AAS232 Day -1: AAS Board of Trustees Meeting

by Kelle on June 2, 2018

I’m attending AAS232 in Denver, CO as a member of the Board of the Trustees of the AAS (previously known as the Council). Since the summer meeting is much less hectic than the winter meeting, I’m aiming to live blog every day I’m here! I also want to raise the awareness of the summer meeting and encourage more people to consider attending.

The Board of Trustees meets the day before the opening reception, which I have dubbed Day -1. This is technically an open session which any member can attend! Jessica Kirkpatrick does a great job of tweeting the more interesting things and I’ll provide highlights here as well. I’ll be updating this post all day.

My started off with running into three members of the awesome AAS Meetings Staff! I am always happy to see Debbie Kovalsky, who does so many things to make the meetings happen, including running the Exhibit Hall. It was also my pleasure to meet Elizabeth Scuderi and Jennifer Bond, the new Director and Deputy Director of Meetings! They let me know that we’re expecting 700 participants here in Denver.

We got a nice presentation from Rick Feinberg who let us know that everyone is welcome to the Press Conferences. The Tuesday schedule includes two releases relevant to Tabby’s star and I hear will feature two high school student presenters! The schedule is posted and they will be webcasted.

Photos from past meetings are all available and photos from this meeting will start going up soon!

Alicia Aarnio, the chair of the Climate Site-Visit Oversight Committee gave us an update on the progress on the revival of the site visits. We approved a very thorough Best Practices document that they have put together. Keep an eye out for this document to be circulated.

We’re in the middle of going through the nitty-gritty of the budget and I need to charge my laptop!

Some highlights from the budget discussion:

  • Feedback for iPosters is being collated by the Vice Presidents. It’s recognized that this is an emerging technology and that we are early adopters. More functionality is on the way!
  • More folks than expected are publishing Gold Open Access in AAS Journals. This is great for open science and for the AAS budget!
  • Following the success of professional development activities at the meetings, we’re investing in making professional development webinars.

And now, lunch!


As part of a larger public policy discussion, we discussed the Decadal Survey. The scope has been narrowed to only include proposed missions with costs capped at $3–5 billion. We discussed the importance of advocacy once the report is done to get the recommendations actually implemented.

The Committee on the Status of Astronomy is expanding to include four graduate student members! This is motivated in order to increase both the involvement of early-career astronomers in equity work and to get them formal recognition for that work.

We’ve done a lot of housekeeping. Here are some highlights:

  • The 125th Anniversary of the AAS is coming up! We’re thinking about how to best mark that occasion.
  • The discussion about the best policies regarding online communication (e.g., blogs and Twitter) of Committees and Trustees continues. The solution remains elusive.

We’re adjourned!

Tomorrow, we have an all day meeting of the Strategic Assembly. It’s a closed session so I probably won’t be as prolific.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: