2012 (Austin, TX)

What: 2010 NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium, American Astronomical Society Meeting, Austin, TX
When: Saturday, 7 January 1:00-6:00 PM and Sunday, 8 January 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Where: Austin Convention Center Room 8

The NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship (AAPF) program is designed to support promising young scientists who combine their research with education and/or outreach activities. During this two-day weekend session, the NSF fellows will discuss their research and education/outreach activities with invited faculty mentors and any AAS members who wish to attend. The goals are to learn from each other's experiences, to listen to suggestions from the audience, and to foster new collaborations. The session will also feature informal discussion panels on topics of interest to current fellows.

All members of the astronomical community are welcome and encouraged to attend. This includes in particular graduate students who might be considering applying for an AAPF this year or in the future, as well as any other scientists or educators who'd like to stop by and learn more about Fellows' ongoing activities.

Information for Attendees:
  • There will be a conference dinner on Saturday night (7:00 pm) at El Sol y La Luna. (While the meeting itself is open to all interested parties, the conference dinner is limited to Fellows, invited speakers, and NSF POs only.) More information at the bottom of this page.


Saturday, Jan 7
1:00 PM Welcoming Remarks - Ed Ajhar (NSF)
1:15 PM Matt Povich - "First Results from the Milky Way Project"
1:30 PM Christian Johnson - "Constraints on the Formation of the Galactic bulge from Na, Al and Heavy Element Abundances"
1:45 PM Julie Comerford - "Dual Supermassive Black Holes as a New Observational Tracer of Galaxy Evolution"
2:00 PM Jessica Lu - "Does Star Formation Differ Around the Supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center?"
2:15 PM Ben Brown - "Dynamics in the Stellar Deeps"
2:30 PM Discussion Panel 1: New Approaches in Undergraduate Education
         Jake Noel-Starr: Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Imaging Science
         Ed Prather: Center for Astronomy Education, University of Arizona
         Kelle Cruz: Hunter College, Former AAPF

4:00 PM Britt Reichborn-Kjennerud – "EBEX: A CMB Polarization Experiment"
4:15 PM Molly Swanson – "Dark Energy Survey: Countdown to First Light"
4:30 PM Neelima Sehgal – "Cosmology from SZ Clusters with ACTpol"
4:45 PM Science Research Keynote Address – Mike Brown (Caltech)
7:00 PM Symposium Dinner, El Sol y La Luna (details below)

Sunday, Jan 8
9:00 AM Jonelle Walsh – "Stars Versus Gas: Testing the Consistency of Dynamical Black Hole Mass Measurements with NGC 3998"
9:15 AM Zach Etienne – "Simulations of Magnetized Neutron Star—Black Hole Binary Mergers"
9:30 AM Gabe Perez-Giz – "Some Neat Things About Kerr Geodesic Motion"
10:15 AM Discussion Panel 2: Negotiating a Job Offer
         Dragan Huterer: University of Michigan, Former AAPF
         Sheila Kannappan: University of North Carolina, Former AAPF
         Andrew Zentner: University of Pittsburgh, Former AAPF
         Mike McElwain: Goddard Space Flight Center, Former AAPF

11:15 AM Erin Hicks – "Nuclear Stellar and Gas Characteristics that Correlate with Seyfert AGN Activity"
11:30 AM Eilat Glikman - "Dust Obscured Red Quasars: Transitional Objects Emerging from the Dust"
11:45 AM Brian Morsony – "AGN Jets in Clusters and Groups"
12:00 PM Update from NSF – Jim Ulvestad (Division Director, NSF)
12:15 PM (break for lunch)
2:15 PM Education and Public Outreach Keynote Address– Chris Lintott (Oxford University, Galaxy Zoo)
3:15 PM Meg Schwamb – "Planet Hunters: Searching for Exoplanets with 140,000 Eyes"
3:30 PM Catherine Espaillat – "Identifying Planet-Forming Disks Around Young Stars"
4:15 PM Claudia Cygnowski – "Masers, Evolutionary Sequences, and Massive Star Formation"
4:30 PM Stella Offner – "Synthetic Observations of Protostellar Outflows"
4:45 PM Discussion Panel 3: Successful Grant Writing: A Broader Approach to Research Support
         Ed Ajhar: NSF Program Director (AAPF and AAG/EXC)
         Karl Gebhardt: UT Austin
         Marc Kuchner: Goddard Space Flight Center and Marketing For Scientists
         Chris Lintott: Oxford Univeristy, Galaxy Zoo

5:45 PM Marc Kuchner (Goddard Space Flight Center and Marketing For Scientists)


Non-local NSF Fellows
We are happy to report that the NSF has approved our funding proposal for this year’s NSF Symposium. We anticipate being able to reimburse non-local NSF Fellows (those not local to Austin) for:

  • 1 night of hotel lodging
  • 1.75 days per diem ($71 /day)

Please see below for directions on how to claim these expenses. You will receive two reimbursement forms to fill out at the symposium. Please be sure to obtain a receipt for your 1 night of hotel lodging and include this when you mail in your reimbursement form.

Invited speakers and panelists
We are happy to report that the NSF has approved our funding proposal for this year’s NSF Symposium. We anticipate being able to reimburse invited speakers and panelists for:

  • roundtrip airfare
  • 1 night of hotel lodging
  • 1.75 days per diem ($71 /day)

Please see below for directions on how to claim these expenses. You will receive two reimbursement forms to fill out at the symposium. Please be sure to obtain receipts for your airfare and 1 night of hotel lodging and include these when you mail in your reimbursement form.

Reimbursement Procedure
To be reimbursed, you need to do paperwork both before and after the Symposium. Prior to the Symposium, please complete and send in a Payee Setup Form (this gets you in the accounting system). After the symposium, you should complete and return two additional forms that will be provided at the Symposium:

  • The Post Travel Expense form: for your hotel and (if eligible) airfare. Original receipts must be attached.
  • The Direct Payment form: for the per diem amount. Receipts are not necessary. Note that if you are not a US Citizen you need to attach a copy of your Visa and I-94.

Please mail your signed forms & receipts to:
           Lisa Ellis
           UC Observatories
           University of California
           1156 High St
           Santa Cruz, CA 95064

For any questions regarding these procedures, please contact Lisa Ellis at 831.459.5168 or lisa [at] ucolick.org.

Symposium Dinner

Where: El Sol y La Luna, 600 East 6th Street, 0.5 mi from the Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez Street.

When: 7:00 PM, Saturday, January 7th. Everyone can get to the restaurant on their own. Please be on time.

Payment: Everyone will owe $35 for dinner (includes tax and tip; alcohol not included); this is the reimburseable amount. Please bring the exact amount in cash. Those needing an individual receipt will receive one upon request.

Appetizer: Guacamole, Veggie baby empanadas, chips and salsa.
Entree: choice of one of the following

  • Vegetarian Enchiladas: filled with spinach and mushroom topped with tomatillo sauce, Served with rice and black beans (all vegetarian).
  • Camarones a la Diabla: Grilled jumbo shrimp and vegetables served on a bed of rice with slice avocado.
  • Chipotle Chicken: chicken breast topped with creamy chipotle sauce and jack cheese served with rice and black beans.
  • Beef Fajitas: Grilled beef fajitas with bell pepper and onion, served with rice, beans and pico de gallo.
  • Puerco Taco Plate: Two pork tacos served on corn tortillas with rice on the side.

Dessert: Sopapillas with honey and cinnamon
Beverage: One non-alcoholic soft drink (hibiscus mint tea, fresh squeezed lemonade or soft drink)

Cash Bar: Drinks rang up separately and paid by individual.