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Space Physics & Aeronomy Richard Carrington Education & Public Outreach Award

Information on the Award

The Space Physics & Aeronomy Richard Carrington (SPARC) Education & Public Outreach Award is presented annually to a senior scientist for significant impact on the public’s understanding of space physics and aeronomy through their education or outreach activities. It is named for Richard Carrington, an English amateur astronomer who was the first person to observe a large solar flare in 1859. Recipients of the SPARC Award exhibit go above and beyond their job title in their education and outreach endeavors.

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Award Benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our section honorees. Recipients of the SPARC Award will receive the following benefits with the honor:

  • 1
    Award certificate
  • 2
    Recognition in Eos
  • 3
    Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 4
    A complimentary ticket to the Space Physics and Aeronomy section dinner at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 5
    $1,000 monetary prize

Eligibility

To better understand eligibility for nominators, supporters and Space Physics & Aeronomy Richard Carrington (SPARC) Education & Public Outreach Award Award Committee members, review AGU’s Honors Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • The nominee is required to be an active AGU member.
  • The nominee’s impact in the education of students or the public’s understanding of space physics and aeronomy science must be significant and far-reaching.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be candidates for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Space Physics & Aeronomy section leadership;
    • SPARC Award Committee members;
    • All full-time AGU staff; and
    • AGU Fellows.

  • Nominators are not required to hold an active AGU membership.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be nominators for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Space Physics & Aeronomy section leadership;
    • SPARC Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

  • Individuals who write letters of support for the nominee are not required to be active AGU members.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be supporters for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Space Physics & Aeronomy section leadership;
    • SPARC Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

The following relationships need to be identified and communicated to the Award Committee but will not disqualify individuals from participating in the nomination or committee review process. These apply to committee members, nominators, and supporters:

  • Current dean, departmental chair, supervisor, supervisee, laboratory director, an individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee);
  • Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years; and/or
  • An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.

Individuals with the following relationships are disqualified from participating in the award nomination process as a nominator or supporter:

  • Family member, spouse, or partner.
  • A previous graduate (Master’s or Ph.D.) and/or postdoctoral advisor, or postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.
  • A former doctoral or graduate student, or a former postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter for a former advisor but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.

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Nomination Package

Your nomination package must contain all of the following files, which should be no more than two pages in length per document. Watch our tutorial on successfully submitting a nomination package or read our guide.

  • A nomination letter that states how the nominee meets the selection criteria. It should include details about the nominee’s significant impact on students’ and the public’s understanding of space physics and aeronomy through their education or outreach activities, and include a one-sentence citation. Nominator’s signature, name, title, institution, and contact information are required and letterhead is preferred;
  • A curriculum vitae for the nominee;
  • One to three examples of the nominee's education and outreach activities, with documentation if available;
  • One letter of support. Supporter’s signature, name, title, institution, and contact information are required and letterhead is preferred. We encourage letters from individuals not currently or recently associated with the candidate’s institution of graduate education or employment; and
  • A selected bibliography stating the total number and types of publications, and the number published by AGU, is optional.

Submission Process

Submissions are reviewed by the SPARC Award Committee. Nominations should be submitted online.
SUBMIT
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Recipients

Keith M Groves

2021

Elizabeth MacDonald

2021

Charles William Smith

2020

Citation

Nat Gopalswamy has made a lasting impact on the Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) community by serving in various leadership roles at national and international levels: president of International Astronomical Union Commission 49, president of the Scientific Committee on Solar–Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP), executive director of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI), international coordinator of the International Heliophysical Year (IHY) 2007 program, and many more. In all his capacities, Gopalswamy has striven to bring together scientists from developed countries and young scientists and students from developing countries in one room to plan and brainstorm for better global cooperation and to spread space science education, instrument deployment, and research activities to developing countries. Gopalswamy is at the forefront of capacity-building activities of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), SCOSTEP, and the International Living With a Star (ILWS) program. Hundreds of students and young scientists have benefited from these activities, and many have become productive scientists. Gopalswamy introduced the SCOSTEP Visiting Scholar (SVS) program in 2015. The SVS program enables graduate students from developing countries to visit established institutions and develop lasting collaborations. Under this program, dozens of students from all over the world have benefited over the past 5 years. Gopalswamy also serves as an exemplar by hosting several students in his laboratory, many of whom are women and minority students from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Gopalswamy’s outreach and capacity-building activities, with special devotion and strong commitment to students and professors from developing nations, have had significant impacts in our fields of study, consistent with the objectives of the SPARC Award program. In addition to being an eminent scientist with more than 400 scientific articles that have been cited more than 18,500 times, Gopalswamy takes pride in his education and outreach and capacity-building efforts. His efforts have helped establish space science applications in regions of the world where space science education and research were previously absent or neglected. For all of these reasons, Gopalswamy is most deserving of the 2019 SPARC Award. —Endawoke Yizengaw, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.

Response

It is a great privilege to receive this award in honor of Richard Carrington, who discovered that the Sun affects Earth in ways beyond providing life-sustaining light and heat. Exploring this connection and sharing the knowledge gained with future explorers are highly rewarding. The International Heliophysical Year (IHY) 2007 program that morphed into the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) provided a strong platform for my education and public outreach activities. Collaboration with SCOSTEP, ILWS, and COSPAR provided further impetus to these activities. The most rewarding aspect of these activities is that they bring together scientists from developed and developing countries, paving the way for lasting scientific collaborations. The International Space Science Schools and Space Weather workshops have proven to be excellent venues of learning and creativity, providing opportunities for young students and scientists from all over the world. Activities at these venues include lectures, software training, data analysis training, instrument deployment, and introduction of data from space missions. It is heartening to see that many of the young people who have attended these schools and workshops remain in space science and are emerging as leaders and active scientists in their own right. The efforts that led to this SPARC Award are not mine alone: There have been dozens of international experts who taught and hosted the IHY/ISWI/SCOSTEP schools over the past 2 decades; more than a thousand participants who enriched the IHY and ISWI workshops conducted in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA); scores of mentors in COSPAR capacity-building workshops; and the ISWI instrument leads who have deployed more than 1,000 space weather instruments in more than 100 countries. —Nat Gopalswamy, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Citation

Patricia Doherty, a leader in the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for ionospheric research, is the author or coauthor of more than 80 peer-reviewed papers. In addition, she has served as organizer and coconvener of several national and international conferences including the 2012 AGU Chapman Conference on Ionospheric Space Weather: Longitude and Hemispheric Dependences and Lower Atmosphere Forcing. In 2016, she coedited the AGU monograph based on this conference. During this time period, she worked toward the establishment of the African Geospace Society. In honor of her services, she was elected as one of the first Fellows of this union. Patricia is a strong advocate for the space weather community and has played a vital role in the expansion of space science education and research in developing countries, with a focus on African nations. This has been performed primarily under a partnership between Boston College and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) to host a series of workshops on the use of GNSS for applications with societal benefits and for space science research. Since 2009, annual workshops host approximately 50 participants from countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. These workshops have increased the number of young scientists studying space science in developing nations and has dramatically increased the publication rate of scientists from these countries. In summary, Patricia’s outreach to the international space weather community with special devotion to developing countries has had significant impacts in our fields of study. She has been recognized as a leader in many national and international scientific programs with recognitions including Fellow of the Institute of Navigation (ION), Fellow of the African Geospace Society, the ION Weems Award, the ION Distinguished Service Award, and the 2017 GPS World Services Leadership Award for Global Educator. For all of her efforts, I congratulate Patricia Doherty on receiving the SPARC Award. —Endawoke Yizengaw, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Response

I am greatly honored by the SPARC Award. One of the things I have enjoyed the most during my career has been the outreach activities to scientists and students in developing countries for space science education and research. Even more enjoyable were the experiences and the personal enrichment I have had just getting to know so many great people and scientists from the developing world. My interests in these efforts were conceived at a G8-UNESCO World Forum that I was fortunate to attend in Italy in 2007. At that forum, leaders from developing nations of Africa described their need for assistance in developing science and technology in their countries, technologies that would lead the way to socioeconomic transformation and integration into the world economy. This theme emerged again later that same year at the International Heliophysical Year (IHY) conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where African scientists discussed their need for training and education to advance their place in the international community of space scientists. These discussions made it obvious how we could make a difference by bringing GNSS training and space science education and research to scientists in these countries. I am enormously grateful to be recognized by AGU with the SPARC Award. It is much more than a personal award, as there are many who helped make the outreach efforts a success, including colleagues at Boston College, the ICTP, the lecturers who donate their time to teach at the workshops, to our sponsors, and to the participants from developing countries who have attended our workshops. Together we have expanded space science studies to many parts of the developing world and provided many opportunities for international collaborations in space science research. —Patricia Doherty, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Citation

Sigrid Close will receive the 2017 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington (SPARC) Education and Public Outreach Award at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 11–15 December in New Orleans, La. The award is given “in recognition of significant and outstanding impact on students’ and the public’s understanding of our science through their education and/or outreach activities.”CITATIONThis award is given in recognition of significant and ongoing activities exposing audiences of all ages and backgrounds to the study of space science and engineering. —Larry Paxton, President, Space Physics and Aeronomy Section, AGU

Response

I am honored and humbled to be selected for the SPARC Award from AGU. Teaching is a great responsibility; the difference between a positive and a negative learning experience can drastically redirect a student’s career and life. Teaching moments occur not only in the classroom and laboratory but also in everyday experiences throughout our careers. In science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, building a connection between abstract theory and physical reality can be crucial to enhancing understanding. I therefore have strived to approach teaching as an ever-present aspect of the roles that I fill in my professional and personal life. My vision is to inspire and engage people of all ages and to foster equal opportunity so that diversity can be achieved in the core engineering and science fields.In order to encourage gender and racial diversity within STEM fields, we need to engage children at an early age. We can further their interest in these subjects or perhaps inspire new students to pursue degrees in these fields by exposing them to exciting, current research undertaken by AGU members. Finally, it is important to present and interpret science and engineering to the general audience, including adults who are not necessarily working in a related field. An improved understanding of the particular challenges faced in our research can allow the public to make more informed decisions in terms of policy, their own lives, and how parents talk about science and engineering to their children. I am thankful that AGU reflects these values through its commitment to recognizing efforts in the community to engage in outreach and education. —Sigrid Close, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Citation

Ramon E. Lopez will receive the 2016 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of significant and outstanding impact on students' and the public's understanding of our science through education and/or outreach activities.CitationRamon Lopez has influenced the K–12 education community, impacted science education and public outreach, supported the next generation of solar and space physicists, and innovated solar and space physics instruction.Lopez, a researcher and physics professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, is co-founder, co-director, and an instructor of a branch of the UTeach program, 1 of 44 UTeach programs in the nation. UTeach qualifies STEM undergraduates to teach middle or high school math, science, engineering, or computer science upon graduation.Lopez helped establish the SPA Education and Public Outreach committee, whose collaborations resulted in the creation of education-related sessions at AGU. While serving as Director of Education and Public Outreach for the American Physical Society from 1994 to 1999, he designed educational workshops for physicists and used this expertise to tailor the SPA EPO’s workshops for space scientists to support and improve K–12 education efforts.As Co-PI for the NSF Science and Technology Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM), he led the diversity program. A gifted recruiter and mentor, his leadership produced gains in the participation of women and minorities in undergraduate and graduate programs in space physics. As a CISM instructor, Lopez employed best practices for engaging diverse learners. He influenced other instructors to adopt his strategies, producing a broader impact on the community.His participation on the Leadership Team for the Next Generation Science Standards resulted in the solar cycle and space weather’s inclusion within the high school science standards. The Decadal study suggested roughly half of all solar and space physics graduate students were unaware of the field until after being admitted to graduate school; Lopez has paved the way for future generations of space physicists.A leader in space science education, Lopez is incredibly deserving of the SPARC award, and we congratulate him! —Erin L. Wood, LASP, University of Colorado Boulder

Response

I am honored to be included in the group of outstanding contributors to education and outreach who have been recognized for their work by the SPARC award. Many of the previous awardees are long-time friends and colleagues, and the fact that the SPA section has this award indicates the importance that our community places on education and outreach activities.I have always believed that scientists have a responsibility to share the fruits of our science with the public that pays for our research. Scientists by and large lead privileged lives, pursuing their curiosity and engaging in stimulating interactions with far-flung colleagues. We owe it to society to provide tangible returns, whether in the form of improved space weather prediction, inspiring explorations of our and other worlds, or contributions to education that utilize the popularity of space science. I have been fortunate to be able to combine my education work with my space physics research and use each to support the other.Working with K–12 educators, scientists can and should help to improve science education for all citizens of our space-faring civilization. In our universities and laboratories, we can nurture the next generation of scientists, especially from groups who have been underrepresented in science. Students who, for whatever reason, have not had equal access to opportunities represent a lost talent if we do not make efforts to seek them out, recruit, mentor, and support them to realize their potential.Through the education efforts of those recognized by the SPARC award and that of the many others equally deserving of recognition, our community will continue to honor the social contract to give back to a society that is fascinated by space science. —Ramon E. Lopez, University of Texas at Arlington

Citation

Charles "Rick" Chappell will receive the 2015 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of significant and outstanding impact on students' and the public's understanding of our science through education and/or outreach activities. CITATION While being a leading researcher in the area of space physics, Rick Chappell has always recognized the importance of public understanding of science in general and in the research field of solar terrestrial research in particular. Early in his NASA career he worked with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to create a major exhibit for the museum about the solar-terrestrial system. Later, as mission scientist and active public spokesperson for the international Spacelab 1 mission, which conducted multiple space physics and aeronomy experiments, he led daily press conferences about the science results during the mission and subsequently did science commentary for CNN on other Spacelab missions. Rick later became a visiting scholar at Vanderbilt University in 1996 in order to conduct a study on the interaction between the science community and the media. Together with science journalist Jim Hartz, he coauthored the book Worlds Apart, which made recommendations to improve the science-media interaction and effectiveness. The results were presented at multiple panel discussions at many universities, on C-SPAN, and in interviews on NPR’s Science Fridays show. He joined Vanderbilt as a research professor of physics and worked with multiple departments to create an interdisciplinary major in the communication of science and technology that for more than 10 years has been producing graduates who work at the interface between science and the public. Chappell became the director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory in 2003, and he led a renovation of the observatory to make it an outreach facility for science and exploration for K–12 students and the public. He created summer space camps for middle school students where students learned about space science and built satellite mock-ups. Rick also developed a partnership between Vanderbilt and Nashville Public Television in 2010 to create television shows about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) explorers. These programs were designed for middle school and high school students as well as adults. In summary, Rick Chappell has worked diligently and effectively in space physics and aeronomy education and public outreach for 4 decades and is most deserving of the 2015 Richard Carrington Award. —Edgar A. Bering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas

Response

I want to give my sincere thanks to the Space Physics and Aeronomy section of the American Geophysical Union for selecting me for the Richard Carrington Award. Through its recognition, this award reminds all of us about one of our important roles as explorers—the role of communicating to the public what we have learned and the adventures that we have lived. Our intense curiosity about the space environment around us drives us continuously to learn new things. In so doing, our interest in learning can cause us to forget about “reporting to our stockholders,” whose support has enabled us to explore. We are all explorers, although many of us do not think of ourselves in this way. As young students, we remember reading about explorers in history class, not in science class. Explorers were people who went to places where others had never been before. In reality, explorers are people who learn things that have never been known before, such as understanding the solar-terrestrial environment. We have been given the privilege of spending our lives as explorers. We all must take the time to tell our stories of exploration and to communicate our discoveries effectively to the public. We must work with the wonderful teachers who inspire the explorers of tomorrow. We must be accessible mentors for students of all ages so that they can feel our enthusiasm and begin to think that they can and they will become explorers. We must share the thrill of discovery and the great adventure of exploration in order to give back to those who have given to us. The programs that I have worked to create have all been directed toward communicating our stories of exploration and the knowledge of discovery to our stockholders and to the student explorers of tomorrow. In accepting this award, I want to thank all of the people whom I have been so fortunate to work with during my life in space exploration. They all follow the NASA mindset that there is nothing we cannot do; we just have to figure out how to do it. —Rick Chappell, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Citation

Deborah Scherrer received the 2014 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington Award at the 2014 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, held 15–19 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of significant and outstanding impact on students' and the public's understanding of our science through education and/or outreach activities. Citation Deborah Scherrer is the finest example of a professional deserving of the Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington (SPARC) Award. She is a long-time American Geophysical Union member who has had (and continues to have) a significant and far-reaching impact on public and student understanding of space physics and aeronomy on a local, national, and global scale. There is no one in the field today who can match the sustainable worldwide impact of her achievements. I have known Deborah professionally for over 15 years and have enjoyed the privilege of serving with her on pioneering projects to embed successful education programs in scientific research environments, to provide support for scientists contributing to education, and to bring the wonders of solar and space physics to underserved teachers and students in the United States and around the world. Deborah is founder of the Stanford SOLAR Center and director of its highly successful educational programs and award-winning website, in association with NASA solar spacecraft missions.  From my perspective as a co-creator of NASA’s (then) progressive Education & Public Outreach (E/PO) policy for space missions, Deborah’s vision in developing the SOLAR Center’s innovative framework helped to operationalize and exemplify what a successful space mission education program could be. Especially notable among Deborah’s many accomplishments is her leadership of a project to distribute scientific instrumentation (sudden ionospheric disturbance (SID) monitors) to high school students worldwide.  The monitors are very low frequency receivers that detect solar influences on the Earth’s ionosphere.  The project to distribute and support the use of SID monitors was greatly enhanced as part of her catalytic role in developing the education program of the International Heliophysical Year (IHY). SID monitors are now deployed at over 900 sites around the planet where high school students and teachers are using them as the centerpiece of authentic research experiences that develop new capacities and awareness in space physics and aeronomy science. The program is being sustained as part of the United Nation’s (UN’s) International Space Weather Initiative where it supports UN aims to cultivate new space science capacities and interests in developing regions of the world. —Cherilynn A. Morrow, Aspen Global Change Institute, Basalt, Colo.

Response

Many of you were passionate about science as a child.  You probably had tremendous parental support and the encouragement of teachers, family, and friends who bought you telescopes and tools.  You went to the “right” schools, got your Ph.D., and here you are.  That is not my story.  As a kid, I was passionate about astronomy.  But there were no role models, no mentors, no supportive parent, no resources, no encouragement from teachers, and the college I wanted to attend (the California Institute of Technology) didn’t accept women at the time.  I did go to college and graduate school and had a fine career in computer science, but my passion for astronomy lingered.  One day, thanks to my wonderful and supportive husband, Phil Scherrer, I quit my high-paying high-tech job in Silicon Valley and moved to Stanford to develop solar science education programs for NASA. Never have I been happier or more rewarded—working with underserved teachers and students all over the world who just want a chance to learn, to participate in science.  I am so thankful to have had these opportunities.  I’ve been mentored by the best, including Cherilynn Morrow and Pat Reiff, two other SPARC award winners, and I’ve worked with outstanding scientists, educators, and students whose enthusiasm for science is boundless. I am humbled and proud to be among them and to have had the opportunities in this amazing career. I am especially here for the students, the ones like me, who didn’t get the chances.  I believe every child has the birthright of access to science knowledge and understanding the universe we live in.  Thank you, dear friends, for recognizing me with this award and for giving me these glorious opportunities to share the joy and excitement of solar and space science! —Deborah Scherrer, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Citation

Cherilynn Ann Morrow and Patricia H. Reiff received the 2013 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington Education and Public Outreach Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of significant and outstanding impact on students’ and the public’s understanding of our science through education and/or outreach activities. Citation The Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington (SPARC) Education and Public Outreach Award for Cherilynn Morrow recognizes years of pioneering work on behalf of the space science community in the area of education and public outreach (E/PO). Cherilynn’s advocacy for robust E/PO efforts began in the early 1990s at NASA headquarters, where I first met her while pitching a (then) progressive idea about education workshops for space scientists. Cherilynn was instrumental in getting NASA to view E/PO as an integral part of its research mission. She worked tirelessly to provide an intellectual foundation (including a 30-page white paper) for embedding E/PO opportunities in space science missions and research grants and for facilitating greater scientist engagement in E/PO. After NASA, Cherilynn worked with the Space Science Institute to develop education programs for traveling exhibits and instructional materials aligned with national education standards (e.g., the Saturn Educator Guide for the NASA Cassini mission). I witnessed her dedicated efforts to raise the bar for NASA E/PO products through scientist-educator partnerships and peer review. Her cross-cultural “Kinesthetic Astronomy” remains a widely praised and adopted curriculum. In the late 1990s, Cherilynn’s team was competitively selected as a NASA space science “Broker/Facilitator” to help guide and advise E/PO programs around the country. She produced countless influential white papers, workshops, and professional society sessions for scientists and E/PO professionals about becoming effective partners in education. Within SPA, Cherilynn served two distinguished terms (2000–2004) as chair of its E/PO Committee. More recently, she and Mark Moldwin cochaired a decadal task group that contributed a significant new analysis of the education and workforce needs of our community. Cherilynn’s leadership and creativity during the past 2 decades make her an outstanding example of what the SPARC award intends to recognize and honor. And to boot, you never know when she might break into song, singing “Stormy Weather—Solar Style.” —RAMON LOPEZ, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington

Response

I am delighted to receive the SPARC award, which recognizes education and public outreach (E/PO) efforts that incorporate our community’s scientific achievements while addressing authentic educational needs. No one is honored in isolation, and I owe a large debt of gratitude to many fellow pioneers, including the author of the citation above and my fellow SPARC awardee, Pat Reiff. Back in 1994, she was one of two committee members to be overtly supportive as I made the first ever E/PO presentations to the (then) NASA Space Science Advisory Committee. Today all of the recent space science decadal reports include explicit support for E/PO programs integrated within NASA and National Science Foundation research missions. The very existence of the SPARC prize exemplifies how the SPA section, with its strong E/PO committee, exhibits ongoing leadership in integrating research and education. My time at the helm of this pioneering committee (2000–2004) was rewarding unto itself, collaborating with (then) SPA president Dan Baker and dedicated colleagues like Stanford’s Deborah Scherrer. The past 25 years have seen remarkable explosions of activity at the previously uncharted intersections of scientific research environments with E/PO programs and with education research. I have been privileged to help initiate, implement, or advise education-related efforts within government agencies, spaceflight missions, research centers, academic departments, science workshops, professional societies, and a decadal survey. I am grateful to all the society-minded scientists who have encouraged me as I have “strayed” into this unconventional application of my doctorate in solar physics. This work has persuaded me that many vital contributions to education (and to the scientific enterprise itself) can be made only through providing diverse educators, students, and citizens closer contact with practicing scientists and their research environments. May the SPARC award provide ongoing incentive for creating such opportunities via courageous partnerships among scientists, educators, and, yes, artists to boot. —CHERILYNN MORROW, Aspen Global Change Institute, Basalt, Colo.

Citation

Cherilynn Ann Morrow and Patricia H. Reiff received the 2013 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington Education and Public Outreach Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of significant and outstanding impact on students’ and the public’s understanding of our science through education and/or outreach activities. Citation Patricia Reiff has been awarded the SPARC Education and Outreach Award for her pioneering education and outreach efforts communicating excitement for, and understanding of, space and Earth science. Pat is an outstanding scientist and educator who taught me a great deal about space plasmas and who has continued to teach others as she has taught herself through pioneering research and outreach efforts. As her career trajectory soared upward through the Rice University ranks from research professor to full professor and department chair and then director of the Rice Space Institute, Pat maintained her infectious enthusiasm for teaching. Even the demands of numerous service activities and committee assignments at Rice and at the national level could never draw Pat away from education and outreach activities. Throughout her educational work, Pat has striven to engage students at secondary school levels and also to engage underserved communities of the American southwest. In addition to having advised 12 successful Ph.D. students, she created a master of science teaching degree that has at present 25 teacher-alumni who are spreading knowledge of space and Earth science in secondary schools throughout the country, many in underserved communities. In summary, Pat Reiff is an eminent scientist who has dedicated herself to sharing her excitement and enthusiasm for science with students at all levels, as well as the general taxpaying public. She is a pioneer in the field of education and outreach in space science and is very much deserving of the first AGU SPARC award. AGU and the heliophysics community as a whole have been and will continue to be well served by her efforts and can bestow this honor with the greatest pride in her accomplishments. —THOMAS EARLE MOORE, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Response

It is a special privilege to receive this award honoring Richard Carrington’s discovery of what we now call space weather. It is particularly appropriate that this award also recognizes Cherilynn Morrow, who 20 years ago made a presentation to the Space Science Advisory Committee on Jeff Rosendhal’s idea of mission-based E/PO. We worked together, bringing that idea to the successful, but threatened, network it is today. For me, learning and teaching go hand in hand—as we publish our findings for our peers, we should also repay the public investment in our research with accurate, understandable results. My interest in space science was sparked by a father-daughter course in astronomy sponsored by the Brownies at the Oklahoma City Planetarium and kindled by the Bell Labs production The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays directed by Frank Capra. Knowing that planetarium shows and educational movies can change lives, I have devoted a large portion of my last 25 years to creating software, shows, and portable planetariums to inspire and engage youth. This has not been a one-person effort, of course. My work Cherilynn Ann Morrow would have been impossible without the collaboration of Carolyn Sumners, vice president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Our museum kiosk and planetarium control software would not have happened without the skill and perseverance of my chief programmer, Colin Law. Jim Burch has been first a mentor and then a colleague on both the research and outreach sides of my career. I share this honor with a long line of highly talented students and postdocs who have contributed science content and outreach efforts. Most importantly, without the support of my husband, Tom Hill, I would not have had the time and freedom to build an educational network while continuing research and raising a family. I thank AGU for bestowing this honor. —PATRICIA H. REIFF, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Honors Contacts

AGU Staff Headshot Rosa Maymi

Rosa Maymi

Director, Engagement and Membership

202-777-7322 | [email protected]

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Leah Bland

Program Manager, Honors

202-777-7389 | [email protected]

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Hannah Hoffman

Honors and Affiliation Program Coordinator

202-777-7515 | [email protected]