HAO 75th Anniversary Abstracts

In order of appearance

Scott McIntosh, HAO Director

Bio: Scott McIntosh is the Director of the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He received his PhD in Astrophysics in 1998 from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Scott began working with HAO in 1997 as a graduate student and then as a post-doctoral fellow in NCAR’s Advanced Study Program from 1999 to 2001. In 2001 Scott left NCAR to work with the European Space Agency as an external fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). After a brief spell working for the Universities Space Research Association in the "Living With A Star" program at GSFC, Scott returned to Boulder to work at the Southwest Research Institute. In 2007, Scott returned to HAO as a project scientist, becoming a ladder-track scientist in August 2009. His last appointment was as a Scientist III and Section Head of HAO's Space Weather and Solar Transients research group. Scott’s primary field of research lies in the understanding of how magnetism, mass, and energy are transported from the Sun's convective interior to shape and fill the solar system in which we live.

Title: Introduction and opening remarks

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Paul Shepson, Division Director, Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, NSF

Bio: Paul Shepson is the Division Director, Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, NSF. Prior to joining NSF, he was the Jonathan Amy Distinguished Professor, jointly appointed in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, at Purdue University. Over the course of his career in atmospheric chemistry, he has published over 170 articles on topics ranging from air-surface interactions in the Arctic to biosphere-atmosphere interactions in forests and exchanges of carbon dioxide and other gases with the surface. Shepson also helped lead several national and international collaborative projects, including PROPHET, OASIS, AICI and INFLUX.

Previously he served as Director of the York University Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry. At Purdue he has been Head of the Department of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. As leader of a Purdue research team that examines climate change, Shepson has called for work with “significant relevance to societal impacts, decision making, and public policy.” More about his work at Purdue is available here.

Shepson earned his B.S. in chemistry from SUNY Cortland and his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in atmospheric chemistry.

Title: Welcome from AGS/NSF

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Dick White, Retired, HAO/NCAR & Rancher in SW Colorado

Bio:  Dick White began his studies in Astrogeophysics at CU in 1957. He completed his PhD in 1962 before moving to Sac Peak. He resumed Research at HAO in 1969. Dick held an Associate Scientist position at LASP during the OSO-8,UARS, Solstice, and SORCE missions He retired in 1978 and moved to southwest Colorado. Dick joined HAO in 1991 working 3/4 time until his final retirement in 2000. Back to the Ranch!!

Title: Lyot

Abstract: Between 1933 and 1941, Lyot's genius gave HAO and SPO the tools for their success: The Birefringent Filter and the Coronagraph. His observations at Pic du Midi showed the corona outside of eclipse for the first time. He also observed three emission lines in the corona: FeXV, FeX, and CaXV. Identification of the atomic sources for these lines demonstrated that the corona had to be very hot. Lyot ended his life and career at the 1952 Khartoum eclipse. This expedition will be discussed in detail. 

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Andy Skumanich, Senior Scientist Emeritus, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Andy Skumanich received his PhD in Astrophysics from Princeton in 1954. His research specialties and interests include: The thermodynamic, dynamic, and magnetic nature of the solar photosphere and chromosphere and stellar chromospheres; the nature of the non-radiative energy supply to these regions and the corona; and the development of numerical algorithms for transfer problems and their use in spectral and spectropolarimetric analysis. Andy joined NCAR in 1961.

Title: A Person [- al, -nel] History of HAO

Abstract: I present a brief history of research at HAO in the following areas: 1) Stellar Chromospheres & the Square Root of Age law for the Rotation of Solar-like Stars, 2) Radiative Transfer & Non-Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium for the Two-level Atom, 3) Stokes Polarimetry & Solar Magnetic Fields, and 4) The Phantom of the Observatory & The Internal Structure of Differentially Rotating Solar Mass Stars. 

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Bob MacQueen, Retired, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Robert MacQueen joined NCAR in 1967 as a scientist with the High Altitude Observatory, was appointed a senior scientist in 1973, and served as HAO director from 1979 to 1986. Dr. MacQueen first served as principal investigator for the white-light coronagraph operated by HAO aboard the manned Skylab satellite during 1973-1974. He also was responsible for analyzing coronal photographs made during the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 lunar landing missions. He later served as principal investigator for several research projects, including HAO’s coronagraph/polarimeter that was launched aboard NASA’s Solar Maximum Mission spacecraft, the rocket coronagraph experiment, and the coronagraph/xray/XUV experiment as part of the Solar Polar Mission. Dr. MacQueen received the NCAR Technology Award in 1973 and NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1974.

Title: Chapter 2: Some Personal Recollections

Abstract: A light and personal summary of my interactions with HAO and NCAR over the period 1961-1989. 

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Richard Hansen, Retired, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Before graduation from CU Engineering in 1949, Richard Hansen responded to a posting on a bulletin board for a couple of students to work at Sacramento Peak for the summer to assist Rudy Cook in site development (digging ditches for water and sewer lines, pouring concrete, assembling Quonset huts, hauling water from a spring three miles away, etc.). He parlayed that experience into a career with the High Altitude Observatory that lasted nearly thirty years. In 1952 he was assigned to replace Grant Athay as Observer-in-Charge at Climax, where he and his wife Shirley then lived for four years, returning to Boulder in 1956. Richard worked on many other projects, including supervision of the World Data Center for Solar Activity for the International Geophysical Year and also a one-year stint as Lew Branscomb’s Executive Officer at JILA. In 1963 he and Charlie Garcia moved the original HAO K-coronameter to a 10,000 foot elevation observatory on Haleakala, Maui, and two years later to a new site at 11,000 feet on Mauna Loa, which is still a productive observatory today. In 1975 he was one of four recipients of an honorary plaque from NCAR for having served at HAO for more than 25 years, the other recipients being Bob Lee, Walt Roberts and Dorothy Trotter.

Title: Mauna Loa

Abstract: Starting with a summer job doing site development at Sacramento Peak, Richard Hansen was one of the very early employees of the High Altitude Observatory. From 1952 to 1956 he was observer in charge at Climax. After returning to Boulder he participated in a couple of eclipse expeditions with scientists from around the world (Lae, New Guinea, 2/5/62; Fuertaventura, Canary Islands, 10/2/59) and supervised the World Data Center for Solar Activity for the International Geophysical Year. With Yoshka Kleczek of Czechoslavokia he began analysing the white light (K) and emission line (E) data for coronal response to ascending prominences, concluding only that existing observations were too sparse. in 1963, searching for better conditions, the K-coronameter was moved to Haleakala on Maui, and then two years later to the 11,000 foot elevation and clear skies of Mauna Loa, where conditions were even more favorable for a successful, continuous coronal monitoring program. 

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Art Richmond, Senior Scientist, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Art Richmond earned his PhD in Meteorology from UCLA in1970. He was an HAO Visiting Scientist in 1972-73 and 1974-76, and has been an HAO Scientist since 1984. Art’s areas of research include upper-atmosphere dynamics and electrodynamics. He developed the widely used AMIE (Assimilative Mapping of Ionospheric Electrodynamics) procedure and helped develop the electrodynamics component of the TIME-GCM and WACCM-X. Art received the UCAR Mentoring Award in2010.

Title: Upper-Atmosphere Research at HAO

Abstract: The upper atmosphere is the source of aurora and airglow, geomagnetic variations, effects on radio waves, and impacts on satellites. HAO has been active in upper-atmosphere research through most of its history. Its models, together with observations, have been widely used to explore how the upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere respond to solar and meteorological variations.  

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Mausumi Dikpati, Scientist III, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Dr. Dikpati came to HAO/NCAR in 1996 as an ASP postdoc. She joined the HAO scientific staff in 2000. She led the HAO effort to develop Babcock-Leighton flux-transport dynamos for simulating the solar cycle. This class of dynamo models came as a paradigm shift in solar cycle modeling and it remains the leading solar dynamo model to this day. Currently she is heavily engaged in using the NCAR-based modern data assimilation methods to build accurate dynamo-based solar cycle prediction schemes.

Title: The Solar Cycle: Observations and Dynamo Modeling

Abstract: The existence of a sunspot cycle was first demonstrated by Schwabe in 1843 and reconstructed from historical records by Wolff around 1848. The original 'butterfly diagram', devised by Maunder in the 1890's to demonstrate the equatorward migration of sunspot zones, resides at HAO, a gift from Maunder's family. The modern era of theory to explain the sunspot cycle began with a classic paper by Parker, who explained the butterfly diagram as a 'dynamo wave'. Parker had accepted a position at HAO but before he came he was offered and took a professorship at the University of Chicago.

Many modern observations of solar magnetic field patterns and structures, as well as velocities, have created a much more comprehensive picture of the solar cycle; HAO has been a leader in making and interpreting these measurements. There are currently two complimentary approaches to solar dynamo theory: so-called 'mean field' dynamos, and full 3-dimensional simulations of global convection, differential rotation and magnetic fields. HAO has made major contributions to both of these developments. This talk will review developments in observations and theory of the solar cycle, with particular emphasis on HAO's contributions.  

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Fran Bagenal, Professor, CU Boulder

Bio:  Fran Bagenal received her PhD from MIT in 1981. Her thesis was on Voyager data at Jupiter's magnetosphere. She returned to the United States in 1987 after spending five years in the United Kingdom. She came to Boulder as visiting scientist at HAO for a year before taking a faculty position at the University of Colorado. Fran has been involved on Voyager, Galileo, New Horizons, and Juno missions.

Title: Every Planet is a Comet to a Space Physicist: From Jupiter to Pluto

Abstract: Apart from the shear fun of exploring new worlds, a good reason for a space physicist to venture into the environments around other planets is to take theories developed for Earth and to test them under the very different regimes found elsewhere. For example, while we know that the underlying drivers of the magnetospheric convection at Earth and Jupiter are very different – solar wind vs. rotation – it is reasonable to imagine that the plasma processes driving the acceleration of particles into the auroral regions could be similar at the two planets. Such ideas will be tested when NASA’s Juno mission goes into polar orbit around Jupiter on July 4th, 2016. Similarly, mass-loading of the solar wind by planetary plasma produces tails at comets as well as planets from Mars to Jupiter. This past July NASA’s New Horizons mission showed that Pluto is no exception. This talk reviews some new observations and ideas from recent exploration of planetary space environments – plus some thoughts for the future. 

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Matthias Rempel, Senior Scientist, HAO/NCAR

Bio: Matthias Rempel received his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Göttingen in Germany in 2001. He joined HAO 2002 as ASP postdoc and is a staff scientist since 2004. His primary field of research is solar magneto-hydrodynamics and he has studied a variety of topics ranging from magnetic field storage in the deep convection zone, theory of differential rotation and meridional flow, large-scale dynamo models to detailed studies of the solar photosphere. His most recent work focused on detailed modeling of magnetic field in the solar photosphere ranging from quiet sun to active regions.

Title: Sunspot Modeling

Abstract: Sunspots are the most prominent manifestation of solar magnetism and have intrigued solar observers starting from the first naked eye observations reported by Chinese astronomers as early as 28 BC. The era of modern instrumentation has revealed a stunning fine structure of sunspots that does exist down to the smallest scales accessible by observations today. Only in the last decade numerical Sunspot models utilizing supercomputing resources where able to capture the physical processes that lead to sunspot fine structure with sufficient detail to allow for a direct comparison between models and observations. In this talk I will give a brief review of sunspot models with strongest focus on the developments over the last decade. I will finish my talk with a discussion of the remaining key challenges from a modeling perspective and the modeling capabilities we need to address them. 

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Greg Card, Engineer III, & Alice Lecinski, Associate Scientist IV, HAO/NCAR

Bio: Greg is an Engineer in the HAO Instrumentation Group. He has served as a technician and engineer for 27 years in HAO's Instrumentation Group. Over that time span, he has served as a team member in varying capacities on 42 instruments and collaborative projects.

Alice is an Associate Scientist in the HAO Instrumentation Group. She has worked at NCAR since 1975 and HAO since 1982. She moved into the Instrumentation Group in 1998 and has been writing instrument control software ever since.

Title: Instrumentation from the Ground and Up

Abstract: Highlights of HAO's solar instrumentation on the ground, in the stratosphere, and in low earth orbit from 1988 to 2015. 

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Bruce Lites, Senior Scientist Emeritus, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Dr. Bruce W. Lites, Senior Scientist Emeritus of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is a solar physicist and longtime scientist at NCAR’s High Altitude Observatory (HAO). He is a specialist in analysis of spectroscopic measurements for interpretation of solar phenomena. He is noted for numerous and varied scientific achievements including the first analysis of the formation of neutral iron lines in the solar spectrum, an observation-based understanding of the character of the vertical propagation of waves in the quiet solar atmosphere and in sunspots, the development of the first stable inversion procedure for inference of the magnetic field vector from Stokes profile observations, the discovery of small-scale horizontal magnetic fields in the solar photosphere, and observational inference of magnetic flux ropes in the solar photosphere.

Bruce Lites first joined HAO/NCAR in 1968 as a graduate assistant, and attained his PhD from the University of Colorado in 1972 under the mentorship of HAO’s Dr. R. Grant Athay. After a post-doctoral appointment at the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, in 1974 Dr. Lites joined the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado to work on the Orbiting Solar Observatory-8 mission in 1974. He continued work at HAO/NCAR in 1979-1980, then spent four years at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Sunspot, New Mexico. In 1984 he re-joined HAO/NCAR until his retirement in 2011.

While at NSO in the early 1980’s, Dr. Lites developed an interest in solar “spectro-polarimetry” (polarization measurements of resolved spectra) as a means to remote-sense the Sun’s magnetic field. That interest defined the path of his career from that time onward. He was the principal scientist for the HAO/National Solar Observatory Advanced Stokes Polarimeter (ASP), a facility instrument that provided the first high-resolution, quantitative mapping of the detailed structure of the magnetic field in the solar photosphere. The great success of the ASP spurred development of similar ground-based spectro-polarimeters worldwide, and eventually led Dr. Lites to develop the very successful Spectro-Polarimeter onboard the Japan/US/UK Hinode space mission. Hinode was launched in 2006 and continues to operate to this day as an invaluable community observing facility.

Title: Remote Sensing of Solar Magnetism via Polarimetry

Abstract: Magnetic fields emerging from the solar interior and expanding into its visible atmosphere are the source of nearly all the Sun’s variability, and hence the variability of the Earth’s space environment.  In order to explore then understand the source of this variability and its terrestrial consequences, one must first understand the evolving nature of solar magnetism in a quantitative sense.  Polarimetry of the Sun’s radiant emissions provides the most powerful means for remote sensing of solar magnetic field.  For more than 40 years HAO and NCAR have pioneered techniques for solar polarimetry and have provided facilities available to the international community for furthering this scientific goal.  In this talk I present a personal account of HAO’s contributions to solar polarimetry; developments that have in no small way advanced the scientific landscape of solar physics.  I conclude by presenting my thoughts on how the study of solar magnetic fields may evolve in coming years, along with my view of opportunities and challenges that are ripe for further exploration. 

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Tom Bogdan, Former HAO Staff Member

Bio:  Tom Bogdan was born in Buffalo, NY, during the year with the largest recorded annual sunspot number. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago studying under Gene Parker, and came to HAO in 1983 as a postdoctoral fellow to work with B.C. Low on magneto hydrodynamics. His interests in HAO's origins and its early history were sparked when he was a part of the team that helped organize the HAO 60th Anniversary celebration back in 2000. And over the intervening years, he has spent countless hours in dusty archives across the country pouring over old musty letters and curious memorabilia, trying to piece the HAO Story together.

Title: HAO History: The Early Years

Abstract: How did HAO begin? Who were the diverse individuals responsible for creating the unique organization whose 75th anniversary we celebrate today? What motivated them to do what they did, and what challenges and obstacles did they have to overcome to eventually succeed? And why, of all places, did HAO finally end up in Colorado?. 

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Jim Hurrell, Director, NCAR

Bio: Dr. James (Jim) W. Hurrell is the Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He is also a Senior Scientist in the Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD), and the former Director of CGD as well as the NCAR Earth System Laboratory. Jim's research has centered on empirical and modeling studies and diagnostic analyses to better understand climate, climate variability and climate change. He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (2000), the American Meteorological Society (2006), and the American Geophysical Union (2010). Jim has also been honored for his contributions to climate science by giving the Fridtjof Nansen Memorial Lecture to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, where he was also awarded the Nansen Medal.

Title: Overview of NCAR

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Sarah Gibson, Senior Scientist, HAO/NCAR

Bio: Dr. Sarah Gibson is a Senior Scientist in the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Section Head of HAO’s Long-term Solar Variability Section. Sarah received her Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Stanford University, and her Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado. Her research centers on solar drivers of the terrestrial environment, from short-term space weather drivers such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), to long-term solar cycle variation. Sarah uses theoretical models to understand the magnetic origins of CMEs with particular focus to observing and modeling coronal prominence cavities. She has led International Space Science Institute (Switzerland) International Teams and was the recipient of the American Astronomical Society– Solar Physics Division 2005 Karen Harvey Prize. Sarah was a Scientific Editor for the Astrophysical Journal and has served on many national and international committees, including the National Research Council (NRC) Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey Steering Committee and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Solar Observatories Council. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of IAU Division E (Sun and Heliosphere), the Solar Physics Editorial Board, and the NRC Space Studies Board.

Title: Sun-Earth Connections: Magnetism Across Time and Space

Abstract: Magnetic fields can seem like magic. Indeed, the earliest uses of naturally-magnetic lodestones were for fortune telling, and to this day magnetism is a popular source of power for comic-book superheroes and supervillains alike. The reality of magnetism is, if anything, more compelling. It can affect the dynamics of stars and galaxies, but also how we live our daily lives. From the first use of a compass for navigation to the modern ubiquity of computer hard drives, the practical benefits of harnessing magnetic fields have been clear. That this powerful physical force also comes with potential for harm is inevitable. The variable state of the Earth’s space environment is driven by changing conditions in the Sun’s magnetic fields, and is known as its “space weather”. The damage inflicted by space weather storms on our technological systems can be extreme. We are therefore motivated to understand the root causes of space weather hazards, and also how they may vary in years and decades to come (i.e., “space climate”). In this talk, I will describe magnetism across time and space – from Sun to Earth, and from space weather to space climate. 

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Juri Toomre, Professor, CU Boulder

Bio:  Dr. Juri Toomre is broadly interested in astrophysical fluid dynamics, with an emphasis on how computational tools can be used to study the nonlinear coupling of turbulent convection, rotation and magnetism within stars. The Sun is central to these efforts, for it is the critical calibrator in seeking to understand how turbulent stellar dynamos can build the magnetic fields that are an essential element in our universe. Juri has been an active participant in helioseismology from its beginnings, for such observations are novel in probing dynamics deep within a star. He has been on the Astro-Geophysics, now APS, and faculty at CU since 1971, and is a fellow of JILA.

Title: Joys of Convection and Dynamos in Our Nearest Star

Abstract: The rich magnetism displayed by many stars, including our Sun, must have their origin in dynamo action proceeding within their deep convection zones involving highly turbulent flows coupled with differential rotation. The Sun is showing us that remarkable large-scale order in terms of magnetic cycles and evolving mean flows can emerge from the seemingly chaotic dynamics involving a vast range of physical scales. We are in the midst of a revolution involving new breeds of 3-D MHD simulation codes on the latest supercomputers that are now providing insights and glimpses of the intricate balances at work in the dynamics of the solar interior. Helioseismology in turn is providing both inspiration and constraints that complement such theoretical efforts, emphasizing the need to sort out the origin and role of the two shearing boundary layers at the top and bottom of the solar convection zone. I will discuss some of the findings that are stirring up major new efforts on the international scene to study the manner in which the Sun is likely building its magnetic fields deep within its interior. 

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Steven R. Cranmer, Associate Professor, CU Boulder

Bio:  Dr. Cranmer is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his PhD in 1996 from the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware, and he worked at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) from 1996 to 2014. Steven's scientific interests include the heating of the extended outer atmosphere of the Sun (the solar corona) and other stars, the acceleration of stellar winds, theoretical plasma physics, and the dynamical atmospheres of hot, pulsating, and rapidly rotating stars. He worked for years as a member of the UVCS (Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer) team and is looking forward to new ground- and space-based missions such as DKIST and Solar Probe Plus.

Title: Solar Magnetism and Activity: Progress, Puzzles, and Prospects

Abstract: The Sun's magnetic field is generated in its dense interior, pokes out through its churning surface, and expands out into the solar system. The most intense knots of magnetic field on the surface correspond to hot, X-ray emitting active regions. The weakest fields correspond to dark "coronal holes" that feed plasma into the rapidly accelerating solar wind. The last few decades have seen tremendous advances in our ability to observe and simulate this complex system, but we still do not have a comprehensive understanding of how the magnetic field produces the hot corona and fast solar wind. In this talk I will present a survey of these observational and theoretical advances, as well as a glimpse of the current debates and controversies (many of which are playing out on the mean streets of Boulder). I will also say a bit about how our recent advances in understanding the Sun's magnetism are coordinated with studies of the magnetic activity of other stars. 

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Tom Woods, LASP, CU Boulder

Bio:  Dr. Thomas Woods is the Associate Director of Technical Divisions of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He obtained his BS in Physics in 1981 from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) and his PhD in Physics in 1985 from the Johns Hopkins University. His research is focused primarily on solar irradiance variability and its effects on Earth's atmosphere, climate change, and space weather.

Title: Jack Eddy’s Study of the Maunder Minimum Inspires a Long Series of Satellite-Based Solar Irradiance Measurements

Abstract: What if Jack Eddy hadn’t rediscovered the work by Gustav Spörer and Edward W. Maunder about the period of few sunspots in the 17th century? Would there be much interest today in understanding the solar “constant”, or would there be robust observational programs in measuring the solar irradiance and its variability and studies about Sun-Climate? Jack’s thorough analysis of the sunspot record led him to identifying two periods of low solar activity that he named the Maunder Minimum between 1645 and 1745 and the Spörer Minimum between 1460 and 1550. He published those results in a landmark paper titled “The Maunder Minimum”, and he also raised the questions about the possible solar influence on Earth’s Little Ice during those times [Eddy, Science, 192, 1189, 1976]. His research inspired many studies of the Maunder Minimum and has been an inspiration to accurately observe the solar irradiance variability. While ground-based measurements of the solar “constant” go back to the 1830s, observations of true solar variability became possible only with space-based measurements that began in 1978. The total solar irradiance (TSI) and solar spectral irradiance (SSI) observations from satellites will be presented along with the discussion of the solar variability during the past four decades. The most recent cycle, Solar Cycle 24, has much lower solar variability than the other space-era solar cycles, and there is a petition underway to name this new low solar activity period as the Eddy Minimum.  

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Kevin Trenberth, Senior Scientist, NCAR

Bio:  Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth is a distinguished senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. From New Zealand, he obtained his doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been prominent in most of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessments of Climate Change and has also extensively served the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) in numerous ways, most recently as chair of the WCRP Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) project. He has also served on many U.S. national committees. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Title: Sun and Earth's Climate

Abstract: This talk will provide an overview of the role of the sun and subsequent energy flows in the Earth's climate system. Because of human activities increasing heat trapping gases in the atmosphere, there is an energy imbalance at the top of atmosphere causing global warming. A description of how we assess the energy imbalance will be given along with its consequences. 

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Valentin Martinez Pillet, Director, NSO

Bio:  Dr. Martínez Pillet is director of the National Solar Observatory (NSO) that operates solar telescope facilities in New Mexico and Arizona and is developing the soon to be largest solar telescope in the world, the 4m class Daniel K Inouye Solar telescope (DKIST), in Hawaii. He has more than 25 years of experience in solar physics research. He is Principal Investigator of the IMaX instrument that flew on board the Sunrise balloon-borne telescope and he is Co-Principal Investigator of the SO/PHI instrument in the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter mission. Before joining NSO in 2013, he was a Senior Scientist at the Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias (Spain) and professor at the University of La Laguna (Spain). He has been member of several international scientific advisory bodies as well as former President of the Division II "The Sun & the Heliosphere" of the International Astronomical Union. He has numerous publications in high impact journals.

Title: DKIST Status and Plans

Abstract: After explaining why solar astronomers need a 4m class solar telescopes, I will provide an update on the status of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope being built in Hawaii. I will emphasize those aspects of the telescope where HAO is playing a leading role today but also where HAO helped in the past define modern solar telescopes to look they way they do. 

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Ed Perlmutter, Congressman, Colorado's 7th District

Bio: Ed has deep roots in the 7th Congressional District and has lived in Jefferson County his entire life. His grandfather and father ran a concrete business (in what is now the 7th District) for decades. Ed attended Jefferson County public schools and then worked construction with his father during the summers while in law school at the University of Colorado. He chose to raise his family in the district where his three daughters also attended Jefferson County Public Schools. Ed currently lives in Arvada with his wife Nancy, a public school teacher, and their dogs: Tucker and Winston.

In 1994, Ed was elected to the Colorado State Senate as the first Democrat to hold the seat in nearly 30 years. He served two terms and garnered the reputation as a bipartisan bridge-builder and a champion of renewable energy and smart growth policies.

In 2006, Ed was first elected to represent the 7th Congressional District in Congress and is currently serving in his fifth term. Ed’s top priority in the 114th Congress is creating more opportunity for the hardworking people in Colorado. Ed supports job and wage growth by promoting energy security and independence, by working with the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and other world-class private sector energy businesses, moving forward with construction of the new VA Hospital and expanding Colorado’s role and economic development opportunities in the aerospace industry including the Orion manned space flight program.

In the 114th Congress, Ed is proud to serve on both the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Financial Services Committee. On the Science, Space and Technology Committee, Ed serves on the Space and Energy subcommittees. For the Financial Services Committee, Ed serves on the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE), and Monetary Policy and Trade subcommittees. Ed is also co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Energy Task Force.

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Tom Berger, Director, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

Bio:  Dr. Thomas Berger is the Director of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, one of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction of the National Weather Service. Tom previously held positions as a Project Scientist at the National Solar Observatory in Sacramento Peak, New Mexico, and as a Senior Scientist at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, California. Tom's research focuses on observation and analysis of magnetic field dynamics in the photosphere and chromosphere of the Sun, with a recent emphasis on the structure and dynamics of solar prominences observed at very high resolution with the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope, for which he is a Co-Investigator. Tom received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics/Astrophysics from Stanford University working with Drs. Alan Title and Phil Scherrer on small-scale solar magnetic field dynamics. He holds a Master’s degree in fluid mechanics from Stanford and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Tom has also been active in policy action in support of solar and space science, holding the first Chair of the Public Policy Subcommittee of the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division. In his current position as a Federal Executive, he is responsible for carrying out elements of the new National Space Weather Strategy recently formulated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Title: The History and Future of Space Weather Forecasting

Abstract: As recently as the early 20th century, there was no consensus on whether the Sun was a contributing cause of the geomagnetic storms that had been observed in detail at magnetic observatories for over a century. For example, after the historic geomagnetic storm of 1859 - that we now refer to as the "Carrington Event" - the Sun was argued against as a possible cause by leading scientists of the day. With the revolution in atomic physics that then occurred, pieces of the puzzle quickly fell into place to where today we know that the Sun is the primary driver of geomagnetic storms through its continuous "solar wind" as well as large magnetic eruptions that produce "coronal mass ejections", ionization events in the upper atmosphere from the associated solar flares, and radiation storms driven by solar eruptions as they plow through interplanetary space. All of these phenomena comprise what we call "Space Weather". Over the past decades, NOAA, NASA, NSF, USGS, academia, private industry, and international partners have all worked together to develop the science-based field of space weather forecasting that is now an operational capability carried out by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center,the USAF, and international partners for customers and stakeholders around the world. Looking forward, we are developing an even more comprehensive monitoring and reporting system for space weather, ensuring that timely and accurate watches, warnings, and alerts provide the environmental intelligence needed by customers and stakeholders around the world to successfully deal with the challenges of space weather in an increasingly technology-dependent society. 

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Stan Solomon, Senior Scientist, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Dr. Stan Solomon is a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, High Altitude Observatory, specializing in the physics and chemistry of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. He received the A.B. from Harvard College, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of Michigan. Stan studied auroral physics and upper-atmosphere modeling as a post-doctoral visiting scientist at NCAR. At the University of Colorado, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, he conducted chemical modeling and electron transport theory studies, and participated in the CU solar/airglow rocket program. In 1993, he was named an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the NASA Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) mission, and in 1995, he became the Deputy Principal Investigator and Project Manager of the Student Nitric Oxide Explorer (SNOE), a small satellite constructed at the University of Colorado. Stan also taught several graduate seminars at the University of Colorado on topics ranging from solar-terrestrial physics to satellite system design, and supervised Ph.D. and Master’s students. He served as the HAO Deputy Director from 2005–2009, and then Acting Director from 2009–2010. Stan has authored or co-authored over 150 scientific papers and has also written articles for the public. He has been on numerous committees for NASA and the National Science Foundation, and served as the Secretary for Aeronomy of the American Geophysical Union.

Title: Down to the Upper Atmosphere: When do the Models Arrive?

Abstract: The confluence of sophisticated numerical models of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere with various space-based measurements has yielded enormous advances in understanding how this incredibly complex system works, and in describing its current state. However, related work in meteorological fields, and operational needs in space navigation, demand actual prediction of future states. This turns out to be difficult, mostly because the Sun’s magnetic field, extending out through the solar system, is so hard to predict. Given measurements of the external forcing by solar radiation and magnetism, and also knowing something about how the lower atmosphere couples to the upper atmosphere, we should be able to make our prognostic models actually predictive. The challenge is to get them to be more realistic, using comparisons with actual measurements. As we anticipate comprehensive new satellite measurements from the NASA GOLD and ICON missions, and from constellations such as COSMIC, AMPERE, and SWARM, we are entitled to wonder, will the models be ready? 

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Delores Knipp, Research Professor, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, CU Boulder

Bio:  After a career in the US Air Force Dr. Delores Knipp joined the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2009. She has also been a long-term Senior Research Associate with HAO. In her current work at both institutions she applies her meteorology and space physics background to understanding linkages in the Sun-geospace system. Her recent focused efforts are on comparing storm vs quiet time energy deposition in the space atmosphere interface region, with particular emphasis on how the energy affects low Earth orbiting satellite drag.

Title: Satellite Drag: When Human-made Projectiles Stay in Orbit and When They Don't

Abstract: For nearly 60 years the effects of atmospheric drag on artificial satellites has been a concern for engineers and scientists. In late 1962 the issue came to the forefront for US citizens when chunks of Sputnik 4’s descent module “de-orbited” over North America, depositing a 9 kg (~20 lb) chunk of vaporizing metal in the middle of small town in the US state of Wisconsin. Thus began a concerted effort to characterize and predict "satellite drag," which continues today. In this talk I will outline: 1) basic aspects of satellite motion; 2) the role of the Earth’s solar-driven upper atmosphere in disturbing this motion; 3) the likely effects of greenhouse gases on satellite drag; and 4) HAO’s ongoing contribution to addressing these highly relevant issues. 

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Terry Onsager, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

Bio:  Dr. Terry Onsager has been a physicist at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center for the past 20 years. His background is in magnetospheric physics, with an emphasis on radiation belt dynamics and solar wind-magnetosphere coupling. He currently works closely with international partners to coordinate operational space weather services around the globe. He serves as the Director of the International Space Environment Services, and he co-chairs the World Meteorological Organization's InterProgramme Coordination Team on Space Weather.

Title: The Space Weather Mission: Research to Applications

Abstract: Knowledge of Earth’s space environment and the impact it has on everyday life have evolved profoundly over the past centuries and millennia. This evolution has occurred through the asynchronous development of scientific knowledge and new technologies. With the development of scientific instruments and enhanced international cooperation, an era of understanding occurred throughout the 20th century that utilized the Sun-Earth system as a vast, natural laboratory. Most recently, the development of modern technology and the global integration of our economic and security infrastructures have introduced vulnerabilities to space weather that demand a more comprehensive ability to predict the dynamics of the space environment. This challenge requires a new approach to space weather as an integrated effort, or mission, that will apply our scientific knowledge and develop the global service network to mitigate space weather impacts. Efforts are underway within national governments, private industry, and international organizations to establish the required observing infrastructure, focus research efforts, and coordinate forecasts. Although still at an early stage, exciting progress is being made to build on scientific achievements and to develop the necessary prediction and alerting capabilities. 

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Doug Duncan, Director of Astronomical Laboratories, CU Boulder

Bio:  Dr. Douglas Duncan is an astronomer at the University of Colorado, where he directs Fiske Planetarium, the most advanced planetarium in the US. He earned degrees at Caltech and the Univ. of California. Douglas was part of the project that first found sunspot cycles on other stars. Subsequently he joined the staff of the Hubble Space Telescope. In 1992 he accepted a joint appointment at the University of Chicago and the Adler Planetarium, beginning a trend of modernization of planetariums, which has spread to New York, Denver, Los Angeles, and Boulder.

Title: The Great American Total Solar Eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017

Abstract: This talk will present practical aspects of viewing the first total solar eclipse to cross the continental US since 1979. Every state will see at least 80% of the sun eclipsed that day. For those not doing science that day, should you travel to the path of totality? Where should you go? How should you prepare? What efforts are being made to prepare the hundreds of millions of non-astronomers who can view this? Where can I find detailed maps and other resources? Included will be a video of Walter Cronkite describing the 1979 eclipse, and a video I have from the 1991 total eclipse that captures the excitement better than anything else I know. The 1991 video is R-rated for language… you will not see it on TV. 

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Bill Murtagh, Assistant Director for Space Weather, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Bio:  Dr. Bill Murtagh currently serves in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Assistant Director for Space Weather, Energy and Environment Division. In his position at OSTP he is overseeing the development of a national strategy on space weather. Bill is on detail from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where he is the Program Coordinator for the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Title: The National Space Weather Strategy

Abstract: In November 2014, as Chair of the National Science and Technology Council, and on behalf of the President of the United States, Dr. John Holdren chartered the interagency Space Weather Operations, Research, and Mitigation Task Force. The Task Force is developing a National Space Weather Strategy that will articulate high-level strategic goals for enhancing our Nation’s preparedness for a severe space weather event. In addition, a Space Weather Action Plan will be developed that will establish a process to implement the National Strategy. Strengthening America’s resilience to space weather is a challenge that will require insight, expertise, and dedication from many; consequently, this is a coordinated approach across numerous Federal Departments and Agencies, with input from the private sector. This presentation provides an update on the development of the National Strategy as we prepare for public roll-out in late October. 

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Dr. John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA

Bio:  Dr. John Grunsfeld joined NASA's Astronaut Office in 1992. He is veteran of five space shuttle flights, and visited Hubble three times during these missions. He also performed eight spacewalks to service and upgrade the observatory. He logged more than 58 days in space on his shuttle missions, including 58 hours and 30 minutes of spacewalk time. John first flew to space aboard Endeavour in March 1995 on a mission that studied the far ultraviolet spectra of faint astronomical objects using the Astro-2 Observatory. His second flight was aboard Atlantis in January 1997. The mission docked with the Russian space station Mir, exchanged U.S. astronauts living aboard the outpost, and performed scientific research using the Biorack payload. He also flew on Discovery in December 1999, Columbia in March 2002 and Atlantis in May 2009. This last flight successfully serviced and upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope, during which he was lead spacewalker for Hubble servicing activities. In 2004 and 2005, he served as the commander and science officer on the backup crew for Expedition 13 to the International Space Station.

John graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in physics. He subsequently earned a master's degree and, in 1988, a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago using a cosmic ray experiment on space shuttle Challenger for his doctoral thesis. From Chicago, he joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology as a Senior Research Fellow in Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy.

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Ryan McGranaghan, Ph.D. Candidate/CU Boulder

Bio:  Ryan McGranaghan is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences department at the University of Colorado, where he is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. During his time in graduate school, Ryan has received a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, and has become an accomplished researcher in the fields of space physics and satellite navigation. Before arriving in Colorado, Ryan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 2011. Those close to him know he has a passion for the study of space, and, today, he will show you the beauty and power of the weather in space. Ryan’s talk, Living with a Star, was a TED talk.

Title: Living with a Star

Abstract: The connection between the Sun and the Earth is a complex one, describing a relationship between us and our star that is both life-sustaining as well as life-threatening. This relationship is colloquially known as space weather. Aerospace engineer Ryan McGranaghan takes you into outer space to look at the beauty and power of space weather, what it means for our technologically-dependent lifestyles, and the fascinating field of research surrounding it. Ryan envisions a time when we can protect our space-faring lifestyles with forecasts of space weather just like tomorrow's chance of rain here on Earth. 

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Sarah Gibson, Senior Scientist, HAO/NCAR

Bio: Dr. Sarah Gibson is a Senior Scientist in the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Section Head of HAO’s Long-term Solar Variability Section. Sarah received her Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Stanford University, and her Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado. Her research centers on solar drivers of the terrestrial environment, from short-term space weather drivers such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), to long-term solar cycle variation. Sarah uses theoretical models to understand the magnetic origins of CMEs with particular focus to observing and modeling coronal prominence cavities. She has led International Space Science Institute (Switzerland) International Teams and was the recipient of the American Astronomical Society– Solar Physics Division 2005 Karen Harvey Prize. Sarah was a Scientific Editor for the Astrophysical Journal and has served on many national and international committees, including the National Research Council (NRC) Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey Steering Committee and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Solar Observatories Council. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of IAU Division E (Sun and Heliosphere), the Solar Physics Editorial Board, and the NRC Space Studies Board.

Title: The Science of CoSMO

Abstract: The COronal Solar Magnetism Observatory (COSMO) is a community solar physics research facility under development by HAO, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Michigan. The facility will take continuous daytime measurements of magnetic fields in the Sun’s atmosphere. This unprecedented set of observations will yield new information on both the solar eruptive events that drive space weather, and the longer-term variations in such activity that underlie space climate. This talk will highlight the efforts of a range of students, post-docs, and visitors to HAO in recent years who have worked with HAO staff to build capability for COSMO and COSMO science. 

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Sue Lepri, Associate Professor, Univ. Michigan

Bio:  Dr. Susan Lepri received her PhD in 2004 from The University of Michigan. She is now an associate professor in the department of Climate and Space Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Her work focuses on studying the composition of material in the heliosphere, with a special interest in studying the origin and acceleration of the solar wind. Sue, along with her Solar and Heliospheric Research Group at the University of Michigan, develops time of flight ion mass spectrometers for space based applications. Her most recent project includes developing the heavy ion sensor (HIS) for the Solar Orbiter Mission. HIS will launch onboard Solar Orbiter in 2018.

Title: The Coming Renaissance of Inner Heliosphere Observations from Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe

Abstract: Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe will launch in quick succession in a few years and will provide an unprecedented view of the inner heliosphere. Measurements from these two spacecraft will enable in-depth examination of the origin, acceleration, structure, and evolution of the solar wind. Coordinated measurements across the payloads of Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe will allow us to tackle key outstanding science questions of central interest to the Solar and Heliophysics communities with the most cutting edge tools. This talk will give an overview of each mission and discuss opportunities for major advancements in our understanding of the Sun and the Heliosphere. 

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Michael Knölker, Senior Scientist, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Dr. Michael Knölker received a physics degree from the University of Göttingen (Germany) and received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Freiburg (Germany). He joined the staff of the University of Göttingen as an assistant professor and later received an appointment as a senior astronomer at the Kiepenheuer-Institut fùr Sonnenphysik in Freiburg, Germany. He spent a year at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) as a visiting scientist, and later, as an affiliate scientist. Dr. Knölker received a senior scientist appointment in 1995 and served as director of HAO from 1995 to 2009. He continues his tenure at HAO as a senior scientist.

Dr. Knölker's major research interests and activities include the structure and dynamics of the intermittent magnetic field in the solar atmosphere, radiative transfer, and the structure and evolution of the Sun with its variable radiative output. He has also maintained an active interest in solar and stellar seismology. Over the last decade Dr. Knölker has become increasingly interested and devoted to the design, construction, and science that can be delivered from high-altitude long-duration ballooning. The culmination of that effort was the Sunrise science balloon, which floated, carrying a 1m solar telescope, in the summer of 2009. Sunrise caught the Sun in the depths of an unusually "deep" solar minimum and provided some of the highest resolution images of the Sun ever taken. NASA very recently funded Sunrise for a second flight that will occur in the summer of 2013. HAO's scientists and engineers are working to meet the scheduled delivery and are excited about what can be learned about the magnetism of the Sun around the peak of its activity cycle.

Title: CSAC: Coronascope: Back to the Future

Rebecca Centeno-Elliott, Project Scientist II, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Dr. Rebecca Centeno’s background is in the field of spectropolarimetry for remote sensing of magnetic fields in the Sun's atmosphere. Her work focuses on the interpretation of polarized radiation coming from the Photosphere and the Chromosphere of the Sun. She currently leads the CSAC effort and works on providing spectropolarimetric analysis and interpretations tools to the scientific community, as well as the development and maintenance of current (Hinode/SP) and future vector magnetic field data pipelines.

Title: CSAC: Building Capability for Next Generation Observatories

Abstract: The Community Spectropolarimetric Analysis Center (CSAC) is an HAO strategic initiative that aims at providing the scientific community with a wide range of resources for remote sensing of magnetic fields in the Sun's atmosphere. These resources take many different forms: from offering calibrated data and higher level data products, to contributing with spectropolarimetric analysis and interpretation software tools, as well as with extensive documentation, user support, and education and outreach activities.

In Spring 2016, CSAC will take part in the development of the curriculum of a graduate course at the University of Colorado entitled "Topics in Solar Observation Techniques". We believe that by providing observations and the tools to interpret them, by educating the next generation of solar physicists and by doing cutting-edge research in the field of chromospheric radiative transfer, we are setting up the infrastructure to tackle successfully the next generation of solar observations.  

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Hanli Liu, Senior Scientist, HAO/NCAR

Bio:  Dr. Hanli Liu received a B.S. in Fluid Mechanics from the University of Science and Technology of China, and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Space Physics from the University of Michigan. He came to the Observatory in 1997 as a postdoctoral researcher, and joined the scientific staff in 1999. His research focuses on atmospheric wave dynamics and its role in coupling the lower and upper atmosphere. In recent years he has worked on the development of the thermosphere and ionosphere extension of the NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM-X).

Title: All Atmospheric Things Considered: Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model Extended to the Exobase

Abstract: For decades scientists at HAO have been supporting upper atmosphere community research by leading the development of advanced numerical models. Today the Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere-Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIME-GCM), developed by Dr. Ray Roble and his colleagues at HAO, is still a valuable numerical tool used widely for space environment studies. Investigations using TIME-GCM have given us insights in the complex coupling processes of the lower and upper atmosphere, and have led to increasing appreciation of the need for a whole atmosphere model extending from the Earth surface to the exobase. The Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model and its ionosphere/ thermosphere extension (WACCM/WACCM-X) is born out of that vision. WACCM-X is one of the atmosphere components of the NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM), and can self-consistently resolve the compositional, thermal, and wind structures from the Earth surface to the exobase. It takes into consideration of solar spectral irradiance from infrared to EUV in its radiative transfer and photochemical calculations, and has a comprehensive module that solves neutral and ion chemistry from the troposphere to the thermosphere and ionosphere. Ionospheric electric dynamo and F-region plasma transport have recently been implemented in WACCM-X, and are currently been tested and validated. With the increasing importance of mesoscale dynamics in the upper atmosphere, a mesoscale-resolving version of the model has been developed and tested, which can better resolve the source, propagation and impact of multiscale waves. To synthesize observations for research forecast and to support upcoming satellite missions, data assimilation capability is also being developed for the model. WACCM-X provides a modeling framework to explore the space environment variability through coupling of atmospheric regions, ion and neutral species, and across temporal and spatial scales. 

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Lara Waldrop, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Univ. Illinois

Bio:  Dr. Lara Waldrop is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Her research is focused on the development of novel ground- and space-based sensing modalities for estimation of key physical parameters of the space plasma environment and on the computational modeling of radiative transport and photochemical processes. Before joining UIUC initially as an NSF CEDAR Postdoctoral Fellow, Lara received her PhD in Astronomy and Space Physics at Boston University in 2004. From 2006-2011, she was a member of the NSF CEDAR Science Steering Committee. In 2010 and 2011, she took a leave of absence from Illinois to work as a rotating adviser to the National Science Foundation, Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, and as a visiting scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She served as chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Arecibo Observatory in 2013–2014 and currently is a member of HAO's External Advisory Committee.

Title: Using Small Satellites to Answer Big Questions in Solar-Terrestrial Science

Abstract: Recent advances in sensor design, together with increasing opportunities for the low cost orbital insertion of small satellite platforms, have tremendous potential to propel exploration and discovery in the solar-terrestrial environment. Addressing many open questions in solar and space physics demands frequent, long-term, distributed, and/or multi-point observations in order to properly characterize Sun-Earth system interactions. The availability of low power, lightweight, and miniature instrumentation, at high technical readiness levels for both direct and remote sensing investigations, renders small satellites an ideal platform for new observing approaches such as constellation-based, distributed sensing modalities that are complementary to monolithic and often cost prohibitive traditional large stand-alone missions.

In this talk, I discuss these developments in the context of two examples of CubeSat missions, whose unique features illustrate the potential for small satellite concepts to accelerate progress in solar-terrestrial research in ways unimagined before. The first, NSF EXOCUBE, is designed to provide in situ measurement of neutral and ion composition and abundance in the Earth's upper atmosphere, including that of neutral atomic hydrogen for the first time. Not only does EXOCUBE host a state-of-the-art miniature mass spectrometer, but its mission design features close coordination with ground-based optical and radar stations for both data validation and enhanced science return. The second mission, known as The Tomographic Hydrogen Emission Observatory (THEO), is a conceptual design to investigate the energetics and dynamics of the atomic hydrogen population in the Earth's exosphere and its coupling to the ionosphere, magnetosphere, and solar wind. The THEO mission combines controlled rotation and nutation to achieve tomographic sensing of the exosphere along a pioneering, trans-exosphere trajectory such as that enabled by the upcoming Exploration Mission 1 launch. Both of these missions, like most small satellites, require robust attitude and communication systems, and I will discuss the trade-off spaces between pointing, power, and telemetry in the context of meeting mission objectives and addressing high-priority scientific goals in solar-terrestrial research.

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Invited Talks

Thomas Ayres, University of Colorado (CASA)

Title: Some Thoughts from the Darkside

Abstract: The powerful X-ray imaging of the Sun delivered by Hinode, and the high-resolution UV stigmatic spectroscopy from IRIS, both have close analogs in the fleet of high-energy orbiting observatories on the "Darkside" (namely looking away from the Sun). For example, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, and its European counterpart XMM-Newton, are capable of recording coronal X-rays from sunlike stars well beyond the outer edge of the solar neighborhood at 100 pc. Further, Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph routinely captures far-UV (C II 133nm, Si IV 139nm) and near-UV (Mg II 2793nm) echelle spectra with resolution very similar to the IRIS channels. Many dozens of sunlike stars have been observed by STIS, and of course many others that are more extreme (in activity or evolutionary state). I will discuss a case in point: the X-ray and UV activity cycles of the central binary (G2V+K1V) of the nearby Alpha Centauri triple system. I also will briefly touch on the "buried coronae" of red giants, which possibly is analogous to an odd phenomenon seen in some solar flares (transient cold molecular absorptions on top of the hot Si IV lines).

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Bin Chen, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Title: Recent results from coordinated VLA and Hinode/IRIS observations

Abstract: After the completion of a decade-long upgrade in early 2012, the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) is now capable of imaging the Sun in 1-8 GHz (soon 1-18 GHz) with unprecedented high cadence (50 ms), spectral resolution (up to 1 MHz), and spatial resolution (~21”/f in GHz). Its powerful dynamic spectroscopic imaging capability and high sensitivity allow unique means of tracing flare-accelerated electrons in the low corona, where the flare energy release presumably takes place. Meanwhile, (E)UV and X-ray observations available from Hinode, IRIS, AIA, and RHESSI provide crucial information on the flare-heated hot plasma and complementary diagnostics on the nonthermal electrons. Since 2011, we have recorded a few dozens of flares (GOES class C or above) with the VLA, some of which had simultaneous coverage from Hinode and/or IRIS. In this talk, I will present recent results from such coordinated observations.

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