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Contact Information

AGU Meetings Department
2000 Florida Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20009 USA
Phone: +1 202 777 7330

AGU Chapman Conference on Modeling the Ionosphere/Thermosphere System

Charleston, South Carolina
9–12 May 2011

Conference Objectives and General Description

The science focus of the conference is to better understand the physics of the coupled ionosphere/thermosphere (IT) system. This system is controlled largely by local ion-neutral processes but there can be strong forcings from below (e.g., tides, gravity waves, upper atmosphere winds) and above (e.g., solar EUV, high latitude heating from precipitating electrons, and region 1 and 2 current systems) that impact its behavior. Thus, it is not an isolated system but can be thought of as a transition layer between the Earth's atmosphere and space; viewed from this vantage point, it is clear that it plays a vital role in forecasting space weather. Given the importance of the IT system, as well as its fundamental role as a laboratory to study ion-neutral coupling dynamics, it is timely to have a Chapman Conference to address the current state of the existing models and the future modeling needs of the IT community.

Given the complexity of the IT system, large-scale computational models of the ionosphere and thermosphere are required to provide a basic understanding of the key physical processes that govern the system, as well as to provide a quantitative description of its behavior that can be compared to observational data. Such models have been developed and are being used extensively to understand and model the IT system, as well as to aid in the development of space weather operational systems. The objectives of the conference are to provide the IT community with the following:

One goal of the conference is to identify all of the IT models that currently exist and list their characteristics. An additional goal of the conference is to ‘deconstruct’ the complex coupled IT models into constituent components and focus on specific numerical techniques and physical processes. Not only will this provide a firm basis to understand IT modeling but will form a framework by which to explore new and/or improved couplings within IT models.


J. D. Huba, Naval Research Laboratory
R. W. Schunk, Utah State University
A. Ridley, University of Michigan

Program Committee

Art Richmond, NCAR HAO
Geoff Crowley, ASTRA
Tim Fuller-Rowell, CIRES
Dave Hysell, Cornell University
Michael Mendillo, Boston University
Hermann Luehr, GFZ Potsdam
Rod Heelis, University of Texas at Dallas

Financial Support

Funding will be available to help with travel support of graduate and undergraduate students, who would like to participate in the conference. To be considered, students must have submitted an abstract. More information can be obtained by contacting the conference convener: Joe Huba, Naval Research Laboratory at

NOAA     NRL     NSF

Further Information

To receive future updates about this conference, e-mail or call the AGU Meetings Department at +1-202-777-7329.

For information about the scientific program, please contact one of the conveners via e-mail: Joe Huba,; R. W. Schunk;; or A. Ridley,