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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics


Related to the Planetary Science Workforce Survey 2018

Part A: Department Survey

What form do I use to fill in? Please go to the main page and download the UPDATED FORM.

How do I fill in the form?  Open the 2018PlanetaryDeptSurveyForm.pdf with Acrobat. You should be able to fill in the windows and click the bullets. Then save the file with a name like 2018PlanetaryDeptSurveyForm-YourName.pdf and send it to

What about exoplanets? This is an exploding field! To maintain consistency that allows a longitudinal study, we have limited this departmental survey to our solar system – except for question 24 at the end. The individual survey will fully include exoplanet researchers.

What about people who study space weather?  Unless the space weather involves a planetary object that’s not Earth nor the Sun, then it’s not planetary science, for the purposes of this survey.

Where do Research Faculty fit into the survey?  This is a complicated issue.  Seems that each university has a different system. Note that the individual survey of planetary scientists will hopefully count all people who are doing planetary research. The goal of this departmental survey is to quantify the academic pipeline. That is why we defined faculty as “teaching and/or research faculty who are tenured, tenure-track or temporary instructors primarily funded by the university”. Perhaps a useful “rule-of-thumb” may be if someone is paid out of university funds to teach for ~40% of their time, then they are faculty – for the purposes of this survey. People who are primarily funded via grants or contracts are, for the purposes of this survey, defined as research scientists. Yes, such research scientists may supervise students and teach classes sometimes.

Does a student degree need to have “planetary science” on the diploma to be classified as planetary science?  No – definitions are indeed messy – we leave this to the discretion of the department filling in the form. Just consider whether a substantial component of the program involves studying solar system objects that are not the Sun or Earth.

Include questions about courses  involving planetary science being taught?  Good point. For next survey.

Where do I say things that are not captured by the survey?  Question 23 is an opportunity for you to describe things about your department that you feel are not captured by the survey. e.g. you have a close collaboration with a nearby research institution, you have a consortium of local colleges that co-teach planetary science classes, you have a research lab with N research faculty, you have a summer program that brings in N REU students to do research that includes planetary science, etc.

Part B: Individual Survey

Stay tuned!