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, 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. 

 Chris De Pree 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.

Kay Kane Kay Kane (2018-2021)
Kay is the Instructional Design Specialist at the U.S. Green Building Council. She supports curation and development of education for USGBC, both classroom based workshops and online content. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and has a Master of Arts in Instructional Systems Development from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Kay has been involved in education in the sustainability and design/construction industries for 20+ years.

 Neal Miller

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.

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Knut Olsen (2017-2020)

 Eric Perlman

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.

 Travis Rector

Travis Rector (2018-2021)
Dr. Rector is a professor in the physics and astronomy department at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Dr. Rector earned his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in 1998, after which time he was a postdoctoral research scientist at Kitt Peak National Observatory.  He was then a Karl Jansky Research Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, New Mexico, before joining the faculty at UAA in 2003.  Living in Alaska and seeing the changes has made it clear how important it is for all scientists to be advocates for education and awareness of climate change.  Dr. Rector is engaged in teaching climate change, as well as helping his fellow astronomers to do the same.

Caroline Roberts


Caroline Roberts (2018-2021)
Caroline is a graduate student at Georgia State University. She is working with archival Gemini NIFS data to improve the supermassive black hole mass estimate of the active galactic nucleus of NGC 4151 through stellar dynamical modeling. She plans to pursue work in astronomy and physics science education and outreach upon graduation.

 Andria Schwortz

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.

 Alejandro Soto

Alejandro Soto (2018-2021)
I am a Research Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), where I work in the Planetary Science Directorate in Boulder, CO. I study the climate dynamics of terrestrial atmospheres through the use atmospheric models of varying complexity, including general circulation models and mesoscale models. I am also involved in instrument development, using new laser based techniques to observe atmospheres and surfaces both in situ and remotely. Finally, I am a member of the Project ESPRESSO team, which is a virtual institute funded by NASA’s SSERVI program to enable and enhance future solar system exploration by developing the tools and techniques that both robotic and human explorers will need.

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