Dr. Gary M. Erickson

Dr. Gary M. Erickson

Dr. Erickson received his B.S. (1976) and M.S. (1978) degrees in physics from Florida Atlantic University, and his Ph.D. (1985) in space physics from Rice University.  After a post-doctoral appointment at Rice University (1985 – 1986), he was an NRC Resident Research Associate at Goddard Space Flight Center (1986 – 1987), a Geophysics Scholar at the Air Force Geophysical Laboratory (1987 – 1989), and Senior Scientist at Massachusetts Technological Laboratory (1989 – 1990).  He came to Boston University as a Research Associate (1990 – 1991), taught a graduate course in magnetospheric physics, and became a member of the Research Faculty in the Department of Space Physics and Astronomy and Center for Space Physics (1991 – 2003).  He held Visiting Faculty appointments at the Air Force Research Laboratory under the Air Force Summer Faculty Research Program (1997, 2001, 2002).  He is currently a Research Scientist at the Solar Observatory and Assistant Professor of Physics at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU).  From 1994 until his move to PVAMU, he was a member of the science team involved in the development of the Integrated Space Weather Prediction Model (ISM) by Mission Research Corporation. Research has included both theoretical and data-analysis projects.  Theoretical projects include force-balanced modeling of convection in Earth’s plasma sheet, the physics of the Harang discontinuity, the generation of magnetic-field-aligned currents, magnetospheric structure, and magnetopause reconnection and turbulence.  Data-analysis projects include use of data from the CRRES and Geotail satellites to describe magnetospheric substorms.  The CRRES project resulted in the discovery and description of a near-Earth mechanism for the onset of magnetospheric substorms.  The problem of the magnetospheric convection and its consequences on geomagnetic activity has been a particular research focus since he elucidated the “pressure-balance inconsistency” as a graduate student.  Dr. Erickson has published 47 articles in magnetospheric physics, given over 100 presentations at scientific meetings and over 20 seminars at universities and government laboratories.

Selected Publications:

Erickson, G.  M., and R. A. Wolf, Is Steady Convection Possible in the Earth’s Magnetotail?, Geophysical Research Letters, 7, 897, 1980.

Erickson, G. M., R. W. Spiro, and R. A. Wolf, The Physics of the Harang Discontinuity, Journal of Geophysical Research, 96, 1633, 1991.

Erickson, G. M., A Quasi-Static Magnetospheric Convection Model in Two Dimensions, Journal of Geophysical Research, 97, 6505, 1992.

Heinemann, M., G. M. Erickson, and D. H. Pontius, Jr., Inertial Currents in Isotropic Plasma, Journal of Geophysical Research, 99, 8635, 1994.

Erickson, G. M., Substorm Theories:  United They Stand, Divided They Fall, in U.S. National Report to the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics 1991–1994, Reviews of Geophysics, Supplement, pp. 685–692, 1995.

Hau, L.-N., and G. M. Erickson, Penetration of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field By Into Earth’s Plasma Sheet, Journal of Geophysical Research, 100, 21,745, 1995.

Burke, W. J., and G. M. Erickson, Bursty Bulk Flows:  Some Electrodynamic Considerations, in Substorms 5, pp. 153–156, ESA SP-443, July 2000.

Erickson, G. M., N. C. Maynard, W. J. Burke, G. R. Wilson, and M. A. Heinemann, Electromagnetics of Substorm Onsets in the Near-Geosynchronous Plasma Sheet, Journal of Geophysical Research, 105, 25,265, 2000.

Wolf, R. A., V. Kumar, F. R. Toffoletto, G. M. Erickson, A. M. Savoie, C. X. Chen, and C. L. Lemon (2006), Estimating local plasma sheet PV5/3 from single-spacecraft measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 111, A12218, doi: 10.1029/2006JA012010.