The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its membership of about 7, 000 individuals also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research and educational interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.
A tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, the AAS is one of 10 member societies in the American Institute of Physics (AIP), whose mission is to advance, promote, and serve the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity. AIP publishes which is offered to all members of its member societies. AIP also provides authoritative information, services, and expertise in physics education and student programs, science communication, government relations, career services for science and engineering professionals, statistical research in physics employment and education, industrial outreach, and the history of physics and allied fields.
The AAS Executive Office is located in a third-floor suite of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) building near DuPont Circle in Washington, DC. Aside from a handful of staff members who work in small satellite offices elsewhere in North America, most employees work in the DC office under the leadership of the AAS Executive Officer, Dr. Kevin B. Marvel.
The AAS Council is the Board of Directors of the corporation, sets the overall direction for the Society, supervises the Executive Officer, and allocates the resources necessary to attain the Society’s mission and goals. The Council is composed of Officers (President, Vice-Presidents, etc.) and Councilors. Various advisory or action-taking committees accomplish much of the Council’s work, supplemented by working groups and task forces established to achieve specific goals on relatively short time scales.
The AAS has numerous classes of individual and corporate membership. Most individuals in the Society are full, associate, or junior members. Full membership is open to any person deemed capable of preparing an acceptable scientific paper on some subject in astronomy or a related branch of science. Full members usually have a PhD or equivalent. Associate membership is open to any person 28 years of age or older who is not a student and has not earned a doctorate in the astronomical sciences but who is actively involved in the advancement of the field. Junior membership is open to any person under 28 years of age who is actively involved in the advancement of the astronomical sciences or who is a full time student pursuing a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate in the field.
More information about individual and corporate membership, including qualifications, the application process, dues, and benefits, is available on our Membership pages.