Noted University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) space scientist Dr. Roderick Heelis has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), an international scientific society devoted to research of the Earth and space.
Fellow status is granted to scientists who have attained acknowledged eminence in the geophysical sciences, and is bestowed on no more than one-tenth of one percent of the AGU membership each year.
Heelis, the Cecil and Ida Green Honors Professor of Physics and longtime director of the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences at UTD, will be honored by AGU at the organization’s annual meeting in Baltimore in May, 2006. Heelis is an expert on the ionosphere, the portion of the Earth’s atmosphere charged by solar radiation. In 2001, he won a five-year, $10-million grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United States Air Force to study “space weather,” or areas of turbulence, caused by electrically charged particles and its effect on radio, radar and satellite communications. The grant is one of the largest ever awarded to a UTD faculty member or researcher.
AGU, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is made up of more than 41,000 individuals from more than 130 countries involved in the fields of Earth, atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic, space and planetary sciences.