Upcoming Webinars

May 14, 2021 – 2:00pm EST

Title: A Path Towards Creating Effective Scientific Presentations

Speaker: Heather Elliott

This webinar is designed to set you on a path towards creating effective presentations. Presentations are a key way of advertising your work and an integral part of establishing collaborations. We go over general advice for making scientific presentations at conferences, and more formal presentations to clients and government agencies (e.g. NASA Preliminary
Design Reviews and Critical Design Reviews). The advice includes how to prepare presentations, and how to give presentations. We provide some advice for dealing with common problems encountered during presentations.
Additional links and references are provided to guide your journey towards being an effective presenter.

Dr. Elliott’s research focuses on the plasma properties of large‐scale solar wind structures, and Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections. Her work with ACE, Ulysses, New Horizons, OMNI, and Polar data has spanned a wide range of topics: solar wind, interstellar pickup ions, Jupiter’s magnetotail, ion outflow in Earth’s magnetosphere, comet tails, forecasting the Kp Index, and solar wind interaction with Pluto. Currently, she is the Deputy PI for the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument on the New Horizons spacecraft. She is a Co‐I on the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission, the Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) mission, and the SHIELD DRIVE Data Center. As an undergraduate, she was a summer student at Arecibo Observatory assisting with
ionospheric research, and her master’s work compared simulation results to thermospheric observations. Her Ph.D. dissertation examined how the solar wind affects the cold ion outflow that escapes from the ionosphere into the high altitude polar magnetosphere.

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Past Webinars

April 9, 2021 – 2:00pm EST

Title: Young Voices

Speaker: Parisa Mostafavi

Heliospheric shocks Propagating Beyond the Heliosphere: How Far Does the Sun’s Influence Extend into the Interstellar Medium?

Current spacecraft have identified many interesting discoveries about shocks’ structure in the outer heliosphere and the very local interstellar medium (VLISM). In this talk, I summarize how the structure of heliospheric shock waves changes with distance from the Sun. A two-fluid (thermal gas and nonthermal energetic particles) model has been used to study the shock structures observed in these regions. We show that a small percentage of the solar wind flow energy at the upstream of the heliospheric termination shock (HTS) is converted to downstream thermal heating, as it was observed by Voyager 2 and nonthermal energetic particles called pickup ions (PUIs) provide almost all the dissipative heating of the bulk flow energy at the HTS. Next, we study the inner heliosheath (IHS) medium and show that the IHS temperature mediation due to the presence of many shocks results in the more effective production of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs). The predicted ENA flux matches the observed IBEX ENA flux more closely when shock waves are present in the IHS. Voyager 1 and 2 crossed the heliopause in 2012 and 2018, respectively, and are both continue to make in-situ measurements of the VLISM for the first time. The first observed VLISM shock by Voyager 1 was extremely broad, exhibiting properties very different from those shocks in the heliosphere. We find that the VLISM is collisional with respect to the thermal plasma (unlike the collisionless heliosphere), and the broad VLISM shock structure is due to thermal particle collisions. Many interesting questions have been raised about shocks propagation by Voyager 1 and 2 traveling into the ISM. However, they were not instrumented properly to elucidate the physics of shocks in a completely different medium, and thus a dedicated spacecraft is needed. A future interstellar probe is the first deliberate mission to the interstellar medium through the outer heliosphere with the dedicated set of observations to answer the most debated questions about the heliosphere and discover our local interstellar neighborhood.

Speaker: Elena Provornikova

Interstellar Probe: a future mission to unravel mysteries of the heliosphere and its interstellar neighborhood

An Interstellar Probe mission to the local interstellar medium would bring new discoveries of physical mechanisms shaping our vast heliosphere and directly sample the unexplored Local Interstellar Cloud that our Sun is traveling through. Interstellar Probe would enable for the first time to explore the heliosphere edge with dedicated instrumentation, to take the image of the global heliosphere by looking back and explore in-situ the Sun`s interstellar neighborhood. The Interstellar Probe would represent Humanity’s first explicit step into the galaxy. In this presentation, I will give an overview of heliophysics science for the mission and discuss the compelling discoveries that await on the journey up to 1000 AU from the Sun.

Watch it here


March 12, 2021 – 2:00pm EST

Title: Experiences from the Voyager Interstellar Mission

Speaker: Charles Kohlhase

Charles Kohlhase led the design of many deep-space missions during his extended career, including Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Cassini missions. For his sustained robotic exploration contributions over the last 40 years of the 20th century and solid success record, he received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and has an asteroid, 13801 Kohlhase, named in his honor. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on January 6, 2003 (M.P.C. 47300). He managed and guided the team which designed the epic Voyager Grand Tour mission to the outer planets and their moons and rings. After Voyager, Kohlhase became the science and mission design manager for the international Cassini–Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. Following the launch, cruise, and Saturn orbit phases of Cassini, he has continued to advise NASA/JPL on numerous missions to Mars and to other worlds. In addition to his counsel on various review boards, Kohlhase has chaired the Mars Program Systems Engineering Team, composed of many senior experts spanning diverse disciplines. He is also a member of the Advisory Council for The Planetary Society.

Speaker: Suzanne Dodd

Suzanne Dodd is the Project Manager for the Voyager Interstellar Mission and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Director for the Interplanetary Network Directorate. She became the Voyager Project Manager in 2010, returning to the project she first worked on after her college graduation. The Interplanetary Network Directorate oversees NASA’s Deep Space Network and Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System. She has over 30 years of experience in spacecraft operations, including project manager roles on the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array. Suzanne worked at Caltech for 11 years as the Spitzer Space Telescope Science Center Manager and the Manager of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, NASA’s multi-mission center of expertise for long-wavelength astrophysics. Suzanne has also worked in the area of mission planning and uplink on the Cassini Mission to Saturn, the Mars Observer Project, and the Voyager Uranus and Neptune Missions.
Suzanne has a BS degree in Engineering and Applied Science from Caltech, a BA degree in Math/Physics from Whitman College, and an MS degree from the University of Southern California in Aerospace Engineering. She is the recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Public Service Medal, NASA Silver Achievement Medal, and NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. She also has an honorary Ph.D. from New York University for her role in the Voyager Interstellar Mission.

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February 12, 2021 – 2:00pm EST

Title: How discoveries are made: Finding the needle in a haystack

Speaker: Nancy Crooker, Boston University

Nancy U. Crooker is an American physicist and professor emerita of space physics at Boston University, Massachusetts. She has made major contributions to the understanding of geomagnetism in the Earth’s magnetosphere and the heliosphere, particularly through the study of interplanetary electrons and magnetic reconnection. Crooker has published 207 peerreviewed articles across a range of topics within space physics. Her early career was as a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University and then the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1970s. There, together with Joan Feynman in their seminal Nature paper, she was one of the first physicists to use geomagnetic data as a way to reconstruct solar activity prior to the space age. Crooker then developed the concept of antiparallel merging of magnetic field lines in Earth’s magnetosphere published in Journal of Geophysical Research in 1979. In 1990, she returned to UCLA as an adjunct professor before making her final move to Boston University as a research professor in 1994. Around this time, Crooker switched focus from the magnetosphere to the heliosphere, in particular the interplanetary manifestations of coronal mass ejections. In 1997, she coedited a monograph on coronal mass ejections. In 2002, she coined the term “interchange reconnection” for describing the dynamic process by which heliospheric magnetic flux introduced by coronal mass ejections is subsequently removed, a term which has been comprehensively adopted in the field. Crooker is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), where the fellowship program recognizes AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space science through a breakthrough, discovery, or innovation in their field. She also received the prestigious Eugene Parker Lecture award from the AGU in 2013, only the third woman to do so. Crooker was president of the AGU Space Physics & Aeronomy Section from 2004 to 2006 and served on the AGU Board of Directors from 2010 to 2012.

Speaker: Dr. Fran Bagenal

Dr. Fran Bagenal was born and grew up in England. She studied Physics and Geophysics at the University of Lancaster. In 1976, inspired by NASAs missions to Mars and the prospect of the Voyager mission, she moved to the US for graduate study at MIT. Her 1981 Ph.D. thesis involved analysis of data from the Voyager Plasma Science experiment in Jupiters giant magnetosphere. She spent 19821987 as a postdoctoral researcher in space physics at Imperial College, London. Voyager flybys of Uranus and Neptune brought her back to the US and she joined the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1989. She was a professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences until 2015 when she chose to focus onNASAsNew Horizons and Juno missions. She remains a research Scientist at the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics. In addition to the Voyager mission, Dr. Bagenal has been on the science teams of the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Deep Space 1 mission to CometBorrelly. She edited Jupiter Planet, Satellites, and Magnetosphere(Cambridge University Press, 2004). Shes on the plasma teams of the first two New Frontiers missions:theNew Horizons mission thatafter a 9.5year flight flew pastPluto on July 14, 2015and Juno that went into orbit over the poles of Jupiter in 2016.

Watch the webinar here


January 8, 2021 – 1:00pm EST

Title: Coming From Far Away Lands: How different backgrounds Shape their Careers 

Speaker: Stamatios Krimigis 

Dr. Stamatios Krimigis is Emeritus Head of the Space Exploration Sector at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), has built instruments that have flown to all 9 classical planets beginning with Mariner 4 to Mars in 1965, and is Principal Investigator on NASAs Voyager 1, 2. Among his most recent awards are the National Air and Space Museum Trophy for Lifetime Achievement (2015), the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (2016), and the Theodore von Karman Award (2017) of the International Academy of Astronautics. He has published more than 630 papers in peerreviewed journals and books and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Physical Society (APS), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Speaker: Parisa Mostafavi

Parisa Mostafavi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory interested in investigating the structure and properties of the solar wind plasma both in the heliosphere and the interstellar medium. Parisa is from Iran and she graduated from Science and research university in Tehran with a BS in Engineering Physics (minor in plasma). Parisa got an MS in Plasma Engineering from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Then she immigrated to the USA in 2014 to follow her dreams of a space science major. She got an MS in Space Science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). She was awarded her Ph.D. in Space Science, supported by the NASA Earth and Space Sciences Graduate Research Fellowship, at UAH under the advisement of Prof. GaryZank.Parisa received numerous awards and recognitions during the past years. She was recognized by the Dean of graduate studies at UAH for the Academic Excellence Award every year from 2015 to 2019. She also received the UAH College of Science Graduate Research Award in 2019. Recently, Parisa received the prestigious Fred L. Scarf Award which is given annually to one honoree in recognition of an outstanding dissertation that contributes directly to solarplanetary science. She is an honorary member of PhiKappaPhi. She spent the last year of her Ph.D. working with Prof. Dave McComas at Princeton University where she was awarded the Visiting Student Research Collaborator position. She continued her collaboration with the Space Physics group at Princeton as a Visiting Research Collaborator. Her work focused on shock waves mediated by energetic particles. She developed a theoretical model and a numerical code to investigate the structure of the shock waves in the presence of the energetic particles in the heliosphere and the very local interstellar medium. Parisa Mostafavi has started working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2019. She is currently working on many interesting projects such as modeling the inner heliosphere, analyzing the Parker Solar Probe data, and working on the future Interstellar Probe mission.

Watch the webinar here


November 20, 2020 – 1:30pm EST

Title: The Rewards of a Career in Space Physics: Opportunities and Choices

Speaker: Margaret Kivelson, UCLA and University of Michigan

Margaret Galland Kivelson is a Distinguished Research Professor of Space Physics at UCLA and a Research Professor at the University of Michigan. She received multiple degrees (A.B., M.A., and Ph.D.) from Radcliffe College, Harvard University, where her dissertation in Quantum Electrodynamics was supervised by Julian Schwinger. After a decade as a Consultant to the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, CA, she redirected her interests to Space Physics, joining an active group at UCLA. She has contributed to the field as a theorist, as author of a widely used text book, and as an instrument Principal Investigator, most recently having joined the Europa Clipper mission as Team Leader for the Magnetometer investigation. Her honors include being an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, recipient of the Alfvén and the Cassini medals of the European Geophysical Union, the Fleming medal of the American Geophysical Union, the Kuiper medal of the American Astronomical Society, and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Speaker: Nicola Fox, NASA Headquarters

Nicola Fox is the Heliophysics Division Director in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Heliophysics is not only vital to understanding Earth’s most important and life-sustaining  star, but the study of key space phenomena and processes supports  situational awareness to better protect astronauts, satellites, and robotic missions exploring the solar system and beyond. Until August 2018, Fox worked at the Applied Physics Lab at the Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland, where she was the chief scientist for Heliophysics and the project scientist for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe –humanity’s first mission to a star. Fox is a proven leader with extensive project, program and supervisory experience, having served as the deputy project scientist for the Van Allen Probes, and the operations scientist for the International Solar Terrestrial Physics program. She has authored numerous scientific articles and papers in addition to delivering science presentations worldwide. In addition to her research, she is also keenly involved with science education and outreach activities. Fox was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire in England. She graduated from The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London with a BS in Physics. She received an MS in Telematics and Satellite Communications from the University of Surrey. She then returned to Imperial College to complete a PhD in Space and Atmospheric Physics. She has also previously worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, receiving a number of agency awards for outstanding performance.

Watch the Webinar Here


October 16, 2020 – 2pm EST, 1pm Central

Title: A Path to Improving Writing Skills: Things I Didn’t Learn In School

Speaker: Heather Elliottt, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio TX, and University of Texas-San Antonio, helliott@swri.edu 

In this webinar, you will learn about:

  • psychology that hinders writing skills, and ways to overcome it
  • how to identify problematic aspects of your writing
  • how to write concisely for paged limited writing such as proposals
  • ways to organize your material while reducing repetition and having coherence, precision, and cohesion
  • key references for low-cost books that focus on improving writing and editing

Webinar Slides Here

Watch the Webinar Here