Clemson University

Colloquium: Dr. Cissi Lin

Let's Make a Crystal Ball! The Upper Atmosphere Version

Cissi Lin, Ph.D.

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences,

University of Colorado Boulder

Abstract: In the classroom, the universe is dissected into different zones, mostly for simplifying the problems in hand. However, when the physical conditions are met, the universe sees no boundaries and the system works as a whole. Among the countless celestial bodies in the immense universe, the Sun and the Earth, are the ones most crucial to the life we know. Energy from the Sun and its variability can easily overwhelm the upper atmosphere, disrupt communication, or even damage spacecraft and ground facilities. The well-being of the terrestrial lives, therefore, depends on our abilities to predict the system response. By collecting data and building models, we account for the physical processes and establish our understanding of the space environment. However, the nature does not follow a simple pattern; data and models do not always agree as most of the physical models are to some degree still driven by empirical models built decades ago from limited amount of data. Better specifications of the forcing in models are in need, particularly for episodic geospace or ground events which add complexity to data interpretation. This talk will summarize the approaches taken for modeling the upper atmosphere and the impacts of the forcing from above and below, and propose a collaborated approach through integrating data and models to systematically improve our representation of the solar-terrestrial system.

Bio : Bio: Dr. Cissi Lin is a research associate in Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder). Dr. Lin graduated from Virginia Tech with a Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in Aug 2014. Her Ph.D. thesis was on retrieving solar soft X-ray irradiance from satellite imaging and thermospheric nitric oxide density from satellite limb airglow measurements with collaborations with Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). She joined the space group at University of Texas at Arlington as a post-doc and later became a research scientist there. She has studied gravity waves, thermospheric and ionospheric processes using a 3D non-hydrostatic global circulation model, and co-developed the local-grid refinement version of the model. She joined CIRES in Sep 2019 and will soon be deployed to Antarctica for lidar observations. Lin serves as a reviewer for AGU Book and peer reviewed journals, such as Geophysical Research Letters, Space Weather, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, and Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, etc; and she also serves as a reviewer for funding agencies, such as DoD and NSF.

Refreshments will be served afterwards in the PandA Café.

Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Kinard Laboratory of Physics, G01 Kinard Lab
140 Delta Epsilon Ct., Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Event Type

Lectures / Seminars / Speakers


College of Science, Physics and Astronomy

Target Audience

Students, Faculty, Undergraduate, Graduate

Contact Name:

Amanda Ellenburg

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


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