Professional Organizations

How to join a Professional Society

For either of these societies, it is possible to join as a student, if you are a full time undergraduate or graduate student. In the case of the AAS, joining the Society of Physics students may be the least expensive and easiest way. If your school does not have a chapter, go to the national organization at and join. Once you have joined, you are allowed to designate one member society to be in. Simply choose the AAS, and you are set to go.

Conferences are relatively inexpensive to attend if you do not get the conference proceedings or meals. Sometimes, though, the meals are very well worth attending, as that is where you get to hear the Keynote Speakers. I had the great privilege of hearing both Sean O’Keefe and Michael Griffin, both former NASA Administrators, speak. I also heard Lori Garvin speak at the ISDC conference in 2010. The AAS web site also has a space to find a roommate for conferences, making the cost to attend even more affordable for the typical PCS (poor college student).

American Astronomical Society (AAS)

In the case of the AIAA, simply go to their web site and join as a student. It is very inexpensive, and well worth it. You can write most of your technical papers alone just from the contents of the Aerospace America magazine or your AIAA Daily Launches. Conferences here are also very inexpensive to attend as a student. 

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

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