the panoply of transients detected by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, gravitational wave observatories, and other upcoming surveys. If elected to the HEAD Executive Committee, I would work to build community support for proposed and upcoming high energy observatories ahead of and during the next Decadal Review, through HEAD sessions at AAS meetings, informational media for departments and institutes, and facilitating data access/products for non-HEAD astronomers. In addition to observatories, intellectual and background diversity is important for the health of the high energy community. If elected, I will support HEAD policies that make it easier for students and researchers from institutes with few high energy personnel to attend meetings and to connect with larger high energy nerve centers and observatories, partially through scholarships either to HEAD/AAS meetings or observatory workshops. Finally, working with the HEAD press office, I would advocate the creation, maintenance, and dissemination of an opt-in list of active HEAD members who are willing to speak with the press about recent discoveries in their areas of expertise, which may lead to more high energy press releases getting picked up.

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