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


AOSS welcomes four new faculty members

Posted: September 5, 2013

Please join us in welcoming Drs. Gretchen Keppel-Aleks, Eric Kort, Justin Kasper and Susan Lepri to the AOSS faculty.

Keppel-Aleks and Kort join us as asssistant professors of atmospheric science. Kasper and Lepri, a current AOSS associate research scientist, are now associate professors of space science.

Kasper comes from the Harvard University Astronomy Department, where he lectured.

His interests include understanding the forces that lead to solar flares and the solar wind, a stream of particles heated to millions of degrees in the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona.

In 2007, he used measurements by the Voyager spacecraft to detect the termination shock, a massive shockwave surrounding our solar system.

He has served on advisory committees for NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences.

He earned his Bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago and his PhD at MIT.

Keppel-Aleks comes from the University of California, Irvine, where she held a postdoctoral fellow position. She received her PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Keppel-Aleks uses atmospheric observations to understand the global carbon cycle. “A big focus of my research is determining what new insights we can gain about global carbon fluxes by integrating new remote sensing observations of atmospheric CO2 with longer term in situ records,” she says.

Keppel-Aleks looks forward to becoming part of the AOSS community. She says, “All the students and the faculty I have met in AOSS were very enthusiastic about the department, the university, and Ann Arbor.”

Kort joins us from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology.

Kort uses ground-based, space-based and airborne observations to research sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and other atmospheric trace constituents.

“I am interested in quantifying and attributing contemporary greenhouse gas fluxes, and improving our understanding of processes driving changes in these fluxes.  This information is crucial for understanding the current and future state of earth’s climate, and for informing societal responses and mitigation efforts,” Kort says.

Kort received his PhD in applied physics from Harvard University. He recently was a W. M Keck Institute for Space Studies postdoctoral fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

Lepri is joining the faculty after a proud history with AOSS, where she earned her Master’s and PhD degrees and served as an associate research scientist.

Her research focuses on solar wind composition; MHD modeling and solar and heliospheric physics. She became the first woman at AOSS to be a space flight instrument Principal Investigator (PI) when she was named the PI for the Solar Orbiter Heavy Ion Sensor (HIS).

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