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DDA Newsletter #77 - June 1994


Kingsville Meeting

The 25th meeting of the DDA was held in Kingsville, Texas at the campus of Texas A&M - Kingsville on March 28-29, 1993. Barbara and Julian Schreur did a wonderful job organizing the meeting and the school did everything possible to make the DDA welcome. Thirty-three contributed papers were given in addition to the invited lectures by Richard Eanes, John Ries, and Hal Levison. The recent discovery of a satellite of the asteroid (243) Ida and the upcoming impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter were the subjects of several papers and generated a lot of stimulating discussion. Brian Marsden gave a very entertaining banquet speech, entitled "Careering Orbits."

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Brouwer Award

The Brouwer Award of the Division on Dynamical Astronomy for 1994 was awarded to Chris Hunter of Florida State University. Hunter is one of the world's experts in stellar and galactic dynamics. Dr. Hunter will give his Brouwer Award lecture at the 1995 DDA meeting in Yosemite.

The 1994-95 Brouwer Award Selection Committee will be: Alan Boss (Chair), Alan Fiala, Jim Williams, Ken Seidelmann, and Alar Toomre.

The 1993-94 Brouwer Award Selection Committee was asked by the DDA Committee to review and recommend changes to the Brouwer Award rules. The BASC offered a set of changes that removed the gender specific language and addressed some minor inconsistencies in the rules. The rule changes that were recommended by the BASC were accepted by the DDA Committee. The BASC discussed at great length the question of whether or not to change the selection criteria guidelines, but found no consensus on that issue. The DDA Committee recognizes that there are still strong opinions about the need for changes in the Brouwer Award selection criteria guidelines. DDA members are urged to bring concrete ideas for changes to the selection criteria to the next Committee meeting. Anyone who would like a copy of the official Brouwer Award rules should contact the DDA Secretary.

All members are reminded that the BASC invites nominations from any member of the American Astronomical Society. The Brouwer Award has been established to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of Dynamical Astronomy, including celestial mechanics, astrometry, geophysics, stellar systems, galactic and extragalactic dynamics. The contributions may have elements of research, teaching, administration, engineering, or other significant influence. It is open to candidates of any age or nationality, occupation, or specific field of interest. The Award consists of an honorarium plus an appropriate certificate. Letters of nomination should cite the achievements in, or contributions to, Dynamical Astronomy that might appropriately be recognized by the Award. Nominations are to be supported by copies of the vitae and bibliography of the nominee and by letters of recommendation from three knowledgeable people testifying to the long-term impact of the nominee's contributions to Dynamical Astronomy. Nominations and supporting documentation should be sent to the following (from whom further information may be obtained) so as to be received not later than December 28, 1994: Dr. Alan P. Boss, Carnegie Institute of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, D.C., 20015.

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Election Results

The new Chair for the 1994-95 year is Alan Fiala. Phil Ianna was elected to serve as Vice Chair. Art Whipple was re-elected as Secretary and Peter Shelus will continue as Treasurer. The new Committee members are John Chandler, Paul Chodas, and Roy Laubscher. George Benedict, Tom Corbin, and Joel Tohline will continue on their second year as Committee members. A total of 76 election ballots (out of 220 members) was received by the deadline and counted.

The 1994-95 Nominating Committee will be: Sethanne Howard, Alice Monet, and Bill Kaula.

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DDA to Meet in Yosemite National Park, California on 24-26 April 1995

The DDA regular meeting for 1995 will be held in the Yosemite Lodge in the park, on Monday through Wednesday, April 24-26, 1995. The Committee meeting will probably be held on Sunday, the 23rd. Roy Laubscher is the local host (Geodynamics Corporation, 5266 Hollister Ave., Suite 117, Santa Barbara, CA 93111; telephone: 805-964-2814; Fax: 805-964-1070; no email address). He, Phil Ianna, and Art Whipple will act as the organizing committee. Abstracts of invited and contributed talks will be published in the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society. The abstract deadline will be at the end of March.

Yosemite is, of course, one of the jewels of the national park system. There are tremendous opportunities for hiking, camping, rock climbing, bus and tram tours, bicycling, ranger walks, and horse back riding. Details about the park and activities can be obtained by asking for the vacation planning materials from Yosemite reservations at (209) 252-4848. This will be a perfect meeting to bring your family. In late April the weather can be wet and/or cold so one should prepare accordingly.

Roy has made a block reservation for 60 rooms at the Lodge and 5 rooms at the Ahwahnee Hotel for the nights of April 23-26. The room block hold does not expire until 30 days prior to the meeting. Reservations for the blocked rooms will be by submission of a separate form at the time you fill out your meeting registration form early next year. Availability of rooms in the park outside the meeting dates is very limited. Try contacting Yosemite reservations at (209) 252-4848. You may also check with Roy for a list of nearby hotels outside the park. The estimated nightly rates for the rooms are $98 for a hotel room and $75 for a cabin with a bath. The nightly rate for the Ahwahnee Hotel will be higher. If you make reservations through Yosemite reservations, outside the block reservations, please send your plans to Roy so that he can make sure that the DDA gets credit for your reservation. The banquet fee will be about $30. Meals can be purchased in the Lodge for the customary restaurant prices. Picnicking supplies are readily available in the valley and can save the expense of some restaurant meals. The registration fee will be about $25.

Members can fly into either San Francisco or, better yet, into Fresno. Yosemite is a four hour drive from San Francisco and a one and a half hour drive from Fresno. Once arrived at the Lodge in Yosemite Valley, a car is not necessary since there is excellent shuttle service around the valley; therefore participants can save money by car pooling.

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DDA Student Meeting Stipend

The DDA Committee decided at its last meeting to award two stipends, of $250 each, to students to help them attend the next DDA meeting. Only a one year trial was decided upon but it is hoped and expected that this program will become permanent. Details about applications will be forthcoming in future Newsletters.

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Looking Ahead to 1996

The 1996 DDA meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. and hosted by the U.S. Naval Observatory. The dates and other details are still to be determined.

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Jack Wisdom Honored

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded one of their prestigious "genius grants" to Jack Wisdom, of MIT. The citation described Jack as "a physicist who has significantly advanced the understanding of solar system dynamics. Introducing new methods to the study of dynamical problems, he has obtained important and widely-cited results that create new insights into order and predictability in the laws of nature." This is an exceptional honor and the DDA extends to Jack our most sincere congratulations.

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Arthur L. Whipple, Secretary DDA
University of Texas
McDonald Observatory
Austin, Texas 78712-1083
Phone: (512) 471-6332