Spring 2013 Department News

First LPL Women's Lunch

by Kristin Block

The first LPL Women's lunch had an impressive turnout of 36 women, representing alumnae, faculty, staff, and grad students, and many people who are combinations thereof.  We came from the Kuiper, Sonett, and Drake buildings as well as JHUAPL, BYU, and Caltech (thanks to the Titan Working Group Meeting for bringing the out-of-towners).  As a result of the lunch, our email discussion list has grown from less than twenty members to over fifty. Anyone interested in joining the email list can subscribe here.


  • The personalized tour of HiRISE science operations for Drake Building people after the LPL Staff Colloquium was a joint effort organized by women who made contact at the event. We intend to continue the tradition across the LPL buildings whenever possible.

  • Because there is demonstrated interest in continuing group events, Ingrid Daubar and I submitted a mini-grant proposal to the university's Committee on the Status of Women for funding to support future meetings, networking opportunities, guest speakers, and mentoring, community building and outreach events. The mini-grant proposal was successful, and the "LPL Women" project was awarded funds in support of fostering a sense of community within the women of LPL; fostering a sense of community and inclusion on campus by reaching out to other women in science groups through joint discussions or social events; providing time and space to discuss issues such as those raised by the Strategic Planning Committee; increasing awareness of resources and career options; participating as "LPL Women" at LPL general public and children's outeach events.

  • A number of LPL Women are now connected to Steward Observatory's Women in Science Forum and vice-versa, a trend Vanessa Bailey (graduate student in Astronomy) and I are actively promoting.

We welcome new members and ideas for further activities!