Photo of Mark Moldwin teaching a student

Moldwin Receives STAR Award for Revolutionary Research in Space-based Magnetometry and Inclusive Teaching

The Research Corporation for Science Advancement has given the STAR Award to Professor Mark Moldwin of U-M of Climate and Space.

The Research Corporation for Science Advancement has named Professor Mark Moldwin of the U-M Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering as recipient of its 2024 STAR Award. The STAR (Science Teaching And Research) Award recognizes outstanding research and educational accomplishments, and includes a $5,000 cash prize.

“Excellence in teaching, research, and leadership is just the beginning for these members of the Cottrell Scholar community,” said RCSA President & CEO Daniel Linzer. “As their careers have advanced, they have made important contributions far beyond their own disciplines and institutions.”

STAR Award recipient Mark Moldwin has been recognized for research that has revolutionized space-based magnetometry as well as his work in developing educational courses, materials, and textbooks in the emerging field of space weather, which focuses on understanding how energy, mass, and momentum from the Sun affect the Earth’s space and ground technological systems and society. In the last few years, Moldwin has been selected for three NASA magnetometer satellite projects. A consistently top-rated teacher, he has advocated for inclusive, accessible and equitable STEM education and, more recently, for increased attention to student mental health.

He has served on advisory committees for organizations such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Academies, and conducted workshops for students and early career scientists in China, Chile, Ethiopia, Norway, Malaysia, Zambia, and South Africa as part of the United Nations’ International Space Weather Initiative. He was a member of the American Geophysical Union Ethics Task Force that in 2016 helped codify an Ethics Policy recognizing that harm done by harassment, bullying, and discrimination is just as damaging to the community as the traditional ethical violations of plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification. Moldwin is currently co-chairing the NAS Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey State of the Profession Panel that is advocating for systemic change in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility within space physics and the broader research community.

The award will be presented at the 2024 Cottrell Scholar Conference, to be held July 17-19, 2024, in Tucson, Arizona. Recipients will give brief acceptance talks and will be available throughout the coming year to provide mentoring to their early career Cottrell Scholar colleagues, according to RCSA Senior Program Director Silvia Ronco.

STAR Award nominees must be a Cottrell Scholar at least 12 years beyond the year of their award, or a Holland Awardee regardless of the year of their award. They must also hold an academic position at a research university or primarily undergraduate institution in the United States or Canada.

The Research Corporation for Science Advancement is a private foundation that funds basic research in the physical sciences (astronomy, chemistry, physics, and related fields) at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It creates and supports inclusive communities of early career researchers through two core programs, the Cottrell Scholar Program and Scialog, as well as its newly launched RCSA Fellows initiative.

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