HEAD 2018 Election

The HEAD 2018 election is for the following positions:

  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Executive Committee
Instructions:

The 2018 election is now open, and will close on 28 December 2018 at 11:59 pm.

To vote, you will need your AAS member login ID (which defaults to your membership number), and your password. If you cannot remember your username, contact membership@aas.org, or call 202-328-2010 and press 4 to reach our membership department, or go to members.aas.org and click the "forgot my username" link.

Secretary (vote for one):

  • Michael Corcoran

Treasurer (vote for one):

  • Eileen Meyer
  • Frits Paerels

Executive Committe Member (vote for two):

  • Wen-fai Fong
  • C. Michelle Hui
  • Erin Kara
  • Marcos Santander
  • Alexander J. van der Horst

Position statements for each of the candidates follow.

Current time: Tuesday, 11 December 2018, 05:45:53 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

Voting opened: Monday, 26 November 2018, 12:00:00 am EST (-05:00 GMT)
Voting closed: Friday, 28 December 2018, 11:59:00 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

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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 bylaws. 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 2019 - January 2021
Currently Serving: Michael Corcoran

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Michael Corcoran


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Senior Research Scientist

Degrees and Education

University of Pennsylvania (1988)

Affiliations

The Catholic University of America & NASA/GSFC

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • X-ray emission from massive stars and colliding wind binaries

Services, Roles, and Activities

  • HEAD Secretary (2016-2019)

Professional Experience and Positions

I started a career in high-energy astrophysics as an NRC postdoc with the X-ray group at GSFC working with Dr. J. Swank. During this time I worked on the BBXRT/Astro-1 mission, a particularly exciting experience. In 1991, I joined the ROSAT Guest Observer Facility at GSFC as lead archive scientist, and in 1993, joined the HEASARC where I've been ever since. I serve as the manager of the HEASARC Calibration Database and HEASARC archive scientist for the Fermi mission, and now help support the NICER Guest Observer facility.

Candidate Statement

The Secretary for the High Energy Astrophysics Division is responsible for organizing various HEAD activities (especially meetings of the executive committee, and general divisional meetings). As I've found during my service for the past three years, the most important responsibility of HEAD secretary is to communicate HEAD activities to the divisional membership, to make sure the membership is aware of developments important to the High Energy community, and help the Executive Committee understand questions and concerns that the community may have. As HEAD secretary I would continue to work to promote communication between various HEA programs and missions, to promote 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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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 bylaws 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 Board of Trustees. 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 2019 - January 2021
Currently Serving: Keith Arnaud

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Eileen Meyer


Biography

Degrees and Education

PhD, Physics, Rice University (2012)

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Radio Galaxies
  • Blazars
  • Tidal Disruption Events
  • Extragalactic Background Light
  • High-Energy Observations of Planets
  • High-Precision Proper Motions Techniques

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Associate Member, VERITAS Collaboration
  • Member of Science Team for AMEGO, Lynx, and AXIS missions

Candidate Statement

The High Energy Astrophysics Division of the AAS is a vital organization for the advancement of research in high-energy particles and events and extreme events in the Universe. I see our role as not only to advocate for the interests of the high-energy community, but also to increase our connections with other fields within and without Astrophysics. With the advent of neutrino and gravitational wave detectors, it is an exciting time to be doing high-energy astrophysics. As an observational astronomer at a minority-serving institution, I am particularly interested in ways that our community can continue to expand our outreach efforts to underserved communities and improve access to resources and career opportunities for early-career scientists through our regular meetings.

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Frits Paerels


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Professor of Astronomy

Degrees and Education

Utrecht University (1987)

Affiliations

Columbia University

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • High Energy Astrophysics
  • Compact Objects
  • The Diffuse Intergalactic Medium
  • X-ray spectroscopy
  • Instrumentation

Services, Roles, and Activities

  • HEAD Executive Committee member, 2010-2013

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Member of the XMM-RGS and Chandra LETGS instrument teams
  • Member of the HTXS, Constellation-X, IXO, and Lynx STDT's
  • Member of the Arcus team
  • Member of the Hitomi Scientific Advisors Group

Candidate Statement

Three things will be very important to the continued success and vitality of high energy astrophysics in the coming years: a closer integration of HEA into the rest of astrophysics, a long term perspective that includes an approved observatory-class mission, and a succession of smaller missions to provide discovery, excitement, and continuity. I have been, and will continue, to work on each of these, and I will use the position in HEAD to advance them.

A significant fraction of my time is spent with students, graduate and undergraduate, who invariably are dazzled by what we do, and very eager to get involved in our research. So in addition to working on improving conditions for all of us professionals in HEA, I also want to actively work on translating the excitement and curiosity of the younger generation into opportunities for them to join us and contribute to scientific excitement and progress.

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HEAD Executive Committee Member

Description: The Committee of the Division includes six Committee Members in addition to the Officers of the Committee. 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 Board of Trustees 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 2019 - January 2021
Currently Serving:
  • Niel Brandt
  • Laura Lopez
  • Neil Cornish
  • Kristin Madsen
  • Gabriela Gonzalez
  • Laura Brenneman

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C. Michelle Hui


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Research Astrophysicist

Degrees and Education

University of Utah, Physics (2011)

Affiliations

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • Gamma-ray transients
  • TeV astronomy

Professional Experience and Positions

    >Multi-wavelength / Multi-messenger coordinator for the HAWC collaboration

Candidate Statement

My background and current research is focused on high-energy astrophysics using both space-based and ground-based gamma-ray observatories (Fermi GBM and LAT, VERITAS, and HAWC). In this decade, there have been numerous discoveries in the field of gamma-ray astronomy, sometimes without clear counterparts in other wavelengths. With the recent discoveries of gravitational wave and neutrino along with electromagnetic signals from astrophysical sources, the field of astronomy now includes multiple messengers as well. In recent years, I have begun working closer with X-ray colleagues on counterpart identifications of Galactic unidentified gamma-ray sources. As the multi-wavelength coordinator for the HAWC collaboration, I oversee follow-up observations and reports on transients to and from the broader astrophysics community. With so many diverse instruments operating at unprecedented sensitivity, the current state of astronomy is primed for studying different phenomena from multiple perspectives for a more complete picture of the physical processes, and HEAD is an excellent place for facilitating collaboration.

If elected as a HEAD Executive Committee member, I will work towards bringing together experts from different fields at meetings to promote conversations and joint projects while concurrently providing networking and development opportunities to young professionals. I also enjoy reaching out to a broad audience, from the general public at NASA in the Park to research students with different specializations at the Fermi summer school. I will strive to enhance AAS outreach and education efforts to benefit people at all levels and all backgrounds.

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Wen-fai Fong


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Assistant Professor

Degrees and Education

Harvard University (2014)

Affiliations

Northwestern University

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • Gravitational wave sources
  • Compact objects
  • Host galaxies of explosive transients

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Co-chair, 2019 American Physical Society Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (Northwestern)

Candidate Statement

On the eve of the next decade, it is a critical time to advocate for future high-energy missions. At the same time, the development of major ground-based initiatives that will make seminal contributions to the study of high-energy astrophysical phenomena are already underway, including LSST, additional gravitational wave detectors, extremely large telescopes, and the largest radio arrays around the globe. In order to maximize the scientific potential of high-energy astrophysics and extend the reach of HEAD, it is critical to build and maintain connections with such projects through the next decade. Through my research on gamma-ray bursts and gravitational wave sources, which spans nine orders of magnitude across the electromagnetic spectrum, I have developed strong ties to these communities. As a HEAD Executive Committee member, I will leverage my connections and bring a complementary multi-wavelength perspective to HEAD meeting planning, and to promote synergy between traditional high-energy missions and other major initiatives.

In addition, I share the AAS's deep commitment to increasing the representation and retention of under-represented minorities in astronomy, as outlined in its vision statement. The continued success of the field heavily relies on the ability to inspire young scientists, and critically, young scientists from diverse backgrounds. I have founded multiple mentoring programs, am organizing a conference for women in physics, and am engaged in numerous outreach efforts. I will apply my experiences in the HEAD Executive Committee to advocate for sessions dedicated to issues surrounding diversity and inclusion, helping to connect the HEAD community with experts from those fields.

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Erin Kara


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Neil Gehrels Prize Fellow, Joint Space Science Institute

Degrees and Education

University of Cambridge (2015)

Affiliations

University of Maryland / NASA GSFC

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Tidal Disruption Events
  • Black hole transients
  • Time Domain Astronomy

Candidate Statement

Erin Kara Hubble Fellow, University of Maryland

The joint GW/EM detection of a neutron star merger. A neutrino excess coincident with a blazar flare. Characterization of super-Eddington accretion in ultraluminous X-ray sources and tidal disruption events. These are just a few of the recent game-changing results emerging from high-energy astrophysics. With ASTRO2020 approaching, we have an opportunity to show the rest of the astronomical community and the world just how exciting and dynamic our field is, and if elected the HEAD Executive Committee, I will be an enthusiastic advocate for this cause.

My main research is on X-ray spectral-timing observations of accreting black holes, though early on in my astronomy career, I had the opportunity to work with the Fermi-GBM team on short gamma-ray bursts, the LIGO team on compact binary inspiral localization, and the Fermi-LAT team on blazars. I believe my experiences in several sub-fields of high-energy astrophysics will be an asset on the HEAD EC, as I work to represent all members of our community.

I aim to be an advocate for young astronomers from a range of backgrounds and experiences. A few initiatives I will work towards include lowering HEAD meeting rates for students and postdocs, providing early-career travel awards, and setting up a strong online community, so HEAD meetings can be attended by all, regardless of their financial resources.

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Marcos Santander


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Degrees and Education

University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013)

Affiliations

University of Alabama

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • High-energy neutrino astrophysics
  • Gamma-ray blazars and radio galaxies
  • Multi-messenger searches of neutrino and gravitational wave sources
  • Cosmic-ray anisotropy, spectrum and composition

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Member of the IceCube, VERITAS, and Cherenkov Telescope Array collaborations
  • Co-chair of the dark matter, astroparticle physics and multimessenger science working group - VERITAS collaboration
  • Member of the Realtime Oversight Committee - IceCube collaboration

Candidate Statement

The recent discoveries in gravitational waves and high-energy neutrinos provide new and exciting opportunities for high-energy astrophysics in the coming decade. The HEA community is already playing a fundamental role in these discoveries by leading extensive follow-up observation campaigns spanning the electromagnetic spectrum for these events, and by working on their theoretical modeling and interpretation. The involvement of the community in time-domain and multimessenger astrophysics studies will continue to expand as new facilities go online in the coming years, and a close collaboration between multiwavelength and multimessenger efforts will be needed to maximize their scientific output. If elected to the HEAD Executive Committee, my main goal will be to help strengthen the connection between the multiwavelength and multimessenger communities, both observational and theoretical, to help facilitate these studies, and to broaden their representation within the division. I will work to ensure that appropriate venues are provided to present new advances in the field by organizing topical sessions in division meetings and dedicated workshops, with an emphasis on getting early-career scientists involved in these discussions.

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Alexander J. van der Horst


Biography

Professional Title/Position

Assistant Professor of Astrophysics

Degrees and Education

University of Amsterdam (2007)

Affiliations

The George Washington University

Research Areas, Topics, and Interests

  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • Compact binary mergers
  • Magnetars
  • Tidal disruption events
  • Radio transients
  • Multi-wavelength modeling

Professional Experience and Positions

  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Physics Department, George Washington University

Candidate Statement

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 Committee, 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 Committee 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. Furthermore, we should communicate well all the exciting developments to the world outside of the astronomy community. Finally, I will strive for a more diverse HEAD community, and for making sure it is inviting and inclusive for everyone. 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. member of the ISS-TAO and TAP science teams, former member of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor team) and ground-based observatories (e.g. Project Scientist for SCORPIO on the Gemini Observatory, member of the Low Frequency Array Transients Key Project), my public outreach efforts for a wide variety of audiences, and my efforts for increasing diversity and creating an inclusive environment in the Physics Department of the George Washington University, provide a very suitable background from which I can work to achieve these goals.

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