About Us

The AAS Sustainability Committee is an ad-hoc committee of the AAS Council, with members appointed by the president of the AAS.  The current membership includes:
Geoff Clayton

James Lowenthal

Todd Henry

Bob Blum

Shawn Domagal-Goldman

Eric Perlman
Eric Perlman

Andria Schwortz

Chris De Pree
Chris De Pree

Neal Miller
Neal Miller

[no photo]
Knut Olsen

Geoff Clayton, chair (2017-2018), member (2014-2016)
Geoff is a professor in Physics & Astronomy at Louisiana State University. He works on dust in a wide variety of environments including the ISM of the Local Group, around R Coronae Borealis stars, and in Type II supernovae. He has previously served on the IAU Working Group on Women in Astronomy, and the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy of the AAS. He is presently serving on the AAS Council. 

James Lowenthal (2014-2018), AAS Council Liaison
Former Chair (2010-2012, 2014-2017)
James is professor of Astronomy at Smith College in Northampton, MA, which is part of the Five College Astronomy Department consortium, and a former Councilor of the AAS (2009-2013).  His research centers on galaxy formation and evolution, starburst galaxies both local and high-redshift, and submillimeter galaxies such as those that the UMass/INAOE Large Millimeter Telescope finds.  He formerly chaired the Smith College Committee on Sustainability and is active in local and regional environmental and political issues.  He leads a regional chapter of a statewide bicycle advocacy non-profit organization and gives frequent public talks on the links between climate change, transportation, the economy, public health, and quality of life, as well as light pollution.

Todd Henry (2014-2018)
Todd is currently a professor of Astronomy at Georgia State University in Atlanta, and is a Councilor of the AAS (2012-2015).  He directs the REsearch Consortium On Nearby Stars (RECONS), which was established in 1994 to understand the nature of the Sun's nearest stellar neighbors, both individually and as a population, and to explore their environments for planets and dust.  He is an avid runner, recycler, and motivator to others to refuse that styrofoam ...  bring your own plate to lunch instead!

Bob Blum (2014-2018)
Bob is the Deputy Director of NOAO and based in Tucson, AZ. Bob has done research on the Galactic Center and currently works on studies of massive stars/clusters in the Milky Way as well as resolved stellar populations in the Magellanic Clouds and the bulge of the Milky Way. He is also working with the NOAO team on the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), a dark energy experiment led by LBNL (DOE) that will deploy a multi object spectrograph on the Mayall 4-m telescope at Kitt Peak for a 14000 square degree galaxy survey. Bob is an avid reader of Joe Romm at Climate Progress, a bicycle commuter (as often as possible), and proud of his 10 Kw home solar power system! 

Shawn Domagal-Goldman (2014-2018)
Shawn is a Research Space Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. His research is on exoplanet characterization lessons from the “pale orange dot” that was the Archean Earth. He has simulated the atmosphere and climate of ancient Earth, ancient Mars, modern Mars, and a variety of hypothesized Earth-like extrasolar planets that might be studied by a future exoplanet spectroscopy mission. He is a member of the Mars Curiosity team, the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory, and the ROCKE3D team in the NASA Exoplanet System Science network. The ROCKE3D team will apply a GCM normally used for anthropogenic climate chance predictions, ModelE, and apply it to other rocky planets in the solar system. In addition to providing new comparative planetology research, this work will help validate the model's tuning for simulations of past, present, and future conditions on Earth.

Eric Perlman (2016-2019)
Eric Perlman is a Professor of Physics and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL, which is the founding member of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy.  His research centers on active galactic nuclei, supermassive black holes, and observational cosmology, including the use of astronomical observations to test models of quantum gravity.  His research uses both earth-based and space-based telescopes in bands ranging from the radio through the gamma-rays.  He teaches astronomy and physics classes at a variety of levels ranging from Freshman to graduate.

Andria C. Schwortz (2016-2019)
Andria is a PhD candidate in astronomy at the University of Wyoming and is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA. Andria's thesis research is interdisciplinary in education and astronomy. In astronomy, Andria uses the clustering properties of quasars to probe both the influence of clustering on the duty cycle of radio jets, and their evolution with the age of the universe.  In education research, Andria investigates issues of novice and expert traits, student engagement, and social justice in studio physics and astronomy students learning to work with large data sets.  

Chris De Pree (2017-2020)
Chris De Pree is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Astronomy at Agnes Scott College in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. He received his BS in physics from Duke University (1988), and his PhD in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1996). He has been at Agnes Scott College since 1996. Professor De Pree hosts a popular monthly Open House series at Bradley Observatory on the campus of Agnes Scott College, where he is the Director. He has written and edited a number of popular science books, including Idiot’s Guides: The Cosmos (2014). He lives in Decatur with his wife, Sheryl.

Neal Miller (2017-2020)
Neal Miller is an assistant professor of physics at Stevenson University, where he is a member and former chair of the school's environmental sustainability committee.  He obtained his AB in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University and his PhD in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. His research involves using radio continuum emission to study galaxy evolution, both in the galaxy cluster environment and through cosmic time via deep fields.

Knut Olsen (2017-2020)