Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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CLaSP doctoral student wins AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award

Posted: February 7, 2018

CLaSP doctoral student wins AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award

Climate & Space is very pleased to announce that doctoral student Ryan Dewey has received an Outstanding Student Paper Award for a talk he gave at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting this past December in New Orleans. Mr. Dewey's paper, "Energetic electron acceleration and injection during dipolarization events in Mercury's magnetotail," was part of the AGU's Space Physics and Aeronomy section. 

The Outstanding Student Paper Awards (OSPAs) are awarded to promote, recognize and reward undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students for quality research in the geophysical sciences. Each year, Sections recruit judges to assess and score student oral and poster presentations at meetings. 

Ryan describes the content of his paper in this way: 

"...I connect observations of energetic electrons to magnetic field features for the first systematic time at Mercury to understand how these electrons are accelerated to relativistic speeds. When the Mariner 10 spacecraft first arrived at Mercury in 1974, researchers were surprised to find that Mercury had a global magnetic field, and even more surprised to find that such a weak field could energize particles to such high energies. Although the Mariner 10 spacecraft was not equipped to investigate these topics, the MESSENGER spacecraft (2011-2015) provided high-resolution particle and magnetic field observations. In the paper, I identify that magnetic reconnection in Mercury's magnetotail, in a process known as "dipolarization", is likely the dominate accelerator of these electrons. This paper is the first of my thesis projects, and opened questions we hope to address in my future thesis work.

He further adds: 

"I may have given the presentation, but this work was certainly as part of a team. I would like to thank my advisors (Jim Raines and [CLaSP Department Chair] Jim Slavin), my coauthors, the session conveners who invited me to present this work (Gina DiBraccio, Dan Gershman, and Marissa Vogt), and the anonymous OSPA judges."

Congratulations, Ryan!