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Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SOLAR-TERRESTRIAL | Award Amount: 30.00K | Year: 2015

This award supports participation of students and early-career scientists at the Triennial Earth-Sun Summit (TESS), a joint meeting of the Space Physics and Aeronomy Section of the American Geophysical Union and the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society. TESS is intended to be a gathering of the entire Heliophysics community, including distinct sub-disciplines devoted to studies of the Sun, the near-Earth space environment, and their interactions with the Earths atmosphere. The goal of this conference is to promote greater interaction and unity within this community. This increasingly interdisciplinary effort is necessary to understand, predict, and mitigate the effects of space weather.

This program will be administered by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the principal professional organization for US astronomers. They have very successfully and economically administered similar programs in the past, and the proposed procedures ensure that these funds will provide the maximum benefit to the astronomical and geospace communities at minimal administrative cost.


Astronomy is a fully international endeavor. To participate in the international scientific community, American researchers must meet and collaborate with researchers from around the world, and to do this they must attend international scientific meetings. These meetings provide a forum for interacting with other researchers, forming collaborations, presenting new results and participating in the international scientific community.

This award will provide support for US astronomers, postdocs, and students to participate in international professional meetings. The award will cover three years of travel grants, including a large number of grants (approximately 120) that will support travel to the IAU General Assembly which will be held in Beijing, China in 2012. This award will be especially important to early-career researchers and those from less-endowed institutions as it will help give them the opportunity to actively participate in these important meetings.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SPECIAL PROGRAMS IN ASTRONOMY | Award Amount: 21.65K | Year: 2011

This award will support Professional Development Courses that will take place during the upcoming winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The proposed activities include two half-day workshops, one two-hour seminar, and one career panel on the topics of; Effective Mentoring, Writing Effective Scientific Papers, the Effective Visual Communication of Data, and Making the most of Oral Presentations.

The goal of the courses is to provide expert training in an array of non-scientific tasks that are crucial to the effectiveness of scientists and educators. Many astronomers have had little or no formal training in the topics that will be covered. For researchers that are also educators these courses will help in both aspects of their careers. The courses will also increase the effectiveness of the participants in these topics which will directly promote the progress of science. In particular, the courses will likely have a large impact on young investigators and participants from underrepresented groups. The courses will be professionally evaluated to assess the impact of the sessions.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

This award supports the transition of the World Wide Telescope (WWT) project from Microsoft Research to the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Amateur astronomers support an industry of considerable value and are involved in research through citizen science efforts such as the Zooniverse. The WWT software provides a uniquely capable platform for involvement of amateur and professional astronomers alike in research, education, publishing, outreach, and communication. Keeping this package available is a valuable service for the country. The investment to ensure a smooth transition from its current state of being proprietary, albeit free, to an open source project led by the AAS, is clearly very worthwhile and at the same time extremely cost-effective.

Microsoft supported the WWT software system up until the fall of 2014, when they decided to release WWT to the open source community. The AAS is keen to assume a leadership role in a project of such evident value, but needs time to arrange for long-term support of WWT in aid of the US astronomical community. Microsoft funding ended on June 30, 2015, so this project will bridge the gap, although supporting only maintenance activities. This will ensure both that the WWT remains available to AAS and that the system remains available for existing users.

As noted, WWT is currently used widely by many constituencies. This software has unique capabilities, including the creation of video abstracts for publications. It is used in many schools, planetariums and museums across the country and the world. Under a community-driven open source model, these activities will be supported by experts from the respective constituencies, and connections between the various activities can leverage the work in one community for the benefit of all.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 107.94K | Year: 2012

The proposing professional scholarly organizations, the American Astronomical Society and the American Institute of Physics, will conduct a pilot project to deliver the digital data sets that underlie figures and tables in three of the journals that they publish in astronomy and plasma physics. The project will involve developing methods for identifying and acquiring those digital data, as well as for providing access to the actual data objects in the published literature. The proposers will (i) conduct surveys of authors to determine their willingness to share data and their interest in re-using data that other researchers might publish; (ii) convene expert stakeholders for focused workshops on metadata semantics, digital structures and formats, and on practices for peer review of data; (iii) develop and refine publishing production methods to acquire, validate, deliver, maintain, and curate data; and (iv) raise the awareness of scientists about the merits of and prospects for sharing data. The pilot will be assessed in part by quantitative metrics on the submission of data sets for publication and the use of these data sets by readers of the participating journals, and the outcomes will be disseminated through multiple forums to the scholarly publishing and research communities.

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