Biographies of Committee Members and Staff
JAMES L. BURCH, Chair, is vice president of the Southwest Research Institute Instrumentation and Space Research Division. Before joining the institute in 1977, he was a NASA space physicist for 6 years. As an investigator in a number of spaceflight experiments, Dr. Burch has achieved a prominent reputation in the fields of upper atmosphere geophysics and space plasma physics. In 1996 he was selected as the principal investigator for the NASA Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration investigation, which provided the first-ever global images of key regions of Earth’s magnetosphere as they respond to variations in the solar wind. SwRI led the team of researchers from eight U.S. and five foreign institutions selected to participate in the IMAGE project. Dr. Burch was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in recognition of his work in the field of space physics aeronomy, including research on the interaction of solar winds on Earth’s magnetosphere and the physics of the aurora.
CLAUDIA ALEXANDER is a space plasma physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She does research on comets and on the exosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. She serves as both the project scientist and project manager of the NASA contribution to the International Rosetta mission and has recently served as the project manager of the Galileo mission (until its demise). She began her research career with a study of the thermal history of Ganymede while an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. She continued research at the University of California, Los Angeles, on the solar wind and the solar wind interaction with Venus. She completed a Ph.D. in space plasma physics (gas kinetic theory) at the University of Michigan in 1993, where she wrote a numerical model of the process of expansion of gases from a comet nucleus. Dr. Alexander’s community interests include contributing to a NASA-sponsored, Internet-based, public science learning tool entitled “Windows to the Universe.”
VASSILIS ANGELOPOULOS is a research physicist at the Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley. In 1999, he was a member of the Science and Technology Definition Team for NASA’s Magnetospheric Constellation; he has also served as a member of the Science Definition Team for NASA’s Geospace Multiprobes. Dr. Angelopoulos’s awards and honors include the 2001 Macelwane Medal, conferred by the America Geophysical Union in recognition of significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by young scientists; the 2000 Zeldovich Medal, conferred by the Russian Academy of Sciences and COSPAR to recent Ph.D. recipients for excellence and achievement; and the 1994 Fred Scarf Award, conferred by AGU’s Space Physics and Aeronomy Section for the best Ph.D. thesis in that section.
ANTHONY CHAN is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a member of the Rice Space Institute at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chan received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1991. His area of expertise is in theoretical plasma physics with an emphasis on space and astrophysical plasmas. Dr. Chan’s research involves the study of sources, losses, and acceleration mechanisms of relativistic electrons in Earth’s magnetosphere as part of the National Space Weather Program and the NSF Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) Program. He is also working in collaboration with NASA astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz and his team in the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center to develop plasma rocket technology for NASA’s
interplanetary mission. He is also performing medical research in collaboration with anesthesiology researchers. Other research that Dr. Chan is involved with covers the use of phase-space Lagrangian Lie transform methods to derive new relativistic kinetic transport equations.
JAMES F. DRAKE is currently a professor in the Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. His work is currently focused on magnetic reconnection with space physics applications and turbulence and transport with applications to the magnetic fusion program. Dr. Drake is a fellow of the American Physical Society and was the recipient of a Humboldt Senior Scientist Research Award.
JOHN C. FOSTER, Committee Writing Team Leader, is a group leader with the Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Millstone Hill Observatory, and he is associate director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haystack Observatory and a principal research scientist. Dr. Foster’s research interests are in the physics of the magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere. Topics of particular interest include magnetosphere/ionosphere/atmosphere coupling, incoherent scatter radar, plasma waves and instabilities, ionospheric convection electric fields, and cleft and high-latitude phenomena. Dr. Foster previously served as a member of the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Radio Science (ex officio, 1999-2002) and the Committee on Solar and Space Physics: A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future (2001-2002). He also served as a member of the Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Research (1988-1991).
STEPHEN A. FUSELIER, a researcher at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, has been involved with the development of the IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) spacecraft since its inception. He is currently a co-investigator on two instruments onboard IMAGE: Far Ultraviolet (FUV) imagers and the Low Energy Neutral Atom (LENA) imager. He is also the lead U.S. investigator on the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) on the joint European Space Agency/NASA Rosetta mission. Dr. Fuselier is an author or co-author of more than 60 scientific publications, is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and was the 1995 recipient of the AGU James B. Macelwane Award.
SARAH GIBSON is a scientist at the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Dr. Gibson’s interests are in the role of the large-scale solar coronal magnetic field in both stable and dynamic coronal structures, and in the connections between the multiple heights and scales on which these structures are observed. To that end, she has interpreted observations using theoretical models of coronal force balance. Dr. Gibson’s current research focus is on coronal mass ejections—the eruptions of large amounts of matter from the Sun’s outer atmosphere that can affect sensitive electronics systems on and orbiting Earth. Her recent work has focused on sigmoidal magnetic fields. These twisted, S-shaped fields may be precursors to coronal mass ejections and are under study to determine if they can be used as tools for forecasting severe geomagnetic storms. Dr. Gibson is the recipient of several awards and honors. She was a committee member for the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society.
CRAIG KLETZING is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa. Prior to joining the University of Iowa in 1996, he was a research associate professor at the University of New Hampshire. He also held a visiting appointment at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik in Garching, Germany, in 1993 and 1994. Dr. Kletzing’s research interests lie in the area of experimental space plasma physics, and he has been a principal or co-investigator on several sounding rocket and satellite projects. He is particularly interested in the particle acceleration processes in the auroral zone. As part of this research he is working on laboratory plasma experiments to verify theoretical space plasma models in a controlled setting. In addition he has worked on particle transport problems in the magnetosphere and on the effects of lightning on the lower ionosphere.
GANG LU is currently a scientist in the Terrestrial Impacts of Solar Output section of the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Her primary research covers high-latitude ionospheric electrodynamics and ionosphere-magnetosphere interactions. Dr. Lu serves as the scientific discipline representative to the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP). She is a member of NSF’s Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) Steering Committee and a member of the Auroral Plasma Physics Working Group at the International Space Science Institute. She is the associate editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research, was elected as the secretary for the aeronomy section of the AGU SPA, and is the author of more than 70 peer-reviewed research papers. Dr. Lu received her Ph.D. in space physics from Rice University in 1991.
BARRY H. MAUK is a physicist and section supervisor in the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Mauk’s professional service includes study scientist for NASA’s Living with a Star Geospace Program; principal investigator for the Auroral Multiscale Midex mission, selected for Phase II consideration, January 1999; co-investigator with NASA’s Voyager Low Energy Charged Particles Investigation and NASA’s Cassini Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument Investigation; team member of the Galileo Energetic Particle Detector investigation; and instrument scientist on the Messenger Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer investigation. Dr. Mauk has served on the NRC’s Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration; NASA’s Science Working Group Panel for the Inner Magnetospheric Imager; NASA’s Multiprobes Mission Science Definition Team; and NASA’s Sun-Earth Connections Roadmap Committee, 1999. He served as a member of NASA’s Sun-Earth Connections Roadmap Committee in 2002.
EUGENE N. PARKER is the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Physics at the University of Chicago. He is one of the nation’s most distinguished theoretical astrophysicists. A recipient of numerous prizes from his peers, he also has extensive NRC service on committees and task groups related to solar physics and astronomy. Dr. Parker is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and chaired the NAS Astronomy Section from 1983 to 1986. His current research interests include theoretical plasma physics; magnetohydrodynamics; solar and terrestrial physics; basic physics of the active star; application and extension of classical physics to the active conditions found in the astronomical universe (for example, the stellar x-ray corona); and the solar wind and the origin of stellar and galactic magnetic fields. Dr. Parker served as chair of the NRC Task Group on Ground-based Solar Research (1997-1998).
ROBERT W. SCHUNK is a professor and the director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Science at Utah State University. His expertise lies in the general areas of plasma physics, fluid mechanics, aeronomy, space physics, electricity and magnetism, and data analysis. Dr. Schunk has developed numerous computer models of space physics phenomena, regions, and spacecraft-environment interactions. With colleagues, he developed unique three-dimensional time-dependent models of the ionosphere, polar wind, plasmasphere, thermosphere, plasma cloud expansions, and ionosphere/high voltage sphere interactions. Dr. Schunk has published numerous papers comparing model predictions with measurements, using data from several coherent and incoherent scatter radars, ionosondes, rockets, satellites, and the space shuttle. He is vice chair of Commission C of COSPAR, a scientific committee of the International Council of Scientific Unions, and is a member of Commissions G and H of the International Union of Radio Science.
GARY P. ZANK is a professor of physics and the director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Riverside. He was formerly with the Bartol Research Institute, University of Delaware. His research interests are wide-ranging, encompassing the physics of the outer heliosphere, the interaction of the solar wind with the local interstellar medium, compressible and incompressible turbulence, shock wave theory, particle acceleration at both interplanetary and galactic
shocks, cosmic rays, solar energetic particles, coronal heating, general linear and nonlinear wave theory, the interaction of comets with the solar wind, and general magnetohydrodynamic theory. Dr. Zank is the recipient of an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Zeldovich Medal, which is awarded jointly by the Russian Academy of Sciences and COSPAR, and he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
ARTHUR CHARO, Study Director, received his Ph.D. in physics from Duke University in 1981 and was a postdoctoral fellow in chemical physics at Harvard University from 1982 to 1985. Dr. Charo then pursued his interests in national security and arms control at Harvard University’s Center for Science and International Affairs, where he was a fellow from 1985 to 1988. From 1988 to 1995, he worked in the International Security and Space Program in the U.S. Congress’s Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). Dr. Charo has been a senior program officer at the Space Studies Board (SSB) of the NRC since OTA’s closure in 1995. His principal responsibilities at the SSB are to direct the activities of the NRC Committee on Earth Studies and the NRC Committee on Solar and Space Physics. Dr. Charo is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in International Security (1985-1987) and was the American Institute of Physics’ 1988-1989 Congressional Science Fellow. In addition to directing studies that have resulted in some 28 reports from the NRC, he is the author of research papers in the field of molecular spectroscopy; reports to Congress on arms control and space policy; and the monograph Continental Air Defense: A Neglected Dimension of Strategic Defense (University Press of America, 1990).
ANGELA BABER, a research assistant with the Space Studies Board from October 10 through December 16, 2005, graduated in December 2004 from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in astrophysics and a minor in mathematics. As an undergraduate, Ms. Baber was involved in the NSF-funded Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Teacher Preparation (STEM-TP) program as a teaching assistant. She is now the assistant project coordinator for the STEM-TP program. In addition, she is a professional researcher for the Education Commission of the States, an organization that researches and reports on key education policy issues in the nation. Ms. Baber recently published a 50-state database that houses information on paraprofessional requirements across the states.
THERESA M. FISHER is a senior program assistant with the Space Studies Board. During her 25 years with the NRC she has held positions in the executive, editorial, and contract offices of the National Academy of Engineering. She has also held positions with several NRC boards, including the Energy Engineering Board, the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, and the Marine Board.
CATHERINE A. GRUBER is an assistant editor with the Space Studies Board. She joined SSB as a senior program assistant in 1995. Ms. Gruber came to the NRC in 1988 as a senior secretary for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board and has also worked as an outreach assistant for the National Academy of Sciences-Smithsonian Institution’s National Science Resources Center. She was a research assistant (chemist) in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Cell Biology for 2 years. She has a B.A. in natural science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.