Member Since 2003
Yue Deng
Professor, University of Texas at Arlington
Honors and Awards

Joanne Simpson Medal
Received December 2022
Space physics is of increasing importance since space storms strongly affect our daily dependence on advanced technology. Yue’s emphasis is on ionosphere/thermosphere (I/T) structure and dynamic variability under the variety of solar, solar wind and magnetosphere conditions. She has opened a new research frontier, discovering critically important processes and the significance of multiscale structures in the I/T and is playing important leadership roles in research and space weather prediction. Yue spearheaded inclusion of nonhydrostatic processes in global general circulation models of the I/T. These processes had typically been ignored (minor impact assumed) but are critical for rapidly varying dynamics. Yue found they are especially important on meso-spatial scales and after sudden changes in forcing, vastly improving space weather forecasting. Yue also found that nonhydrostatic processes strongly affect acoustic-gravity wave propagation and neutral density in the I/T, thus substantially influencing satellite orbits. Yue’s most recent research and leadership have led to a major paradigm shift: mesoscale processes are now viewed as controlling much of I/T system dynamics and its ultimate larger-scale configurations, unlike previous understanding based on large-scale and statistically derived driving for different conditions. Yue also greatly improved modeling, allowing spatially variable and subdegree grid spacing that strongly improved the capability to understand multiscale dynamics, including dynamics triggered by geographic events such as hurricanes and volcanoes. Yue’s leadership includes our Multi-University Research Initiative team (one of two women principal investigators of 21 Department of Defense 2016 selected teams). Under her leadership, this eight-institute group focused attention on mesoscale structures, contributing to the major paradigm shift mentioned above. Furthermore, Yue was selected for the interdisciplinary leadership team that is planning the NASA Geospace Dynamics Constellation mission to study coupling between the magnetosphere and the I/T system, and she has been selected for the prestigious National Academy of Sciences Committee on Solar and Space Physics to support scientific progress in solar and space physics and assist the government in planning programs for these fields. As the first, and still only, female full professor in the Physics Department of the University of Texas at Arlington (a Hispanic-Serving Institution), Yue leads emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. Her advocacy helped to increase the presence of underrepresented segments of society, including initiating the student Women in Physics organization. Based on these successful and visible activities, Yue was selected as a “featured individual” for a public libraries’ exhibit of Women in Science to encourage women and girls to join the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field. — Larry Lyons University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California
I am deeply honored to receive the Joanne Simpson Medal. I thank AGU for their dedication to space and Earth sciences and Joanne Simpson for her numerous efforts to enhance the diversity of our community. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Larry Lyons for nominating me and to Arthur Richmond, Gang Lu and Roderick Heelis for their support to my nomination. They are distinguished leaders in our field whom I have the honor to work with and who have been so supportive to my career. I am sincerely grateful for many fantastic people in my life who inspired me and supported me. It has been a great honor to me to work with amazing professors and colleagues from different universities and centers, including Peking University, University of Michigan, National Center for Atmospheric Research, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, and University of Texas at Arlington. I deeply appreciate their encouragement and endorsement, which helped me to pursue my dream and drove me to think out of the box. Some of the most valuable advice I got is “not just think about what you CAN do, but what you NEED to do for the community,” which continuously motivates me through my career. I am truly thankful for all the talented students, postdocs and research scientists with whom I have enjoyed so much working as a team. I am greatly indebted to my friends and family, who have supported me without reservation, particularly my parents, my husband and two lovely kids. I thank my parents for seeding the idea of “girls can do STEM” in my mind when I was little and my husband for having my back all along. Finally, the love of my two sweet kids gives me tremendous strength to make continuous contributions to the community and society. — Yue Deng University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, Texas
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Union Fellow
Received December 2022
Outstanding Reviewer Award - JGR-Space Physics
Received December 2013