Last Updated: 05/11/2022

Space Weather Research, Education, Development Initiative

About

SW REDI or Space Weather Research, Education, Development Initiative was created to:

  • Promote space environment awareness as an important component of the new millennium core education.
  • Facilitate establishment of space weather programs at universities worldwide.
  • Provide undergraduate student internship opportunities at CCMC/SWRC to develop skills beneficial for any future career pursuit.

Goal

Critical infrastructures utilized in modern society are becoming increasingly dependent on both global electrical power grid networks and extensive fleets of satellites. Satellites also enable both computer systems and people to stay connected throughout our home planet.. Ubiquitous technologies and services such as GPS systems, satellite television, remote sensing, weather forecasting, and certain long distance communication systems critically rely on space infrastructure. This complex technological environment is susceptible to space weather effects caused by the variability of our dynamic Sun. The importance of space weather, and its potential for significant and catastrophic societal and economic impacts, has been recognized both nationally and globally. Space weather awareness is a necessary element of not only monitoring and maintaining existing assets in space, but also ensuring the success and viability of any new space-based technological developments. There is a growing need for the next generation of science and technology professionals to have an understanding of the fundamentals of the Sun-Earth system, how space weather disrupts technological systems and how space weather is predicted. This trend calls for more educational opportunities for the exciting and rapidly maturing field of space weather.

The goals of the Space Weather Research, Education and Development Initiative (REDI) are:

  • Promote space environment awareness as an important component of the new millennium core education.
  • Facilitate establishment of space weather programs at universities worldwide.
  • Provide undergraduate student internship opportunities at CCMC/SWRC to develop skills beneficial for any future career pursuit.

SW REDI brings a new generation of space weather instruction to educational institutes nationwide. The next generation hands-on training incorporates modern space weather observations and state-of-the-art space weather modeling and forecasting - from three-dimensional analysis of observed coronal mass ejections to modeling of the geomagnetic induction in the upper mantle of the Earth. The training also provides in-depth understanding on how various technologies are impacted by space weather - from single event upsets caused by solar energetic protons to increased corrosion of oil pipelines caused by geomagnetically induced currents.

SW REDI will facilitate the establishment of new space weather programs at participating educational institutions, support efforts to incorporate space weather material into institutions' core curriculum, and provide space weather training camps, hands-on experience and internship opportunities at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) and the Space Weather Research Center (SWRC) at NASA GSFC. Each of these key elements of REDI will be integrated jointly with participating educational institutions into a coherent initiative to allow students to make a seamless transition from space weather activities in the classroom to performing research and hands-on forecasting at CCMC and SWRC. Although the focus of SW REDI will be undergraduate training, K-12 and graduate student participation will be important components of the initiative. In addition, while REDI's primary mission is to enhance our nation's space weather readiness, participation by international educational institutions, and other space weather entities, reflects the global and interdisciplinary nature of the field.

SW REDI Activities

Space Weather bootcamps and training

  • Annual SW REDI bootcamps
    • The foundation of this unique two-week intensive camp includes the in-house Integrated Space Weather Analysis system (iSWA), space environment models installed at the CCMC, and the operational experience of the M2M (previously known as the SWRC) team.

      SW REDI camps:

      • are a compressed intense-study (8h/day) version of 2 credit semester-long course (see below)
      • summer camp is held during the first 2 weeks of summer internship (in 2013: June 3-14)
      • winter camp is held during the 2 weeks of winter break
      • participation from research, operational and educational institutions world-wide is invited
      • pre-requisite for SW-Ops or SW-Res internships: for SW-Dev and SW-Med interns only, the introductory part of training (the first 3 days) is required
  • Space Weather forecaster training 2019
  • Bootcamp 2018
  • Bootcamp 2017: Tutorials | Bootcamp Agenda
  • Bootcamp 2016: Tutorials
  • Bootcamp 2015: Tutorials | Participants' experiences
  • Bootcamp 2014: Tutorials
  • Bootcamp 2013: Tutorials
  • UAH Space Weather Summer School 2013

Short SW REDI training camps

  • Space Weather training at VarSITI General Symposium (Russia, July 10-15, 2017)
    • Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact (VarSITI) is the current scientific program of SCOSTEP (Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics) for the period 2014-2018. VarSITI focuses on the recent and expected future solar activity and its consequences for the Earth, over various time scales and at various locations from the solar interior to the Earth’s atmosphere. The 2nd VarSITI General Symposium was held at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Irkutsk, Russia, from 10th to 15th of July 2017.

      As part of the Symposium the CCMC participated in organizing a Space Weather Summer School: Advanced Concepts in Solar-Terrestrial Coupling in the Context of Space Weather", A Concepts and Tools School for Students during the VarSITI 2017 General Symposium, 9-14 July, 2017, Irkutsk, Russia.

      Dr. A. Taktakishvili and Dr. K. Muglach gave several space weather lectures for 35 students. Hands-on exercises and demos were given introducing several CCMC tools:

  • Introduction to Space Weather: Concepts and Tools school (India, Jan 2016)
  • SW REDI training at Kennedy Space Center (Feb 2-4, 2016)
  • SW REDI training for SSMO (Feb 24-25, 2016)
  • Space Weather Training for Mission Operators and Engineers (Jan 28-29, 2014)
    • Space weather and the space environment are important issues for mission operators and engineers. Awareness of such issues and space weather effects is important at different phases of a mission - including the design, build and operation of a spacecraft. It is also valuable for making operational decisions for protection of space assets and for anomaly resolution.

      Tailored specifically for mission operators and engineers, we will offer a 2-day space weather training course on Jan 28-29, 2014 (9am - 5pm) at NASA/GSFC Bldg 21, Rm 183A (also available online through WebEx).

    • Download presentations [ZIP]

SW REDI summer internships description

  • SW REDI Forecasting internship
    • Summer (10 weeks) internship:

      This is an opportunity for highly-motivated and qualified college and high school students to learn the fundamentals of space weather and to gain first-hand experience of how scientists/forecasters at NASA/GSFC Space Weather Center carry out analyses needed to predict space weather events and safeguard NASA's assets as well as society's interests at large.

      After the intense training during the first two week of the summer internship (SW REDI training CAMP) in space weather science and operational procedures, along with mock-up space weather event analysis, students will be encouraged to work as a group to carry out the functions/duties of a space weather forecaster.

      Expected opportunity outcome: knowledge about the solar system and impact of the solar storms on the earth's environment and society; system science perspective for students interested in further pursuing space weather related scientific research; entry level space weather analyst & forecaster skills; the decision-making skills and knowledge acquired during the program will be beneficial to any future career pursuit.

      Successful completion of summer internship will certify students to serve as entry level space weather analysts/forecasters.

      Prerequisite: High school level math and physics is required. Love for science. For college students 200-level university physics is recommended but not required.

      Academic year (September - May) part-time internship:

      Students certified as entry level (or higher) space weather forecasters are eligible for follow-on academic-year part-time employment (8-16 hours/week). Evening and weekend shifts are possible/expected. After successful completion of 8 months of forecaster duties students may be promoted by SWRC management to advanced levels with opportunities to combine space weather operations and research and participate in training of new students. College students are compensated for their work.

      Prerequisite: SW REDI semester-long 3 credit course or SW REDI 2-weeks intense training camp. Certification by the SWRC management as an entry-level space weather analyst/forecaster that requires at least 20 full 8 hours shifts of shadowing advanced forecasters. Summer internship is recommended.

  • SW REDI Research internship
    • A variety of space weather related research topics are available. Prospective interns and/or their supervisors are recommended to contact CCMC staff for a possible internship opportunity and for selecting a research area.

      Comments: The internship can be used as course credit, a course project and/or to satisfy graduation requirements (with permission from the applicant's university). However, exceptions are possible pending on the intern's performance.

      Prerequisite: Strong background in math and physics. Knowledge of fundamentals of space weather, preferably after a 2-week SWx REDI training camp and/or SW REDI semester long course.

  • SW REDI Software Development internship
    • A variety of software development projects are available in supporting CCMC/SWRC activities. Please contact CCMC Staff for details.

      Selected interns will be compensated for their summer internship. Follow-on part-time internship during the academic year is possible. The part-time internship can be used as course credit, a course project and/or to satisfy graduation requirement (with permission from the applicant's university).

      Prerequisite: Strong programming skill in the required areas and willingness to participate in the introductory part of space weather REDI training.

  • SW REDI Media internship
    • The selected intern will support NASA Goddard Space Weather Research Center social media activities. The social media program is intended to communicate the science of space weather and heliophysics, as well as STEM related information to the general public and education professionals in a fun and informal way. Another goal is to improve science literacy and knowledge, especially among under-served and under-represented communities. The activities include generating website content, YouTube space weather update videos, Facebook, Twitter updates, etc.

      Competitive applicants will demonstrate: - Experience in social media with regularly updated content; - Creativity in turning science ideas into appealing general public-level stories; - Excellent written communication skills; - Proven ability to work in both a team environment and independently; - Experience with video editing software (e.g. iMovie, Final Cut Pro) is a plus;

      Comments: This is an unpaid internship (e.g., can be used as course credit with permission from the applicant's university). However, exceptions are possible pending on the applicant's performance.

      Prerequisite: Basic understanding of space weather, preferably after an introductory part of the 2-week SWx REDI training in addition to basic skills in social media

  • Advanced Space Weather internship
    • As a part of CUA Space Weather Course's (taught at GSFC) in Fall 2012 final project two undergraduate students designed a Space Weather Forecaster Training (SWFT) Program for the SWRC. As part of an additional independent research credit through CUA, students are implementing this program during the spring semester of 2013. Students are traveling to GSFC once a week and teach high school students as well as other participating NASA personnel about analyzing space weather phenomena and following SWRC forecasting procedures.
      • Mentoring new interns and high-school students
      • Combining Space Weather Operations and Space Weather Research
  • Past CCMC intern list | Intern experiences | Intern achievements

CCMC Student Research Contests

  • About CCMC Student Research contest
    • The Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) and National Science Foundation (NSF) has held its fifth annual CCMC Student Research Contest.

      Participants were current undergraduate and graduate students who are using (or have recently used) CCMC tools and services in a research project or as a part of coursework to enter the contest.

      Project (and report) guidelines:

      • A successful project could involve the use of CCMC tools to demonstrate a physical process or concept in new and creative ways, or to gain new understanding of one of the many unanswered questions in space physics.
      • The report (not to exceed 10 pages) should include:
        • a problem statement,
        • description of the CCMC models and tools used,
        • results,
        • discussion,
        • conclusions,
        • and references.
        • The report should include figures, at least one of which is generated with CCMC visualization tools, to convey the results in a clear and interesting manner. Ideally, a report can be used as a base for a paper. For projects completed as part of a collaborative effort, or under the supervision of a mentor, please include a statement describing which tasks were completed by the student.
      • Winners in these categories were invited to present their work at selected workshops, such as CEDARGEM, and SHINE workshops. A fixed amount of travel support was awarded to cover airfare and lodging (exact amount to be determined).

      A panel of scientists, none of whom will be CCMC staff members, evaluate the reports. Therefore, students are encouraged to contact CCMC staff members regarding the models and tools available, for consultation on possible research projects, or for assistance with submitting runs or visualizing results. The full list of staff members is here

  • past contests: | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012
  • past contest winners | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

SW REDI Semester-long courses

The course will be taught at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and will be broadcasted via Google Hangouts to participating educational institutions.

  • Fundamentals of Space Weather and Space Environment Analysis & Forecasting Practicum
  • 3 credits: 3-4 hours weekly classes (lectures and hands-on learning experience). 2 credits option is possible
  • During the start-up phase lectures/practicum at NASA/GSFC. Remote participation is possible
  • Pre-requisite: Recommended but not required - introductory-level University Physics. Permission of instructor required.
  • Course syllabus (PDF)
  • Register for the Fall 2013 course
  • Download SW REDI Semester-long Course Flyer (PDF)

Heliophysics Summer Schools