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


Abigail Azari

Abigail Azari

Ph.D. Candidate



B.A., Physics, Smith College

M.S., Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan

Ph.D., (In Progress) Space Sciences, University of Michigan


My research focuses on answering fundamental questions behind the physical processes of observed energetic charged particle motions within Saturn's magnetic environment, or magnetosphere. 

One such process is called interchange injection which transports mass in the magnetospheres of giant planets. I utilize in-situ and remote sensing data from the Cassini mission to analyze these events and their role as a primary process in plasma and magnetic flux transport at Saturn. I work to develop automated analysis techniques using large-data sets in the intersection of data science and planetary science. 

Researching these processes will greatly improve knowledge of planetary magnetospheres and contributes to comparative studies of potentially habitable planets and space weather risks at Earth.

Personal Introduction

I am a fourth year PhD candidate working with Dr. Michael Liemohn and Dr. Xianzhe Jia. After graduating from Smith College in 2013 with a B.A. in physics and a minor in astronomy, I worked for IDA’s Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) as a Science Policy Fellow. During my time at STPI I provided policy analysis and technical support to federal agencies on a variety of topics including climate data, STEM education, and space policy.

I am interested in communicating science effectively and increasing opportunities to pursue scientific careers for students including through interactive courses.

You can check out courses the following course I've developed in data science, visualization, and statistics:

- Data visualization and statistics for geoscientists co-developed with Dr. Michael Liemohn in data visualization and statistics for geoscientists for the Climate and Space department. 

- Data visualization for the University of Michigan's Annual Big Data Camp

Specializations and Research Interests

  • Space plasmas and plasma physics
  • Planetary sciences
  • Science and technology policy

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

University of Michigan

  • Michigan Space Grant Consortium Fellow
  • Michigan Institute for Plasma Sciences and Engineering Fellow
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Research Grant Awardee

Smith College

  • National Undergraduate Fellow in Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy Sciences
  • Student Athlete Scholar

Professional Service



Azari, A. R., Liemohn, M. W., Jia, X., Thomsen, M. F., Mitchell, D. G., Sergis, N., et al. (2018). Interchange injections at Saturn: Statistical survey of energetic H+ sudden flux intensificationsJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics123

- Featured article July 2018

- The associated event list is on the Michigan Deep Blue Data Respository

Regoli, L. H., Roussos, E., Dialynas, K., Luhmann, J. G., Sergis, N., Jia, X., et al. (2018). Statistical study of the energetic proton environment at Titan's orbit from the Cassini spacecraftJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics123

Updated: 2018-10-17