UNH space plasma physicist Harlan Spence has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Spence, director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space and professor of physics, is among the 396 new fellows.
Election as an AAAS fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows were scheduled to be formally announced in the journal Science on Nov. 24.
“This recognition is a wonderful honor for Harlan,” says UNH Provost Nancy Targett. “He sets a very high standard of scientific excellence, and it is very satisfying to see his peers acknowledge the breadth, depth and quality of his work.”
Spence is being recognized for distinguished contributions to space exploration, the development of instruments to characterize the radiation intensity in space and for continued leadership in the heliophysics community, according to AAAS. He leads a research group that develops and uses physics-based, numerical models to understand the dynamics of interacting solar and planetary plasmas — “space weather”— and the resulting effects on space technologies and astronauts. Spence complements these modeling efforts with the development of instruments on NASA and NSF spacecraft and the analysis of the new observations needed to fuel understanding.
The AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine, digital open-access journal Science Signaling, Science Advances, Science Immunology and Science Robotics. The AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science serving 10 million individuals.