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Minutes of the business meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society.

January 9, 2002 -- Washington, DC


Alice Harding, the HEAD Chair, opened the meeting by welcoming the HEAD membership.

Report of the Secretary-Treasurer

Secretary/Treasurer Matthew Baring thanked past Secretary/Treasurer Paul Hertz for his help in making for a smooth transition during the August/September 2001 period.

Matthew communicated the results of the HEAD election, namely that Roger Blandford was elected to the office of Vice-Chair, Matthew Baring was elected unopposed to the office of Secretary/Treasurer, and the three newly elected members of the Executive Committee are Omer Blaes, Brenda Dingus and Ramesh Narayan. 261 HEAD members voted including 15 paper ballots. The votes were fairly evenly spread out for EC posts among the top five candidates, reflecting the strong slate of candidates we had. Alice thanked outgoing Committee members, Lars Bildsten, Vicky Kaspi and Marty Weisskopf for their two years of service to HEAD.

Matthew summarized the membership statistics, noting that HEAD now has approximately 800 members, a slow increase over the course of the year from around 700. He also reported that HEAD assets have increased to approximately $26,000, with income for 2001 being around $5,800, and the expenses for 2001 were approximately $3,000. Hence the net income for 2001 was approximately $2,800.

Report from NASA Headquarters

Paul Hertz, summarized the present structure of the Space Science Enterprise (SSE) umbrella, and specifically focused on the Astronomy and Physics Division under the Directorship of Dr. Anne Kinney, which oversees the Origins and Structure and Evolution of the Universe themes. An organizational chart for the Division can be found at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/admin/divisions/sz/index.htm. Paul noted that the recent report on the 2001 Senior Review of the Space Science Research and Analysis Programs was now available at that Web site.

On the topic of specific research programs, Paul summarized the re-clustering into two sectors, research and technology, and research and analysis. He noted that the Chandra AO proposal deadline was now March 15th, 2002. In response to questions about the lateness of the reviews for the ATP, ADP and LTSA programs under ROSS-2001, Paul indicated that OSS viewed this as a "one-time" glitch, impacted by the events of September 11.

Paul also reviewed the progress of developing the Structure and Evolution of the Universe 2003 Roadmap, the responsibility of SEUS, indicating that white papers were due January 31st, that the Roadmap would be complete around September 1st, 2002, and that OSS would hold a Stragegic Plan Workshop in November this year. Details can be found at http://universe.gsfc.nasa.gov/roadmap.html.

Report of the Press Officer

Press Officer Lynn Cominsky summarized some of the press release highlights relating to HEAD science from the June 2001 Pasadena meeting of the AAS, the January 2002 Washington, DC meeting of the AAS, the April 2000 conference "Gamma 2001" held in Baltimore, and the "Two Years of Science with Chandra" workshop held in Washington, DC in September 2001. Highlights from the January 2002 AAS meeting included press releases by Q. Daniel Wang on a deep Chandra survey of the Galactic Center, and by David Helfand on the VLA and XMM surveys of the galactic plane. Press releases of the other aforementioned meetings were discussed in the November Newsletter, and can be viewed on-line at http://www.aas.org/head/headnews/headnews.nov01.html.

Lynn concluded by announcing that she will be resigning as HEAD Press Officer after the Albuquerque meeting, citing a considerable increase in responsibilities, but would be fully active until then and would assist in the transition period for the next Press Officer.

Report of the Chair

Outgoing HEAD Chair, Alice Harding opened her report by thanking Lynn Cominsky for her efforts and enthusiasm as Press Officer over the last 5+ years. Outgoing Committee member Marty Weisskopf then presented Lynn with an "almost lifesize" color-coded image of the Chandra sky to express HEAD's appreciation for her service, and announced that incoming Chair, Josh Grindlay would be the point of contact for the search for a new Press Officer.

Alice announced that the 2002 Bruno Rossi prize is being awarded to Leon van Speybroeck for his singular contribution to high energy astrophysics leading to the exquisite image quality produced by the Chandra X-ray telescope. Dr. van Speybroeck will be invited to accept this award and deliver an invited talk at the Seattle meeting of the AAS in January, 2003.

The Albuquerque joint meeting of HEAD with the Division of Astrophysics of the American Physical Society was advertised, with dates and pertinent information on the abstract and registration deadlines mentioned by Alice; details can be found at http://www.aas.org/head/. Alice mentioned that the competition for the Schramm award for high energy astrophysics journalism was to be conducted in the Spring, with the award to be announced and presented at the Albuqerque meeting.

Other Business

Prof. Maurice Shapiro proposed that HEAD endow a prize for some unspecified outstanding contribution to high energy astrophysics, to be named the Ken Greisen prize in honor of his scientific contributions. This prompted the Chair, Alice Harding to observe that the Executive Committee planned to look into a Dissertation/Thesis prize in high energy astrophysics.

Alice Harding concluded the 2001-2002 HEAD term by handing over the Chair to Josh Grindlay, who then adjourned the Business Meeting.

These minutes were prepared by Matthew Baring, Secretary-Treasurer, High Energy Astrophysics Division, American Astronomical Society.

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