Skip to main content

University Curricula and Teaching Materials

The goal of this page is to share materials and information regarding the teaching of space physics.

During the AGU Fall Meeting of 2019 the following session was held: “ED028. Forum on University Curricula and Teaching Materials for Space Physics and Heliophysics”

Session Description

The last decade has seen extensive development of curricula in space physics and heliophysics, covering topics in solar physics, the heliosphere, geospace, planetary magnetospheres, planetary ionosphere- thermospheres, and space weather. These curricula include intense workshops and summer schools, undergraduate majors or certifications, and curricula for graduate studies. Additionally, a number of resources have become available including books, websites, and computer simulations. Thus, we believe it is timely to hold a session to showcase these resources and current practices. The goals of this session include: (1) identifying populations that participate in space physics curricula and highlighting the learning goals for these populations, (2) sharing available teaching materials and best- practices, and (3) sharing evaluation results where appropriate. We seek abstracts related to all types of space physics (and space weather) curricula and resources, including undergraduate or graduate course materials, degree programs, summer schools, workshops, textbooks, and online resources.

Below are the titles and abstracts from the session along with links to the presentations and posters and contact information for the authors.


Undergraduate Programs

Joseph B. H. Baker Virginia Polytechnic Institute A Comprehensive Undergraduate Curriculum for Space Physics and Engineering
William “Trey” Cade Baylor Univ. An Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching Space Weather to Undergraduate Non-Science Majors
Anna Chulaki CCMC/GSFC/NASA Space Weather REDI: using space weather analysis and forecasting tools and simulations in heliophysics education
Robert Clark Millersville Educating Students in Experimental Space Physics and Heliophysics
Ramon Lopez Univ. of Texas, Arlington What can space physics education learn from physics education research?
Martin A Snow CU Boulder/LASP Boulder Solar Alliance REU Boot Camp
Charles Swenson Utah State Univ. Educating Students in Experimental Space Physics and Heliophysics


Graduate Programs

Amitava Bhattacharjee Princeton Univ. Teaching Heliophysics from a Curriculum
Paul Cassak West Virginia University Non-traditional Instructional Approaches and Assessment of Graduate Plasma Physics Courses at West Virginia University
Thomas Cravens University of Kansas Space Physics for a Small Program: What topics need to be covered?
Peter A Delamere Univ. of Alaska Exploring space physics under the aurora borealis: The University of Alaska Fairbanks Space Physics graduate program
Elizabeth A Kendall SRI International Equipping the Workforce with Space Weather Measurement and Interpretation Skills: The Incoherent Scatter Radar Summer School
Ian Robert Mann Univ. of Alberta The CaNoRock Undergraduate Student Rocket School
Kathryn A McWilliams Univ. of Saskatchewan CaNoRock STEP: The Canada-Norway Rocket Science Training and Educational Program
Adnane Osmane Univ. of Helsinki Space physics curriculum and associated learning goals for graduate students at the University of Helsinki.
Laureline Sangalli Royal Military College of Canada The International Space Mission, a Canada-Norway collaborative training program
Joachim Saur Univ. of Cologne Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Cologne, Germany
Kanako Seki Univ. of Tokyo Introduction of the space physics and heliophysics education at the University of Tokyo
Stanley C Solomon UCAR Twenty Years of Space Weather Summer School
Zoltan Sternovsky LASP/University of Colorado Space Instrumentation – University of Colorado



Individual Courses

Jacob Bortnik UCLA Equipping undergraduates in the physical sciences with critical machine learning skills
Richard Eugene Denton Dartmouth Teaching computational plasma physics
Eric Donovan University of Calgary Moving Test Particles in an Empirical E & B Model as a Way to Develop a ‘Feel’ for the Magnetosphere
Raluca Ilie University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Learning by Immersion: Developing Virtual Reality Labs for Electricity and Magnetism Courses
Michael Liemohn University of Michigan Ann Arbor The Zoo of Metrics: Teaching a Robust Set of Data-Model Comparison Techniques for Space Physics
Robert Marshall University of Colorado at Boulder Space Environment and Effects: an Undergraduate Course for both Potential Space Scientists and Casual Space Enthusiasts


Materials and Resources

Jukka Kallio Aalto Univ.  Touching space: Space physics demonstrators at Aalto University
Delores Knipp CU Boulder A Case Study for Space Weather Evidenced-based Teaching and Learning: The Storm Events During Early September 2017
Jennifer Knuth LASP/University of Colorado The Space Weather TREC Space Weather Portal: A Tool for Enabling Research and Education
Hunter Leise LASP/University of Colorado LISIRD: An Online Resource for Making Solar Data More Accessible



James P Sheerin Eastern Michigan University Incorporating NASA Resources in Introductory University Courses Covering Space Physics
Jiuhou Lei University of Science and Technology of China Education programs and curriculum element of Space Physics in University of Science and Technology of China
Jan Sojka Utah State Univ. The Space Physics and Aeronomy Curricula in the Physics Department at Utah State University
Mihir Indrajit Desai SWRI Space & Planetary Science-Focused PhD Curriculum at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Southwest Research Institute