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Committee Membership Information

Project Title: A Decadal Strategy for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) - Panel on Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Interactions

PIN: DEPS-SSB-10-07        

Major Unit:
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Sub Unit: Aeronautics & Space Engineering Board DEPS
Space Studies Board DEPS


Charo, Art

Subject/Focus Area:  Space and Aeronautics

Committee Membership
Date Posted:   10/06/2010

Dr. Michelle F. Thomsen - (Chair)
Los Alamos National Laboratory

MICHELLE F. THOMSEN is a fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Having worked as a staff scientist from 1981 until her retirement in 2009, Dr. Thomsen now works on contract with the laboratory. Her primary research activities have involved the analysis and interpretation of spacecraft data, especially plasma data from the ISEE satellites, the Cassini spacecraft to Saturn, and the Los Alamos geosynchronous satellites. She is the author or co-author of over 360 publications. Previously, she served as the principal investigator for the plasma instruments on the geosynchronous satellites, as well as the chief scientist for space environment in the LANL High Altitude Space Monitoring program. She has also served as the acting director of the LANL Center for Space Science and Exploration. In addition, she served for 2 weeks as a Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Thomsen has received an outstanding alumni award from the University of Iowa, an honorary doctorate in science from Colorado College, and has been elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). She has served on a number of committees and advisory and review panels for NASA, NSF, the NRC, and the AGU. She served a term as secretary for AGU's Space Physics and Aeronomy Section (magnetosphere), she has twice served as associate editor for Geophysical Research Letters and is currently on the editorial board of Space Science Reviews. Dr. Thomsen is currently a member of NASA’s Heliophysics Advisory Subcommittee. She served a term as chair of NASA’s former Earth-Sun Systems Subcommittee. She received her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Iowa. She has served on the NRC’s Committee on Solar and Space Physics and the Panel on Solar-Wind Magnetospereric Interactions.

Dr. Michael Wiltberger - (Vice Chair)
National Center for Atmospheric Research

MICHAEL WILTBERGER is a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)in the Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory of the High Altitude Laboratory. A component of his work involves modeling of ionospheric outflows where data from the Solar Extreme-ultraviolet Experiment (SEE) on the NASA TIMED satellite were used as input to the NCAR Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIE-GCM) for a simulation spanning the declining phase of solar cycle 23 from 2001-2007. Model simulations of the neutral thermospheric density at ~400 km were compared with density measurements obtained from observations of the atmospheric drag on five spherical satellites in low-Earth orbit. In previous positions, he served as a research assistant professor for the Department of Astronomy at Dartmouth College. He has been published in multiple scientific journals. NASA awarded him the group achievement award and the American Geophysical Union awarded him an outstanding student paper award in 1998. He earned his BS in physics from Clarkson University and his M.S. for physics then his Ph.D. for space Plasma Physics from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Joseph Borovsky
Los Alamos National Laboratory

JOSEPH BOROVSKY is a scientist with the Space Science and Applications Group of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Dr. Borovsky, a 19-year veteran of LANL, works primarily on NASA-funded research in space physics, plasma physics, and surface physics. He served as a guest investigator at the Max Planck Institute for Aeronautics in Germany. His recent efforts have been focused on turbulence, the aurora, and Earth’s magnetosphere. He is a member and past editor for the AGU. Dr. Borovsky has contributed to numerous articles and professional journals. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Joseph F. Fennell
The Aerospace Corporation

JOESEPH F. FENNELL is a distinguished scientist in the Space Science Applications Laboratory of the Physical Sciences Laboratory at the Aerospace Corporation. At Aerospace Dr. Fennell has been heavily involved in the development, fabrication, testing, and flight of many different particle instruments. These have covered the range from auroral and magnetospheric plasma instruments to medium- and high-energy electron and ion sensors. The most recent instrumentation efforts have been with the energetic particles and energetic ion composition measurements on the SCATHA, VIKING, CRRES, POLAR, Cluster II, RBSP, and operational Department of Defense satellites. Dr. Fennell’s professional activity has included studies of artificially injected and natural geomagnetically trapped particles, solar cosmic rays, particle access to the magnetosphere, particle transport within the magnetosphere, energetic particle composition, ring current development, space radiation effects, and spacecraft charging and the impact the charging has on satellite systems. Recent studies have included observations of radiation belt particle transport and losses; magnetic storm and substorm processes; high-altitude plasma sheet, cusp, plasma mantle, and ring current composition studies; and studies of the plasma sheet boundary. He is a fellow of the AGU and received the Aerospace Presidents Award for his work in satellite charging and its effects. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri. Dr. Fennell has served on the NRC Committee on Solar and Terrestrial Research, the Committee on Solar and Space Physics, the Panel on Solar Wind and Magnetosphere Interactions for the 2003 solar and space physics decadal survey, and on the Committee on the Societal and Economic Impacts of Severe Space Weather Events.

Dr. Jerry Goldstein
Southwest Research Institute

JERRY GOLDSTEIN is a staff scientist at the Southwest Research Institute and an an assistant adjoint professor of physics at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Dr. Goldstein specializes in the study of inner magnetospheres of Earth and Saturn. His primary research involves data analysis and modeling of data from the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) mission, the Two Wide-angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers (TWINS) mission, and the Cassini mission. Dr. Goldstein teaches graduate-level courses at UTSA and is the Science Operations Center lead for TWINS. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and recipient of the 2006 Macelwane Medal in recognition of his plasmaspheric research. He has authored or co-authored dozens of articles and has been cited hundreds of times in multiple journals. In 2006, Popular Science Magazine named Dr. Goldstein one of its annual “Brilliant 10” young scientists, and the San Antonio Business Journal included him in its “Forty Under 40.” In 2009, Dr. Goldstein received the Young Alumnus Award from Brooklyn College. He earned his Ph.D. in space physics from Dartmouth College.

Dr. Janet C. Green
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

JANET C. GREEN is a physicist at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center. She acts as the instrument scientist for the particle detectors on the NOAA GOES and POES satellites. Her main area of expertise is the physics of Earth’s radiation belts and their affects on satellite electronics and performance. Dr. Green guides the design and implementation of new NOAA particle instruments, monitors current data and instrument performance, and transitions new algorithms and products that rely on the data into operations. She also collaborates with the research community to improve understanding and modeling of Earth’s radiation belts and works with the user community to understand and mitigate satellite anomalies. Dr. Green received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Prof. Donald A. Gurnett
The University of Iowa

DONALD A. GURNETT (NAS) is a professor at the University of Iowa. His primary research interests are in the area of magnetospheric radio and plasma wave research, with more than 450 scientific publications. Dr. Gurnett has participated in more than 25 spacecraft projects, including Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo, and Cassini. Among his numerous research awards are the John Howard Dellinger Gold Medal from the International Scientific Radio Union, the John Adam Fleming Medal from the AGU, the Excellence in Plasma Physics Award from the American Physical Society, and the Hannes Alfven Medal from the European Geosciences Union. He has also received several teaching awards, including the Iowa board of regent award for faculty excellence. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Gurnett received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Iowa. He served on the NRC Panel on Space Sciences and the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration.

Dr. Lynn M. Kistler
University of New Hampshire

LYNN M. KISTLER is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics and in the Space Science Center at the University of New Hampshire. Her major research interests are in the impact of heavy ions on dynamics of the magnetosphere, particularly the ring current and the magnetotail. Dr. Kistler is also interested in space instrumentation to measure ion composition and has been involved in developing instruments for CLUSTER, FAST, Equator-S, ACE, and STEREO missions. She was involved in the NASA Sun-Earth Connections Roadmap Committee in 1999, the NASA Heliophysics Lunar Science Subpanel in 2006, and the NASA Heliospheric Mission Planning Working Group (Roadmap) in 2008. Dr. Kistler was the AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy-Magnetospheric Physics Secretary from 2008-2010. She earned her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Michael W. Liemohn
University of Michigan

MICHAEL W. LIEMOHN is an associate professor of space science and engineering in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan (UM). At UM, Dr. Liemohn has led the development of several numerical models for energetic particle transport and the usage of these models for the interpretation of ground-based and spacecraft measurements. His current research activities include investigations of the stormtime inner magnetosphere (electrons, ring current, and plasmasphere) and understanding both the large-scale and small-scale processes of relevance, including magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, ionospheric conductance influences, and magnetospheric plasma sources. He is also involved in energetic electron and ion data analysis and modeling around Mars, especially using the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Express data sets. He completed an NRC-sponsored postdoctoral position at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center before returning to UM in 1998. Dr. Liemohn has served as chair of the NASA Geospace Management and Operations Working Group, chair of the NSF Geospace Environment Modeling steering committee, and has served on various other NASA, NSF, and Los Alamos National Laboratory advisory committees. He earned his Ph.D. in atmospheric and space science from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Robyn Millan
Dartmouth College

ROBYN MILLAN is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College. Her research includes the use of high-altitude scientific balloon experiments to study Earth’s radiation belts, specifically the loss of relativistic electrons from the outer radiation belts into Earth’s atmosphere. Dr. Millan is principal investigator for the BARREL (Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses) project, which is being planned for flight in association with the Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission. Her prior positions include research appointments at Dartmouth and at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in physics at the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. Dr. Millan served on the NRC Committee on the Role and Scope of Mission-Enabling Activities in NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions.

Dr. Donald G. Mitchell
Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory

DONALD G. MITCHELL is the Cassini spacecraft instrument scientist and IBEX co-investigator at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). Dr. Mitchell has been with JHU/APL since 1976. He was the lead investigator for the High Energy Neutral Atom (HENA) imager for the IMAGE mission. He is currently the instrumentation scientist for the Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument for the Cassini Saturn mission and the Radiation Belt Science of Protons and Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE). He has many publications in Earth magnetospheric, solar wind, and outer planets magnetospheric physics. He is a member of the AGU, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Academy of Astronautics. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of New Hampshire in 1975. He has previously served on the NRC Committee on International Space Programs and the Committee on Solar and Space Physics.

Dr. Tai D. Phan
University of California, Berkeley

TAI D. PHAN is a senior fellow at the Space Sciences Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked as a visiting postdoctoral scientist with the Max Planck Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik in Germany and as a research associate for the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics at the National Research Council in Canada. Dr. Phan is a co-investigator of the NASA Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) mission to study the cause of magnetospheric substorms. He leads an inter-disciplinary science team of the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission to study the microphysics of magnetic reconnection. His research interests include solar wind interaction with Earth’s magnetosphere, and magnetic reconnection in the solar wind, magnetosheath, and magnetosphere. He earned his Ph. D. in engineering from Dartmouth College.

Dr. Michael Shay
University of Delaware

MICHAEL SHAY is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware. Dr. Shay studies plasma physics using analytical theory and massively parallel computer simulations. He has extensively studied one multiscale process called magnetic reconnection, in which a large amount of magnetic energy is explosively released in the form energetic particle acceleration, heating, and plasma flows. He is also studying novel simulation techniques which may provide a means to directly simulate multiscale phenomena. Dr. Shay has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from NSF. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Harlan E. Spence
University of New Hampshire

HARLAN E. SPENCE is a professor of physics and director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Prior to UNH, Dr. Spence was a professor and department chair at the Center for Space Physics at Boston University. He has also served as a senior member of the technical staff at the Aerospace Corporation. Dr. Spence’s research interests include theoretical and experimental space plasma physics, cosmic rays and radiation belt processes, and physics of the heliosphere, planetary magnetospheres, and the aurora. He has served on multiple NASA and National Science Foundation (NSF) advisory panels including the NASA Living with a Star Management Operations Working Group and the NASA Earth-Sun System Subcommittee. Dr. Spence received his Ph.D. in geophysics and space physics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He previously served on the NRC’s Panel on Solar Wind and Magnetosphere Interactions, the Panel on Space Sciences, and the Committee on Solar and Space Physics. He is currently serving on the Committee for the Decadal Strategy for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics).

Dr. Richard M. Thorne
University of California, Los Angeles

RICHARD M. THORNE is a professor of atmospheric physics in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at University of California, Los Angeles. He was a member of the Galileo Energetic Particle Detector team and chair of the GEM working group on Energetic Electron Variability. He is currently chair of the GEM focus group on Diffuse Auroral Precipitation, co-investigator and chair of the Radiation Working Group on the NASA New Frontiers JUNO mission, and co-investigator and lead theorist on the NASA Living With a Star RBSP-ECT and EMFISIS teams. His principal research involves theoretical studies of the interactions between waves and particles in geophysical plasmas, including the origin of many different classes of plasma waves found in the highly tenuous solar system plasmas, and the role of wave-particle scattering on the dynamics of the energetic radiation belts, and the effects of particle precipitation on the upper atmosphere. Dr. Thorne is a fellow of the AGU. He has served on numerous NASA panels including the Geosciences Mission Definition Team for NASA’s Living with a Star Program, the CASSINI Extended Mission Senior Review Board, and the JUNO project Radiation Advisory Board. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.