From the Director
SwRI-EOS Launches
Harlan Spence
Harlan Spence

I AM DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE an exciting, new EOS initiative: the creation of a research collaboration agreement between the University of New Hampshire and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of San Antonio, Texas. The agreement builds upon existing collaborations between the two institutions on several space projects, many of them detailed in prior issues of Spheres, and which include the Magnetospheric Multiscale, Solar Orbiter, Van Allen Probes, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter missions, among others.

But this formal agreement does much more than simply recognize past and ongoing collaborative projects in the Space Science Center; it prepares us to collectively take on larger and more complex projects, not only in space science, but also in the Earth and ocean sciences.

The agreement's preamble articulates the goals of this joint venture, which, in sum, are to seek research opportunities that enhance and fulfill our respective educational and scientific missions with the intent to advance our individual and mutual interests in space and Earth systems science, instrumentation, and discovery.

The collaboration combines the longstanding, complementary strengths of our two organizations in compelling ways. The 60-plus-year history of space science at UNH should be well known to Spheres readers; the SSC encompasses "studies ranging from the ionosphere to the Earth's magnetosphere, the local solar system, and out to the farthest reaches of the universe"—the center's catchphrase.

For over 40 years, the Space Science and Engineering Division at SwRI has also been a space science leader, with impressive capabilities and infrastructure for developing spacecraft instrumentation, avionics, and electronics for government and industry as well as serving as the lead institution for several full NASA missions.

The joint venture builds on the strengths of our two organizations—extending both in dimensions they do not presently have and thus providing opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers working on research projects that map to our institute's core.

After nearly a year of exploratory discussions and planning, the collaboration agreement recently became official upon signing by UNH President Mark Huddleston and SwRI President Dan Bates, and is now rapidly taking form and already leading to positive outcomes. On March 11th, SwRI opened a new department, the SwRI-Earth, Oceans, and Space Department (SwRI-EOS), located in Morse Hall on the UNH Durham campus.

This co-location with EOS enables additional and enhanced opportunities for working together on mutual projects. The first director of SwRI-EOS is a very familiar face to those at EOS and UNH—Professor Roy Torbert, former long-term director of the SSC. In addition to Torbert, nine UNH engineering and accounting staff will join SwRI-EOS, as will one SwRI scientist. We anticipate more staff will join as research ramps up with several new and ongoing efforts; joint proposals are already under review or in development as part of our new venture.

At a time when federal and state funding has put enormous pressures on higher education in general, and on research in particular in our case, we are excited by how this strategic alliance with SwRI makes us not only more robust, but opens up broader opportunities for our scientists and our students.

In short, with this development we have grown our collective institutional strengths. While you read this issue of Spheres, consider the many dimensions of our current scientific research and how these will grow with the SwRI-EOS collaboration now in place.
– Harlan Spence

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Spheres Online

the University of New Hampshire Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space electronic newsletter.

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Spheres Archives

Spring 2013
In this Issue of Spheres

Making the Invisible Visible

Mirror Mirror

Building Shelter From
the Storm

A Matter of Scale

IBEX: The Little Satellite
That Could, and Does

The Yin and Yang
of Coastal Carbon

News and Notes
Faculty, Staff, and Student News
From the Director

Institute for the Study of Earth,
Oceans, and Space
EOS Director: Harlan Spence
Editor: David Sims
Designer: Kristi Donahue
Circulation: Laurie Pinciak

Morse Hall, 8 College Road,
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Spring 2013

Faculty, Staff, and Student News
Earth Systems Research Center

Mount Hunter drill site
In May, Cameron Wake, Liz Burakowski and colleagues from Dartmouth College and University of Maine will travel to Mount Hunter in Alaska's Denali National Park on an ice core paleoclimatology project. The effort culminates five years of reconnaissance missions to identify the ideal drilling site and seeks to recover two surface-to-bedrock ice cores of 250 meters each by mid-June. The project is an attempt to reconstruct changes in annual precipitation and atmospheric circulation and deposition of different pollutants in central Alaska. The data will essentially fill a large spatial hole in existing Arctic ice core paleoclimate records.

Michael Palace will be a featured speaker at the TEDxPiscataquaRiver conference Friday, May 3 in Portsmouth, N.H. TED, short for Technology, Entertainment, Design, is an international program providing an "immersive environment that allows attendees and speakers from vastly different fields to cross-fertilize and draw inspiration from unlikely places." TEDx programs are local, self-organized events. A tropical ecologist by training, Palace also integrates audio field recordings into electronic music and will talk about the creative process, idea sharing, and interdisciplinary aspects of science.

Jingfeng Xiao coauthored a paper recently published in Environmental Research Letters. The main finding of the study, which was based in southwestern China, is that spring droughts could reduce plant growth and carbon uptake. The paper is featured in

ross gorte
Ross Gorte

Ross Gorte joined the ESRC as an affiliate research professor of forest management policy. Gorte is a former senior policy specialist for the Resources, Science, and Industry Division of the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C.

Postdoctoral researcher Eric Kelsey won first prize for his poster "A Surprise in the North Pacific: Results From Applying a New Nonlinear Method for Calibrating Ice Cores" presented at the annual American Meteorological Society's 25th Conference on Climate Variability and Change in Austin, Texas. Kelsey is currently director of research at the Mount Washington Observatory and a research assistant professor at the Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute of Plymouth State University.

Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory

Chris Hunt attended the ASLO (American Society of Limnology and Oceanography) conference in New Orleans late in February and gave a talk titled "Modeling the export of DOC from large watersheds and its influence on the optical properties of coastal waters." Joe Salisbury (OPAL), Wil Wollheim and Rob Stewart (ESRC) were co-authors.

  saving ocean

Historical marine ecologists Karen Alexander and Bill Leavenworth of OPAL and Jeff Bolster of the UNH department of history were featured in the film "Cod Comeback?" broadcast on PBS in February. The film, an episode in the series "Saving the Ocean" hosted and produced by marine biologist and writer Carl Safina, explores the historical collapse of the rich cod fishing grounds of New England and Canada and looks for signs of recovery in the wake of widespread closures in the 1990s. The film can be viewed at

Amanda Plagge started a postdoctoral position at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College where she did her bachelor's and master's degrees. Plagge is working with a new faculty member who has a background in fluid dynamics and blade/propeller design but who is interested in wind energy—Plagge's topic of interest.

As part of her dissertation work, Ph.D. student Rachel Feeney is interviewing commercial fisherman from the N.H. area in an effort to determine whether the multi-species, groundfish catch-share system that went into effect in May 2010 is achieving theorized benefits. She is evaluating the biological, social, and economic impacts of the management regulations. Feeney is also working full time as a social impact analyst at the New England Fishery Management Council.

Space Science Center

Professor Lynn Kistler was named director of the Space Science Center. Kistler succeeds Roy Torbert, who now serves as director of the new Southwest Research Institute-Earth, Oceans, and Space Department (SwRI-EOS) located in Morse Hall.

  ehis calibration team
EHIS calibration team

Cliff Lopate (principal investigator) and Jim Connell (co-investigator) report that the first flight instrument of the Energetic Heavy Ion Sensor (EHIS) for the first next-generation GOES-R weather satellite was recently tested at National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University and delivered to Assurance Technologies Corporation for environmental testing. EHIS is part of the Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS) for the satellite, which when launched will be the first in a series of four to replace the nation's aging, 30-year-old weather satellites in NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Program. UNH has been contracted to build four EHIS instruments for the GOES-R, -S, -T, and –U satellites. EHIS, wrapped in protective foil and under nitrogen purge to ensure cleanliness for space operations, is pictured above at the test facility. Team members from left to right (kneeling) are, Dan Tran, Kevin Mello, Frank Kudirka, (standing) Dwayne Rhines, Cliff Lopate, Bruno Pape, Colin Frost, and Jim Connell.

ross gorte
Allison Jaynes

In January, Allison Jaynes successfully defended her thesis titled "Pulsating Aurora: Source Region & Morphology" and has moved on to a position with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado. Jaynes is working on high-energy radiation belt physics through analysis of the Van Allen Probes' Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope (REPT) instrument data. REPT is part of the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma (ECT) instrument suite, which is led by EOS director Harlan Spence.

SSC scientists were part of NASA's latest round of selections for proposed CubeSat missions planned for 2014 launch. UNH, in partnership with Montana State University, will develop components for the Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range, and Dynamics (FIREBIRD) II nanosatellite. Ph.D. candidate Alex Crew, along with his advisor and UNH mission lead scientist Harlan Spence, worked with Montana State on the first FIREBIRD mission, which was developed under the National Science Foundation's CubeSat program and is slated for launch this year.

Ian Cohen was named a NASA Student Ambassador for 2013 following a two-month internship at the Goddard Space Flight Center last summer working as part of the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission team. NASA inducted 86 "top-performing" interns into the 2013 NASA Student Ambassadors Virtual Community, a vital component of the agency's ongoing effort to engage undergraduate and graduate students in science, engineering, mathematics and technology (STEM) research and interactive opportunities.

RENU I rocket launch

Marc Lessard is principal investigator for the second Rocket Experiment for Neutral Upwelling, or RENU II, rocket launch recently funded by NASA. A follow-up to the first RENU launch in December 2010 from Norway's Andøya Rocket Range, which Lessard also led, RENU II is aimed at further measuring the complex, underlying physics behind the phenomenon of neutral upwelling or "satellite drag." The RENU multi-instrument payload will include five contributions from UNH's Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Research Laboratory and involve several graduate students. Launch is tentatively set for winter 2015-16.

will fox 
Will Fox

Research scientist Will Fox reports he is the principal investigator on a recent two-year grant to run experiments on the OMEGA Extended Performance laser facility at the University of Rochester. The goal is to conduct controlled experiments on the dynamics of magnetic fields between colliding magnetized plasmas—an effort aimed at understanding the plasma physics in similar natural systems, such as the interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere. The grant includes research funding and experiment time for four days on the machine. Fox also received an allotment of 7.8 million hours on the Kraken supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for 2013 to develop and run advanced simulations in support of these experiments. UNH collaborators on the research are affiliate professor Amitava Bhattacharjee (now at Princeton University), Kai Germaschewski, and Naoki Bessho.

Taking part in February's IBEX meeting at EOS (see "IBEX: The Little Satellite That Could, and Does") were research associate professor Harald Kucharek, research project engineer David Heirtzler, and Ph.D. student Trevor Leonard. For the mission, Kucharek and Heirtzler have been keeping tabs on the special operations for the interstellar observations and providing the necessary data quality checking, while Leonard is doing the detailed data analysis work by sifting out the usable times and comparing the observations with the model that Marty Lee has worked on. Eberhard Möbius notes this work is being done in close collaboration with colleagues at the Space Research Centre in Warsaw, Poland who run another more sophisticated model.

Chuck Smith reports that funds remaining from last summer's Project SMART program will allow the space science/balloon project team to do some hardware development for three nighttime balloon flights in April and May. The night flights will conduct further science and take video images of aurora. Last July, SMART high school teachers and students successfully built, flew, and recovered a scientific payload that had been carried aloft by balloon to 105,700 feet. The aim of the current work, which is being done under the guidance of the program's veteran N.H. physics teachers Lou Broad of Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, Scott Goelzer of Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, and Rich Levergood of Londonderry High School, is to create a more powerful platform on which to build future experiments.

by David Sims, Science Writer, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space.