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Kepler Guest Observer Program

Kepler Exoplanet Council (KEC)


The Kepler Exoplanet Council provides scientific input to the Kepler project and acts as a liaison to the broader scientific community with regards to the primary exoplanet goals of the mission.


The Kepler Exoplanet Council will consist of 8 rotating members in addition to the Kepler Mission Scientist. The Project Scientist, Science Office Director, Science Principal Investigator, and the scientific SOC lead are ex-officio members of the KEC with full voting rights. The Kepler Project Manager will attend meetings and actively participate in discussions and activities.

Open solicitations for new membership will occur annually for half of the rotating positions. It is highly desirable that all KEC members are active participants in the Kepler mission. It is expected that the membership will be selected to ensure that areas critical to primary mission goals are represented. This can be accomplished, for example, by requesting that each active Working Group nominate a representative to serve on the KEC. Candidates interested in serving on the Kepler Exoplanet Council will submit a short statement (< 1 page) of their interest and < 1 page) summary of their expected contribution. Membership solicitations and selections will be coordinated by the Mission Scientist and approved by the Kepler Project Scientist.

The Mission Scientist will serve as the chair of the KEC and, as such, is responsible for calling meetings, defining meeting agenda items, tracking issues and action items, and reporting to the Project Scientist.

The number of members on the Kepler Exoplanet Council roughly corresponds to the number of active working groups which is likely to evolve as new investigations are identified and as old investigations change in scope and/or priority. The number of KEC members can be adjusted to reflect these changes.

Natalie Batalha
NASA Ames Research Center
Bill Chaplin
University of Birmingham
Bill Cochran
University of Texas, Austin
Eric Ford
University of Florida
Jaymie Matthews
University of British Columbia
Bill Welsh
San Diego State University
William Borucki
NASA Ames Research Center
ex-oficio, Science PI
David Ciardi
NASA Exoplanet Science Institute
ex-oficio, FOP
Michael Haas
NASA Ames Research Center
ex-oficio, Science Office
Steve Howell
NASA Ames Research Center
ex-oficio, Project Scientist
Jon Jenkins
SETI Institute
ex-oficio, Science Operations Center


Members will serve staggered two year terms. There is no restriction on the number of terms one can serve.


The KEC will meet via telecon as deemed appropriate. The KEC will also organize in- person meetings, typically biannually, for the scientific community participating collaboratively in analyses either directly or indirectly leading toward the determination of eta-Earth.


Functions can be divided into two broad categories: a) information flow in and out of the Kepler project and b) information flow in and out of the working groups.

  1. Provide technical/scientific input to the project:
    • Keep abreast of internal project activities related to the science objectives of the mission.
    • Ensure that the project receives external science input on topics identified by the Science Office, Science Operations Center, Project Scientist and/or Project Management.
    • Provide suggestions and communicate concerns to project.
    • Provide feedback in response to technical queries from the project.
    • Provide feedback on managerial and programmatic issues that could impact Kepler's scientific products.
    • Provide access to technical expertise.
    • Review target lists relevant to the exoplanet survey.
    • Provide input, review, and comments for Senior Review proposal.

  2. Provide technical/scientific input to the working groups:
    • Define activities/analyses needed to arrive at eta-Earth and communicate these to the community and the working groups.
    • Facilitate formation of working groups to perform the analyses required to determine eta-Earth by reaching out to the community and recruiting expertise.
    • Ensure that relevant information from the project is communicated to the working groups.
    • Provide arbitration to the working groups when requested.
    • Keep abreast of community science efforts that impact the goals of the Kepler Mission.
    • Help the project communicate with the scientific community by directing questions and requests.

Questions concerning Kepler's science opportunities and open programs, public archive or community tools? Contact us via the email address.
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Editor: Martin Still
NASA Official: Jessie Dotson
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2013
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