#AAS221 Meeting: Twitter, AstroBetter/Bites Booth, Career Monday, Networking Bingo, and #hackAAS

As always, there’s a lot going on at the Winter AAS Meeting. Below is my annual Twitter pep-talk and a brief description of some of the activities I’ve had a hand in.


Whether or not you are attending the 221st AAS Meeting this week in Long Beach, you can make the conference more fun and participate from afar via Twitter! I find Twitter to be the most fun and informative at conferences and I think the #aas221 stream this year is gonna be better than ever!

Examples of useful tweets would be: a talk you’re looking forward to, along with a time and room; big results you just found out about; and posters that should not be missed, along with landmarks (e.g., back right corner, across from the WISE booth). Other useful things for talk hoppers would be letting people know about schedule changes and how many minutes behind a session is. To see the Twitter round up from past conferences, check out these past Twitter posts.

The way this works is to just include the hash tag ‘#aas221′ in all your AAS tweets and anybody, even folks without twitter accounts, can see them via the web https://twitter.com/search?q=%23aas221 or via a search in a Twitter app. Save the search on your mobile device and, when a talk looses your interest, check it out! Or if you learn something amazing, let us know! And please don’t hesitate to chime in or ask questions if you’re not at the meeting.

You can follow me and other AstroBetter contributers: @kellecruz, @jlu_astro, @janerrigby@WindyCityAstro (ltrouille). <cough>all women!</cough>

AstroBetter & AstroBites Booth

In other news, this year, AstroBetter and AstroBites are sharing a booth! It’s gonna be part of the big AAS booth at the front of the poster hall. Please drop by and introduce yourself. We’d love to meet you and hear your feedback about the site! We’ll have stickers.

Career Monday

The Employment Committee has put together a great docket of career activities for Monday. (I hope we can make the Monday of every Winter Meeting “Career Monday.”)

  • At 10am in Rm 201A, we have an Aerospace Career Panel. We’ve got some excellent panelists from Ball, Northrup-Grumman, and the like to help early-career scientists and their advisors learn about this exciting career option for astronomers.
  • In the evening (6:30-8pm) in Beacon A in the Hyatt, we are hosting a Career Networking Reception where the Aerospace/Industry panelists will be around to chat as well as folks from various career paths including education, policy, government, etc. These “Career Advisors” will be wearing ribbons and will be happy to chat with you about your career options. (This reception will be an excellent opportunity to get some Bingo boxes!) There will be food and cash bar (I’m pretty sure…).
  • Topping it off, starting at 8pm after the reception, there will be an informal and moderated discussion with two speakers with wide ranging experience in the field of Aerospace and a high level view of staffing large projects. Kathy Flanagan is Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, which will conduct the science and mission operations for the James Webb Space Telescope. Jeff Grant is sector vice president and general manager of the Space Systems Division at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, and leads the design, build, launch and operations of major systems in space. We invite early career scientists and their mentors to hear their thoughts and ask questions at this session.

Grad Student Networking Bingo

As chair of the AAS Employment Committee, I made a Grad Student Networking Bingo game as the activity for the Grad Student Networking Reception on Wednesday Evening (6:30–7:30pm) in Beacon A of the Hyatt. To play, you have to get signatures of people who satisfy various boxes. Employment Committee members and others will be passing out the cards at the Opening Reception and we’ll have some at the booth. (If someone gets me a distinctive headband, I’ll consider wearing it so people can find me to get cards.) Play Mon–Wed during the meeting or just at the Wed evening Reception. Prizes for winning cards will be passed out at the AstroBetter/Bites booth and at the Grad Student Networking Reception. (Um, I honestly haven’t bought the prizes yet…suggestions welcome…Is there a party supply store near the convention center? A little help here maybe from a SoCal local would be appreciated. Lia?)

Hack Day

The AstroBetter/Bites booth will also be the HQ for the Thursday #hackAAS day planning. Check out the AAS221 Hack Day Planning Wiki and consider joining us for a day of collaboration, geekery, and fun! (Please join us for the majority of the day — dropping in and out is strongly discouraged.) Thanks to David Hogg (@davidwhogg) and Meg Schwamb (@megschwamb) for making this happen!

Wow, that’s a lot of things! It’s gonna be an awesome conference!! And I think we really should start calling it AstroCon (via @popastronomer)!

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