Project Number1936251
FDSS: Faculty Development in a Multifaceted Geospace Program at West Virginia University
Paul Cassak (Principal Investigator)
Host InstitutionWest Virginia University Research Corporation
Year Published2020
End Date2025-07-31
Funding OrganizationUS-NSF
SubtypeContinuing grant
Project Funding191801(USD)
Abstract in EnglishThe goal of this 5-year Faculty Development in the Space Sciences (FDSS) project is to enable a new faculty hire in the geospace sciences at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the West Virginia University (WVU). The current geospace plasma science group at the WVU is multifaceted, with five tenured/tenure-track faculty, a research professor, and a teaching professor who also is active in geospace research. The group's expertise spans the gamut of approaches to geospace plasma science research, including laboratory experiment, theory, high-performance computing, machine learning, solar observations, magnetospheric observations, and CubeSat development. The group has a long history of success in the geospace sciences, including research, training and placement of undergraduate and graduate students, and cross-disciplinary activities. The current geospace plasma science group is large enough to have the infrastructure to support an expanding group, including laboratory space, a diverse set of colleagues --- by research area, career stage, and gender --- and a suite of existing classes in fundamental plasma physics. However, the group is also small enough where a new hire would have a significant impact, such as bridging links between existing faculty, bringing new capabilities, and transitioning a new graduate geospace physics special-topics course into a permanent course on a two-year cadence.

This new faculty hire at the WVU would represent genuine growth to the geospace sciences community. The WVU Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering recently expanded into geospace science research, providing opportunities for partnerships within the university community. The strategic need of the geospace plasma science group at the WVU is for an experimental position, defined broadly to include laboratory investigations of geospace-relevant physics and/or development of instrumentation for observational platforms. The department has the infrastructure to allow such a new hire to thrive, and it would present significant opportunities for student involvement in research and training to be future leaders in the field as is the intention of the FDSS program.

A new faculty hire to the WVU geospace plasma science group supports the strategic hiring plan of the Department of Physics and Astronomy to continue the active pipeline of student training in the field and the development of the workforce in the geospace sciences. Laboratory experiments, especially current and past ones at WVU, have been immensely successful in the training of undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The course creation enhances the infrastructure for education in geospace sciences. The WVU geospace plasma science group has a long history of high activity in public outreach, so any new hire would have many opportunities to become involved. This 5-year FDSS project supports the training of a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher, which is a key aspect of the FDSS program. The WVU geospace plasma science group in particular, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy in general, has a demonstrated track-record of high regard for the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusivity in department life and demonstrated success in diverse hiring in the geospace sciences. The WVU has infrastructure to support new hires, including an ADVANCE office for diverse hires resulting from a previous NSF ADVANCE IT grant. The research and EPO agenda of this 5-year FDSS project supports the Strategic Goals of the AGS Division in discovery, learning, diversity, and interdisciplinary research.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Document Type项目
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Paul Cassak .FDSS: Faculty Development in a Multifaceted Geospace Program at West Virginia University.2020.
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