School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Physics Graduate Student Earns Prestigious "Outstanding Paper Award" by the American Geophysical Union

Physics graduate student William (Bob) Johnston has been honored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) with the Outstanding Student Paper Award for his presentation, "The role of the Plasmasphere in Radiation Belt Particle Energization and Loss," at the 2007 American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly in Acapulco, Mexico.

Johnston's presentation was recognized as being among the best of a strong group of student presenters, setting an example for his fellow students and the entire AGU membership. Outstanding Student Paper Award winners were announced in a publication of Eos, the weekly newspaper of AGU, and he received a formal certificate of achievement.

"Bob is one of our most capable and dedicated students in the graduate physics program," added Margie Renfrow, Physics Graduate Counselor and Student Coordinator. "We are very happy that he made the decision to come study here at UT Dallas," she said.

Johnston was selected to NASA's Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program for 2007 for his application titled, "The Relationship of the Plasmasphere and the Radiation Belts." Criteria for selection included the scientific merit of the proposed research, the relevance of the proposed research to NASA objectives in Earth or space science, and academic excellence. “This is a very prestigious award that is highly competitive,” said his advising professor Phillip C. Anderson. “We are very proud of Bob's accomplishments,” he added.

Johnston was also selected to the 2007 Graduate Student Researchers Program (GSRP) through NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) but turned that down to accept the NESSF fellowship.

William (Bob) Johnston is a doctoral physics student. His research interests are in space physics, particularly the study of space environment from the ionosphere to the magnetosphere, and interplanetary science. He has a B.A. in astronomy from UT Austin, and an MS in physics from UT El Paso in cooperation with UT Brownsville. Johnston is a Research Assistant at the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences, working together with Professor Phillip C. Anderson.

  • Updated: December 19, 2007