James H. Clemmons

Office: Earth, Oceans & Space, Morse Hall, Durham, NH 03824
A headshot of James Clemmons, a professor in the Space Science Center.

James Clemmons works in the field of space physics. His interests include auroral phenomena, physics of the Earth's ionosphere-thermosphere system, and the magnetosphere. Primary methods of inquiry are space experiments and instrumentation, as well as analysis of data. He serves as a Co-Investigator on NASA's Van Allen Probes and Magnetospheric Multiscale missions. Recent sounding rocket experiments include the Auroral Jet and RENU-2 missions, and current projects include the VISIONS-2, TOMEX-Plus, and Dynamo-2 sounding rocket missions, the LLITED cubesat mission, analysis of data from the TWINS-ES experiment, and modeling of the atmospheric mass density anomaly beneath the earth's magnetospheric cusp.


  • Ph.D., Space Physics, University of California - Berkeley
  • M.A., Physics, University of California - Berkeley
  • B.S., Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.S., Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests

  • Aeronomy
  • Atmosphere: Composition & Disturbance
  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Atmospheric Remote Sensing
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Atmospheric Structure and Dynamics
  • Geophysics
  • Geosciences
  • Instrumentation, Techniques (Physical Sciences)
  • Ionospheres
  • Ionospheric Phenomena
  • Ionospheric Physics
  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Magnetospheric Phenomena
  • Physical Sciences
  • Physics
  • Plasma Physics
  • Space Sciences
  • Space Weather
  • Spacecraft
  • Turbulence

Courses Taught

  • PHYS 407: General Physics I Recitation

Selected Publications

Turner, D. L., III, W. L. B., Liu, T. Z., Cohen, I. J., Schwartz, S. J., Osmane, A., . . . Burch, J. L. (2018). Autogenous and efficient acceleration of energetic ions upstream of Earth's bow shock. NATURE, 561(7722), 206-+. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0472-9

Shprits, Y. Y., Angelopoulos, V., Russell, C. T., Strangeway, R. J., Runov, A., Turner, D., . . . Clemmons, J. H. (2018). Scientific Objectives of Electron Losses and Fields INvestigation Onboard Lomonosov Satellite. Space Science Reviews, 214(1). doi:10.1007/s11214-017-0455-4

Turner, D. L., Fennell, J. F., Blake, J. B., Claudepierre, S. G., Clemmons, J. H., Jaynes, A. N., . . . Reeves, G. D. (2017). Multipoint Observations of Energetic Particle Injections and Substorm Activity During a Conjunction Between Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Van Allen Probes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122(11), 11,481-11,504. doi:10.1002/2017JA024554

Claudepierre, S. G., O'Brien, T. P., Fennell, J. F., Blake, J. B., Clemmons, J. H., Looper, M. D., . . . Spence, H. E. (2017). The hidden dynamics of relativistic electrons (0.7-1.5 MeV) in the inner zone and slot region. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. doi:10.1002/2016JA023719

Fennell, J. F., Blake, J. B., Claudepierre, S., Mazur, J., Kanekal, S., O'Brien, P., . . . Clemmons, J. (2016). Current energetic particle sensors. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 121(9), 8840-8858. doi:10.1002/2016JA022588

Burch, J. L., Torbert, R. B., Phan, T. D., Chen, L. -J., Moore, T. E., Ergun, R. E., . . . Chandler, M. (2016). Electron-scale measurements of magnetic reconnection in space. Science, 352(6290), aaf2939. doi:10.1126/science.aaf2939

Blake, J. B., Carranza, P. A., Claudepierre, S. G., Clemmons, J. H., Crain, W. R., Dotan, Y., . . . Zakrzewski, M. P. (2013). The Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) Instruments Aboard the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Spacecraft. Space Science Reviews, 179(1-4), 383-421. doi:10.1007/s11214-013-9991-8

Spence, H. E., Reeves, G. D., Baker, D. N., Blake, J. B., Bolton, M., Bourdarie, S., . . . Thorne, R. M. (2013). Science Goals and Overview of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma (ECT) Suite on NASA’s Van Allen Probes Mission. Space Science Reviews, 179(1-4), 311-336. doi:10.1007/s11214-013-0007-5

Marklund, G., Karlsson, T., & Clemmons, J. (1997). On low-altitude particle acceleration and intense electric fields and their relationship to black aurora. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 102(A8), 17509-17522. doi:10.1029/97JA00334

Boehm, M. H., Carlson, C. W., McFadden, J. P., Clemmons, J. H., & Mozer, F. S. (1990). High-resolution sounding rocket observations of large-amplitude Alfvén waves. Journal of Geophysical Research, 95(A8), 12157. doi:10.1029/JA095iA08p12157

Most Cited Publications