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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 http://www.aas.org/head/headnews/headnews.nov02.html.

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.

Other Business


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.

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