The Birth of New Ideas and a Future Scientist

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A very important aspect of HAO’s science is the HAO Visitor Program. Recently, HAO was fortunate to host a five-month visit by visiting scientists Drs. Jiuhou Lei and Xiaoli Luan from the School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China. They collaborated with staff from the HAO AIM Section (Wenbin Wang, Barbara Emery, and Stan Solomon). They also collaborated with long-term HAO visitor, Jeff Thayer, from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Both Jiuhou and Xiaoli have visited HAO previously.

Drs. Jiuhou Lei and Xiaoli Luan image
Visiting scientists Drs. Jiuhou Lei and Xiaoli Luan with their children.

The objective of the visit was to study geomagnetic storm in the ionosphere using the NCAR TIEGCM and observations. Xiaoli ran the NCAR-TIEGCM, using the observed auroral energy flux from TIMED/GUVI as input. The observed auroral energy flux varies with universal time (UT), thus it has great influence on the ionospheric/thermospheric system. Xiaoli Luan also wanted to compare the observed E layer electron density in the auroral zone with the output of the NCAR-TIEGCM. Jiuhou examined the thermospheric and ionospheric responses to the October, 2003, superstorms and also investigated the mechanisms responsible for the different longitudinal structures between the equatorial thermosphere anomaly and the equatorial ionosphere anomaly using the TIEGCM and TIMEGCM.

Jiuhou and Xiaoli are married to each other and have two children: Jenny, who is three years old and did not accompany her parents during this visit, and Julie who was born during their visit. Both Jiuhou and Xiaoli liked living in Boulder, because “Boulder people are very nice, and the air is clean. People say hello to each other, no matter whether they know each other or not. You can make friends with people from all around the world. It is so wonderful to walk along Boulder Creek every evening and chat with neighbors and friends. We also got a big bonus from this visit because our little daughter was born during our visit.” They note that life in Boulder is similar to life in China in that people work very hard during working hours; however, in China, there are often meetings to attend during weekends and holidays. While here, they experienced the “100-year flood”, and said that they were not impacted, but that they were able to learn what was happening because CU Family Housing staff and the news channels kept them informed.

Jiuhou and Xiaoli plan to return to HAO for another collaborative visit at some time and plan to maintain a close collaboration with HAO colleagues. HAO looks forward to hosting another visit in the future.

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