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January 2010: Special Session: Longitudinal Study of Astronomy Grad Students

The purpose of this session is to make attendees aware of the status of the longitudinal study of astronomy graduate students. AIP recently completed data collection for the first phase of this study, which has been jointly funded by AAS and AIP. The project, which began in 2007, was the result of recommendations made at the 2003 Women in Astronomy Conference. Eventually, the study will track astronomy graduate students over the course of several years. The study has several purposes: to collect data on people who obtain graduate degrees in astronomy, to compare attrition rates for men and women, to collect data on people who leave the field of astronomy, and to collect data on astronomers who work outside the traditional employment sectors of academe and the observatories. During the first wave of data collection, we received more than 1100 responses that are useable for the analyses. Approximately 700 men and more than 400 women responded, representing 148 different graduate programs. Findings from the first survey will be discussed at the session..

Special session presentations by Patricia Knezek and Rachel Ivie can be downloaded below: