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National Science Foundation Recognizes Lynch

Kristina LynchKristina Lynch, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, has been honored with a Career Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award recognizes and supports the activities of teacher/scholars early in their careers, and the awardees are often considered emerging leaders in their respective fields. Recipients are selected for career development plans that integrate research and teaching.

Lynch studies the phenomena that cause the Northern and Southern Lights - the dancing auroral lights that often occur in the night sky. She is able to examine aurora activity by using specialized rockets that capture information about the electrical and magnetic fields.

Her detectors probe the ionized gases (plasmas) in the near regions of space above the atmosphere. To interpret and understand this plasma physics environment, she and her group have been building a large vacuum chamber and laboratory plasma source. The NSF Career Award will allow Lynch to further this study, enabling plasma physics experiments and student theses using this facility.

By SUSAN KNAPP

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Last Updated: 12/17/08