Minutes of the business meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society.
January 10, 2001 -- San Diego, California
Report of the Chair
Alice Harding, HEAD Chair, welcomed the HEAD membership. Bob Milkey, the AAS Executive Officer was introduced. Alice reported that Nancy Brickhouse, Greg Madejski, and John Nousek had been elected to the HEAD Executive Committee. She thanked the outgoing committee members, Mitch Begelman, Jules Halpern, and Christine Jones, for their two years of service to HEAD.
Report of the Secretary-Treasurer
Paul Hertz, HEAD Secretary-Treasurer, reported that HEAD membership has remained constant over the past year at approximately 700 members. HEAD assets have also remained constant over the past year. HEAD's income for 2000 was approximately $11,800 and HEAD's expenses for 2000 were approximately $10,900.
Report from NASA Headquarters
Don Kniffen reported on NASA issues of interest to HEAD members. He noted that the Cosmic Journeys initiative is key to future HEA missions beyond GLAST, e.g. Constellation-X. The Cosmic Journeys initiative includes funding for technology to support Constellation-X and other future missions. It will also alleviate the tight constraints in SR&T and MO&DA. Cosmic Journeys is a top priority for OSS. However its future will require the support of the new administration. We should know its prospects for 2002 by April.
Don reported that the ROSS 2001 NRA will be released on January 26. HEA proposals will be due in April. He noted that this year's NRA is very similar to last year's NRA.
Don discussed the upcoming Senior Review of R&A programs. This review is critical for funding to the HEA and cosmic ray programs. The Senior Review will look at the balance between funding clusters. HEA can not receive additional funding of a strong case is not presented to the Senior Review. Don noted that a letter has been sent to grantees asking for input and that replies are required by next week.
Don reported that the Chandra X-ray Center has issued a "Dear Colleague" letter requesting proposals for funding to support analysis of the Chandra Deep Fields when the data becomes public. He also reported that the next MIDEX AO will be released this summer and that, starting in 2002, SR&T programs will begin receiving inflationary increases in their budgets.
Finally Don noted that his tenure at NASA Headquarters will be ending this summer, and that a new visiting scientist for high energy astrophysics is being sought. Anyone interested should contact Don Kniffen, Alan Bunner, or Lou Kaluzienski at NASA Headquarters.
Report of the Press Officer
Chris Wanjek, SEU Science Writer, gave a report for the press officer, Lynn Cominsky. Chris reported that there were about 50 SEU press releases over the past two years and that most of them concerned HEA. He reported that the most recent big story concerned MAXIM. One of the biggest stories of last year was the RXTE side-band story, which was reported internationally including the New York Times and Science.
At the HEAD meeting, there were 14 press releases. Election was decent but the election was going on (and on and on). One big story was the 3 hour RXTE burst, and the Washington Post ran a full page spread on neutron star results. At this meeting, Vicky Kaspi is reporting on the identification of the AD 386 supernova with a Chandra studied neutron star. Chris also noted that he writes a monthly column in Mercury magazine which usually deals with X-ray astronomy.
Report of the Chair
Alice Harding announced that the 2001 Rossi Prize is awarded to Andrew Fabian and Yasuo Tanaka in recognition of their discovery, with the ASCA satellite, of broad iron K-lines in active galactic nuclei, which demonstrate the effects of the strong gravitational field characteristic of black holes.
Alice reported that the HEAD meeting in Hawaii was highly successful with a record 500 attendees. She also noted that there were 8 reporters in attendance, compared to only 1 in Charleston. She reported that the next meeting will be in April 2002 in Albuquerque, and that it will be a joint meeting with the APS Division of Astrophysics. There will be a regular division meeting on Spring 2003.
There was no new business. The meeting was adjourned.
These minutes submitted by Paul Hertz, Secretary-Treasurer, High Energy Astrophysics Division, American Astronomical Society.