Minutes of the business meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society.
January 8th, 2003 -- Seattle, WA
Josh Grindlay, the HEAD Chair, opened the meeting by welcoming the HEAD
membership. He indicated that a report from NASA Headquarters would be
incorporated in the NASA Town Meeting following immediately after the
HEAD business meeting.
Report of the Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary/Treasurer Matthew Baring communicated the results of the HEAD
election, namely that the three newly elected members of the Executive
Committee are Joel Bregman, Kathy Flanagan and Pat Slane. 258 HEAD
members voted including 11 paper ballots. He thanked
the nominating committee (Nancy Brickhouse, David Buote and Don Lamb)
for putting forth an outstanding slate of candidates.
Matthew summarized the membership statistics, noting that HEAD now has
approximately 870 members, a slow increase over the course of the year
from around 800. He also reported that HEAD assets have declined
slightly to approximately $24,000, with estimated income for 2002 being
around $5,700 ($4,700 in dues, $1,000 in interest), and the expenses
for 2002 were approximately $8,250 ($3,000 awards, $1,000 travel by
award winners, $3,000 HEAD meeting expenses, $900 EC meeting expenses,
$350 copying/mailing/etc.). Hence the net expenditure for 2002 was
approximately $2,500, subject to final AAS audit. Matthew then
mentioned the proposal to raise HEAD membership dues, an issue
subsequently expanded by Josh Grindlay.
Comments by the Chair
HEAD Chair, Josh Grindlay indicated the Executive Committee's decision
to raise the dues to $10 per year, starting in 2004. This increase is
designed to cover increases in the Rossi and Schramm Prize awards,
general HEAD expenses, and to promote greater graduate student presence
at HEAD meetings. Josh remarked upon the Committee's desire to perhaps
administer a small number of awards or grants as partial support for
students attending HEAD meetings, though he noted that no formal
decision had been reached. Josh opened the issue up to the high energy
astrophysics community for suggestions prior to further deliberations
on the matter at the Mt. Tremblant meeting.
Report of the Press Officer
Press Officer Ilana Harrus indicated that there were a large number of
press release highlights relating to HEAD science during 2002, and that
many of these can be viewed on-line in the November HEAD newsletter at
Ilana then mentioned the proposition she raised the evening before at
the meeting of the HEAD Executive Committee, namely that the Schramm
Award be expanded from its present domain of science journalism in
print to other media such as documentaries in television, film, video
and radio. She also described briefly plans for bilingual press
releases at the Mt. Tremblant HEAD meeting, and mentioned the interest
in having a stamp to recognize the accomplishments of Chandra,
following the precedent set by the Hubble stamp series.
Report of the Chair
Chair, Josh Grindlay announced that the 2003 Bruno Rossi prize is being
awarded to Robert Duncan and Christopher Thompson for their prediction,
and to Chryssa Kouveliotou for her observational confirmation, of the
existence of magnetars: neutron stars with extraordinarily strong
magnetic fields. Drs. Duncan, Thompson and Kouveliotou will be invited
to accept this award and deliver invited talks at the Atlanta meeting
of the AAS in January, 2004.
Josh thanked the outgoing Committee members, Nancy Brickhouse, Greg
Madejski and John Nousek for their two years of service to HEAD.
Josh also mentioned the activity surrounding preparations for the
upcoming Mt. Tremblant HEAD meeting in Quebec, from March 23-26, 2003,
with emphasis on the abstract deadline of January 21st. He indicated
that New Orleans was being considered as the venue for the following
HEAD meeting in the fall of 2004 and that he plans to ask John
Vallerga of Eureka Scientific to explore conference venue options in
New Orleans to aid final site selection.
Chair Josh Grindlay then called upon Paul Hertz from NASA Headquarters
to answer any NASA-related questions from HEAD members that they might
have in advance of Paul's presentation, which was scheduled to follow
in the NASA Town Meeting.
Hearing none, Chair Josh Grindlay then adjourned the Business Meeting.
These minutes were prepared by Matthew Baring,
Secretary-Treasurer, High Energy Astrophysics Division,
American Astronomical Society.