UNH Professors Honored for Contributions to Earth and Space Sciences Research

Friday, October 1, 2021

Roy Torbert and Steve Frolking

Roy Torbert (left), professor of physics and space scientist at UNH, and Steve Frolking (right), climate and Earth sciences expert at UNH. Credit: UNH

DURHAM, N.H.—Two researchers at the University of New Hampshire have been elected to the 2021 Class of Fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Steve Frolking, a climate and Earth sciences expert, and space scientist Roy Torbert, who leads the university’s efforts on the NASA MMS mission, are among the 59 international scientists being recognized for work that has significantly advanced research in their fields.

“We are incredibly pleased that Steve and Roy are being honored for their top-notch research, and we congratulate them on receiving this well-deserved distinction,” said Marian McCord, senior vice provost for research, economic engagement and outreach at UNH. “Their dedication to their fields of study and to mentoring the next generation of scientists places them among the very best in the world, and we are honored to work with them."

Frolking, research professor of Earth system science, is a triple alum of UNH, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics and doctorate in Earth science. His research focuses on ecosystem interactions with the Earth’s climate system and human modifications of these systems, with a primary emphasis on modeling the carbon balance of peatlands at seasonal to millennial time scales. He has also worked extensively on simulating greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s agricultural systems, hydrological and water resource modeling, and remote sensing analysis of global urban growth. He was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2015 and was a Fulbright Fellow in Finland in 2018.

Torbert, professor of physics, recently retired from teaching, but continues to mentor students. He has a long research record in heliophysics—the study of the sun and its interactions with the solar system and space weather—where he has led sounding rocket missions and satellite instruments in auroral, substorm and magnetic reconnection investigations in the near-Earth space. In addition to his involvement in the MMS mission, Torbert has been a co-investigator on numerous NASA missions, including Cluster, Van Allan Probes, Equator-S, Wind and Polar projects, as well as the recent Space Weather Follow-On Lagrange 1 satellite.

AGU is the largest single organization dedicated to the advancement of geophysics. It supports 130,000 enthusiasts to experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences. Through broad and inclusive partnerships, AGU aims to advance discovery and solution science that accelerate knowledge and create solutions that are ethical, unbiased and respectful of communities and their values.

Roy Torbert, professor of physics and space scientist at the University of New Hampshire, was named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
Credit: UNH

Steve Frolking, climate and Earth sciences expert at the University of New Hampshire, was named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
Credit: UNH