June 2011 Newsletter (Vol. 3, Issue 1)

Midwest Astrochemistry News, Volume 3, Issue 1, June 2011

CONTENTS:
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1. IMPROVED MEMBER DIRECTORY & MAILING LIST
2. CALL FOR NEW MEMBERS
3. MIDWEST ASTROCHEMISTRY MEETING -- 2010 WRAP-UP and 2011 ORGANIZATION
4. NSF PROPOSAL NEWS
5. UNSUBSCRIBING

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1. IMPROVED MEMBER DIRECTORY & MAILING LIST

We have put together a new web-based directory system for MWAC, which
allows you to edit your own directory information easily, and also sort
the directory listing by institution, interests, etc. We encourage you
to visit http://midwest.astrochem.us/directory and check it out. You'll
need to start by using the "password recovery" feature using the email
address at which you received this message. You can then change your
password (please don't use a favorite password, as we store ours in an
insecure manner) and update your other information. The email address
listed in this system is the one at which you will receive all future
MWAC correspondence.

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2. CALL FOR NEW MEMBERS

Are there people in your research group, at your institution, or nearby
institutions who might be interested in MWAC but are not listed in our
database? If so, please ask them to contact Ben McCall with their
preferred email address, and he will add them to our system. Or simply
forward this email to them. Membership is free!

Ben's email: bjmccall@illinois.edu

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3. MIDWEST ASTROCHEMISTRY MEETING -- 2010 WRAP-UP and 2011 ORGANIZATION

The 2010 Midwest Astrochemistry Meeting was a smashing success, with
about 50 people in attendance. There were 17 posters and a total of 9
invited and contributed talks. Pictures from the MWAM10 meeting have
been uploaded and can be reached from a link on the meeting's webpage:
http://midwest.astrochemistry.us/MWAM10/

The 2011 Midwest Astrochemistry Meeting will be held 21-22 October in
Urbana, a little earlier this year so as to better avoid the NSF
proposal deadlines. Please reserve the date on your schedule. The
webpage for MWAM11 is up:http://midwest.astrochemistry.us/MWAM11/

Planning for the meeting is underway. This year's invited speaker is
Prof. Ted Bergin of the University of Michigan. We are looking for 3-5
people to serve on the Scientific Organizing Committee, which is chaired
by Dave Woon. If you would like to volunteer to serve on this year's
SOC, please email Dave Woon (davidewoon@gmail.com).

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4. NSF PROPOSAL NEWS

Last fall, after MWAM10, Dave Woon and Ben McCall led an effort to put
together a modest (~$38K) NSF proposal to support an expansion of the
activities of the consortium. In particular, we requested support to
expand participation in the MWAMs (through student prizes and travel
grants), to create a traveling webinar series, and to institute an
astrochemistry summer school. We also proposed to lay the groundwork for
an eventual American Astrochemistry Society. The proposal included
letters of commitment from 23 astrochemistry PIs in the Midwest, and we
thought it was quite compelling.

Unfortunately, we recently heard that the proposal was declined. While 4
of the 6 reviews were positive (3 "Excellent" and 1 "Very Good"), there
were also 2 "Good" reviews, which apparently were enough to prevent it
from being funded. One of these "Good" reviewers suggested that perhaps
it would be better if our efforts to organize astrochemistry were
supported by AAS and/or ACS rather than NSF. The second displayed open
disdain for the field of astrochemistry, and suggested the field has no
need of additional support.

All of the reviews will be quite helpful for refining the proposal for
resubmission, and we are targeting the November window again for this.
We evidently need to defend the vigor and rigor of the field a bit more
explicitly, while noting that there is much better organization and
institutional support for astrochemistry in Europe. We look forward to
discussing the resubmission with many of you at MWAM11, and we are
optimistic about our chances in the next cycle!

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5. UNSUBSCRIBING

Our online membership directory does not yet have a mechanism for remov-
ing oneself from the mailing list, so if you no longer wish to receive
emails from MWAC, please email Ben McCall (bjmccall@illinois.edu) and he
will remove you manually.



Page updated: 18 April 2010