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Dr. Harlan Spence

Dr. Harlan Spence

Dr. Harlan Spence, University of New Hampshire– Dr. Spence is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Dr. Spence leads a research group that studies the physics of cosmic plasmas, from the Sun's corona to interplanetary space to Earth's upper atmosphere, using experimental and modeling techniques. Dr. Spence and his research team develop and use physics-based, numerical models to understand the powerful dynamics of interacting solar and planetary plasmas ("space weather") and the resultant deleterious effects on space technologies and astronauts.  Between 1989 and 1994, Spence worked at The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, CA where he had his first experimental experience, leading the development of an energetic charged particle instrument on the NASA Polar mission. In 1994, Spence returned to Boston University as an Assistant Professor of Astronomy and moved up through the ranks to full Professor and Department Chair over his 15 years there. In 2010, Spence joined UNH where he assumes the Directorship of EOS and also holds a Professorship in the Department of Physics.  Dr. Spence was a co-investigator on two energetic particle instrument packages in orbit on the POLAR satellite since 1996 and is co-investigator on a suite of particle instruments on the upcoming Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission. He is Principal Investigator on a cosmic ray sensor launched on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and is Principal Investigator of a comprehensive charged particle instrument suite on NASA's Van Allen Probes mission. Finally, Spence is Principal Investigator of an NSF CubeSat mission aimed at exploring the physics of relativistic electrons which reach Earth's upper atmosphere from the radiation belts. Spence serves on several national committees that advise NASA and NSF on future space missions and research programs and is a frequent reviewer of publications in top journals and proposals to national and international funding agencies.