Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 15:28:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AASWOMEN for July 9, 2004

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issue of July 9, 2004
eds. Patricia Knezek, Michael Rupen, & Jim Ulvestad
This week's issues:
1. Re: Postings Related to Political Issues
2. New CSWA members
3. AAS Astronomy Workforce Talks Available Online
4. Link to "On Campus with Women"
5. Physics Today article on Future Leadership in U.S. Science & Engineering
6. 2005 NAS Awards
7. Jansky Fellowships 2005
8. AIP State Dept. Science Fellowship
9. Manager of Lab Services, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
10. Faculty Position, Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University
1. Re: Postings Related to Political Issues
[The following message is an additional response to our decision not to 
 run a posting asking members to call their Congressional representatives 
 regarding an upcoming vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment. -- Eds.]

Family/Career Balance and the Federal Marriage Amendment

Two issues ago, the editors declined to post an article asking astronomers 
to contact their Senators to oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment, on the
grounds that the post was overtly political. We agree that AASWomen is
not the proper forum for partisan politics. But we think the core issue,
if properly handled, is quite appropriate and relevant.

Our goal in AASWomen is to discuss women in astronomy, their advancement,
what holds back equity, and how to address those barriers. These last two
subjects often bring our discussion to topics of family. The last 1.5
years of AASWomen have included 34 posts focused on
pregnancy/fertility/child-care/parenting, and 14 posts discussing whether
marital status affects astronomy career success.

Given how frequently AASWomen discusses career-family balance, it seems
appropriate to write an informative, non-partisan post, exploring how the
Federal Marriage Amendment would change what resources many women
astronomers have to manage their careers and families, and thus likely
affect their career success.

1. What is the Federal Marriage Amendment? (FMA)

The FMA is a proposal to amend the United States Constitution to read as

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man
and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State,
shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof
be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

Presently, the US Constitution is silent regarding marriage, which has
traditionally been regulated by the states. The FMA is scheduled for a
Senate vote on Wednesday, July 14. A House vote is promised but not yet

2. What does the FMA have to do with women in astronomy?

A key message of Women in Astronomy II: problems in the family sphere
(lack of day care or family health insurance, for example) can derail
successful careers. For this reason, at varying speeds, institutions are
creating policies and programs to help academics juggle work and family:
on-campus day-care, parental leave, tenure-clock slow-down for pregnancy
(and adoption).

We usually think of faculty as benefiting from such programs, but they're
especially vital at the junior levels (ask any grad student with kids and
no health insurance.) Many of you are working hard to bring
family-friendlier policies to your home institutions. We agree that these
solutions help married women be more successful scientists by helping them
juggle work and family. The problem is, these solutions aren't available
to many women astronomers -- because their families aren't recognized by
employer or government.

Example 1 -- A woman professor can health-insure a male spouse as part of
her compensation. She can insure a female partner if employed by one of
the 206 U.S. colleges that provide domestic partner benefits. But if she
works at one of the other 1200, or at a national lab, or a
federally-funded observatory, she can't. As a result, she's paid ~30%
less than her married peers (given the typical value of benefits.) And
since her family's less protected than her peers', a crisis is more likely
to derail her career.

Example 2 -- A woman grad student wants to enroll her son in on-campus
day-care and insure him on her health plan. But since only ~10 states
allow unmarried parents to jointly adopt a child, chances are good she's
not a legal parent, and can't enroll or insure her son.

Example 3 -- A bi-national astronomer couple cannot live together because
neither can sponsor the other for immigration.

Example 4 -- A senior astronomer helps new hires deal with the 2-body
problem by working with the university to find positions for spouses. He's
not sure he should make the same (considerable) effort for a hire with an
unmarried partner -- aren't they just going to break up?

Example 5 -- In multiple job-searches, a competitive astronomy program
loses several sought-after job candidates to other institutes. A few
candidates had quietly asked about domestic partner benefits, and learned
none existed.

Astronomers with same-sex partners deal with these issues as best they
can. Now that same-sex couples can legally marry in Massachusetts,
Canada, the Netherlands, and Belgium, they wonder whether marriage can
help them protect their families, so they can spend less time worrying &
compensating, and more time doing good astronomy. The FMA would eliminate
that option. Astronomers with same-sex partners (with or without
children) would continue to use piece-meal, haphazard methods (a private
insurance plan with sky-high premiums, waiting to adopt until they move to
a more favorable state) to protect their families.

Many astronomers are reluctant to talk publicly about the existence of gay
astronomers and their status within astronomy. We know gay colleagues who
are fearfully closeted at work, and non-gay colleagues who speak up for
their colleagues quite carefully, wary of their superiors' reactions. We
are well aware that in 36 states it's legal to fire an employee because
she's gay. And that, at best, such discussions are often dismissed as not

To improve this climate, and to hear from those voices (gay and non-gay)
who are afraid to speak, we suggest that collectively, as AASWomen discuss
these issues, we not make assumptions about who is speaking, but keep our
focus on the issues and how they affect our profession. And let us
remember that if we are to honestly discuss the status of women in
astronomy, we must consider ALL women.

We look forward to discussing these and other issues with our colleagues.


Jane Rigby (grad student)
Diana Azcarate (research scientist)
Elizabeth Bohlen (computer specialist)
Adrienne Cool (associate professor)
Richard Cool (grad student)
Mike Gladders (postdoc)
David Koerner (assistant professor)
Andrea Leistra (grad student)
Jackie Monkiewicz (grad student)
Melissa Nysewander (grad student)
Sally Oey (assistant professor)
Moire Prescott (grad student)
Lawrence Rudnick (full professor)
Kris Sellgren (full professor)

2. New CSWA members
From: Patricia Knezek

I want to welcome incoming CSWA members Francesca Primas (ESO/Garching, 
Germany), and Joan Schmeltz (U. Memphis/Memphis, TN), I'm also delighted
to announce that Amy Simon-Miller (GSFC/Greenbelt, MD) has agreed to serve
an additonal term.  They will all be serving from 2004 to 2007.  They will 
join continuing members Neal Evans (U. Texas/Austin, TX; 2000-2005), Lisa 
Frattare (STScI/Baltimore, MD; 1999-2005), James Ulvestad (NRAO/Socorro, NM; 
2004-2006), Stephanie Wachter (IPAC/Pasadena, CA; 2004-2006), Kimberly 
Weaver (GSFC/Greenbelt, MD; 2004-2006), and myself, Patricia Knezek (WIYN 
Observatory/Tucson, AZ; 2002-2005). I would also like to express my sincere
appreciation to outgoing members Michael Rupen and Liliya Williams for 
their many contributions to the committee.  Michael will continue to co-edit
AASWOMEN until we identify a replacement.

We encourage you to contact one of the CSWA members if you have comments, 
questions, and/or suggestions. We also suggest that you to check out the CSWA 
web site, which is masterfully maintained by Amy Simon-Miller, see

3. AAS Astronomy Workforce Talks Available Online
From: Patricia Knezek & Amy Simon-Miller

The talks presented by Fran Bagenal (U. Colorado) and Kevin Marvel (AAS) 
during the Denver AAS June 2004 session on "The Astronomy Workforce" are
now available in powerpoint format off the CSWA website.  Rachel Ivie's (AIP)
talk from the same session will be posted within the next few weeks.  Please
see .

4. Link to "On Campus with Women"
From: Mary Kay Hemenway

I thought you might like this reference that our UT Faculty Women's
organization sent to me.

Mary Kay

    The current issue of On Campus With Women (available at ) is devoted to the perennial conflict between 
    academic work and family responsibilities. This issue recognizes that, 
    despite decades of efforts by academics, young female faculty still face 
    the dual pressures of tenure and family and, in many cases, continue to 
    bear the primary responsibility for child care. On the other hand, the 
    articles highlight recent efforts to fundamentally recast the academic 
    career cycle in ways that are more family-friendly for male and female 
    academics over the course of their careers and to broaden the scope of 
    family-friendly policies in ways that address the needs of non-tenure 
    track faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students.

    For more information and resources from the Program on the Status and
    Education of Women, visit the AAC&U issues page on women

5. Physics Today article on Future Leadership in U.S. Science & Engineering
From: Patricia Knezek

The July 2004 issue of Physics Today has an interesting article about the
future of U.S. Science and Engineering in today's environment entitled
"Science Board Warns of Uncertain Future for U.S. Science and Engineering

6. 2005 NAS Awards
From: Patricia Knezek

As noted in AAS Electronic Announcement #139, the National Academy of
Sciences is accepting nominations for a number of awards.  Traditionally,
women scientists are underrepresented as award recipients.  If you know
a scientist who you feel is qualified to be nominated for an award, please
consider nominating him or her.  If you did not receive the AAS Electronic
Anncouncement and would like to know what the NAS awards are, feel free to
email me at

7. Jansky Fellowships 2005
From: Tavia Dillon

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announces the 2005
postdoctoral Jansky Fellowship program that provides outstanding
opportunities for research in astronomy. The Jansky Fellows formulate
and carry out investigations either independently or in collaboration
with others within the wide framework of interests of the Observatory.
Prior radio experience is not required and multi-wavelength projects
leading to a synergy with NRAO instruments are encouraged. The NRAO also
encourages applications from candidates with interest in radio astronomy
instrumentation, computation, and theory.

The starting salary will be $48,000 per year with an appointment
duration of two years that may be renewed for a third year. There is a
research budget of $7,000 per year for travel and computing
requirements. In addition, page charge support, as well as vacation
accrual, health insurance, and a moving allowance are provided.

Up to three appointments will be made annually for positions at any of
the NRAO sites (Socorro, NM; Green Bank, WV; and Charlottesville, VA).
The Jansky Fellows are encouraged to spend time at universities working
with collaborators during the course of their fellowship. In addition,
up to three Jansky Fellow appointments will be made annually for
positions that may be located at a US university or research institute.
Frequent and/or long term visits to the NRAO sites are encouraged.

The NRAO web site at 
provides a description of the application process and other relevant
details. The candidates must receive their PhD prior to beginning the

The deadline for applications and letters of recommendation is November
15, 2004. The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/H/V).

8. AIP State Dept. Science Fellowship
From: Lalena Lancaster

opportunity for scientists to make a unique contribution to U.S. foreign
policy. At least one Fellow annually will be chosen to spend a year working
in a bureau of the State Department, providing scientific and technical
expertise to the Department while becoming directly involved in the foreign
policy process. Fellows are required to be U.S. citizens and members of at
least one of the 10 AIP Member Societies at the time of application.
Qualifications include a PhD in physics or closely related field or, in
outstanding cases, equivalent research experience. Applicants should
possess interest or experience in scientific or technical aspects of foreign
policy. Applications should consist of a letter of intent, a two-page
resume, and three letters of reference. Please visit for more details. All application
materials must be postmarked by November 1, 2004 and sent to: AIP State
Department Science Fellowship, American Institute of Physics, Attn: Audrey
Leath, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740-3843.

9. Manager of Lab Services, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

>From WIPHYS of July 8, 2004

The successful applicant for the position will schedule, maintain and
operate the physics teaching laboratories and demonstration room,
and ensure the safety and security of these areas. Additional duties
will include the maintenance and upgrading of equipment and write-
ups for the labs, as well as scheduling, training, supervising and
evaluating teaching assistants and other personnel as needed.
Minimum qualifications: Bachelor's degree in Physics or a related
field, with experience in experimental physics and physics teaching.
Applicants must be able to write technical prose fluently, be
computer proficient, and have a demonstrated ability to work well
with students, faculty and staff. Compensation commensurate with
qualifications and experience.

Submit letter of application, resume, names and addresses of three
references, and a one page discussion of "The Importance of the
Laboratory Experience in Undergraduate Physics Education" to:
Professor Douglas Hamilton, University of Connecticut,
Department of Physics, 2152 Hillside Road, Storrs, CT 06269-
3046; email: Applications will be
accepted until the position is filled. We encourage applications
from under-represented groups, including minorities, women, and
people with disabilities. (Search #05A006)

10. Faculty Position, Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University

>From WIPHYS of July 9, 2004

The Physics Department at Simon Fraser University invites
applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professorship, subject to
final budgetary approval. This position will be associated with a
satellite campus that SFU is establishing in Surrey, BC, a 30-minute
drive from the main campus. The new campus, which has already
won architectural awards, will be ready for occupancy in September
2005, although the faculty position may be available as early as
January 2005. We are searching for individuals of outstanding
background and exceptional promise who will establish a vigorous
independent research program and who will have a strong
commitment to undergraduate and graduate teaching. In the
current search, we are interested in candidates with backgrounds in
medical imaging or physics education at the undergraduate level.
Further information about the Physics Department, including
descriptions of other positions available, can be accessed via

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however
Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Simon
Fraser University is committed to employment equity and
encourages applications from all qualified women and men,
including visible minorities, aboriginal people and persons with

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, publication list, and
a short statement of research and teaching interests; electronic
applications will be neither accepted nor acknowledged. Candidates
should arrange for three letters of recommendation to be supplied in
confidence. All correspondence should be directed to Professor
David Boal, Chair, Department of Physics - Simon Fraser
University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby BC, Canada V5A 1S6,
to arrive no later than October 15, 2004.