The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) is a community that is based on our shared interests and desire to work in a field about which we are all passionate. Several areas are important to keep in mind in order to keep the community strong, and to continue advancing our field and our planetary goals. These include the Decadal Survey, communications with the public and Congress, and our relationship with our parent organization, the American Astronomical Society (AAS). I plan to direct my efforts toward these issues.
On our community's horizon is the upcoming Decadal Survey. As we have learned over the last two decades, this document is critical for moving forward with our missions and scientific goals. The DPS can help to suggest guidelines/inputs for the next Survey, and coordinate community-based events to develop white papers and plans. Our field includes a wide range of targets and processes that we want to address; the DPS should encourage balance in the next Survey.
We must be aware of the relationship of the DPS within the AAS. Especially with regard to the organization's Congressional visits, we want and need to maintain an appropriate balance between the agendas of astronomy and planetary science.
Another topic of importance to me is that of education/outreach. We have all been exposed to information addressing the utility of inclusiveness in our community -- the value that well-roundedness brings to our work and discussions. The DPS plays a critical role, in providing opportunities and material for all of us interested in communicating with the public, in order to inspire students and make the future planetary science community as reflective as possible of the larger population, for the benefit of our community and science. It should continue to do so, regardless of changes in NASA's education/outreach policies. Of course, "outreach" extends to communications with our friends in Congress, and this is a critical element of communication for us. The DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee does a great job of organizing Capitol Hill visits and mustering letters when needed during critical times.
During my career thus far in planetary science, I have supported myself largely on grants and mission work and have been involved in the Galileo, Cassini and LRO missions. I have leadership experience from Cassini mission work, as well as heading research and proposal teams, leading the TREX SSERVI team and co-leading the Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds group. It would be an honor for me to serve as DPS vice-chair.