NOAA appoints members of US Space Weather Advisory Group

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The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has appointed 15 non-governmental members to the new Space Weather Advisory Group (SWAG).

The SWAG was established by Public Law 116-181, the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act of 2020, also known as the PROSWIFT Act.

The members were chosen to provide a range of views that represent the span of the space weather community and end-user sectors. The SWAG will receive advice from the academic community, the commercial space weather sector, and non-governmental space weather end users to inform the National Science and Technology Council’s Space Weather Operations, Research, and Mitigation (SWORM) Interagency Working Group (IWG). The chair of the SWAG, selected by the NOAA Administrator from one of the 15 members, will be announced shortly.

Ezinne Uzo-Okoro, assistant director of space policy, Office of Science Technology Policy at the White House, and co-chair of the SWORM IWG, said, “The government alone cannot manage all risks associated with space weather; we need a whole-of-community approach to effectively build a space-weather-resilient nation. SWAG represents an excellent cross-section of the space weather enterprise in this nation. Leveraging their industry perspective will inevitably lead to more informed space weather policy.”

By statute, the SWAG will advise the SWORM IWG on improving the ability of the USA to prepare for, mitigate, respond to and recover from space weather storms. It will also advise on enhancing the transition of research to operations and operations to research, and developing and implementing an integrated space weather observation strategy.

Louis W Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service and co-chair of the SWORM IWG, said, “Strong public-private collaborations must be established among the three components of the weather enterprise – federal government, industry and academia – in order to build the nation’s resilience against severe space-weather events. These 15 individuals bring a wealth of industry, academic and user perspectives and experience to the table that will help accomplish the goal of building a space-weather-ready nation that we all are striving to achieve.”

An initial action of the advisory group will be to conduct a comprehensive survey of the needs of users of space weather products to identify the space weather research, observations, forecasting and modeling advances required to improve space weather products. SWAG members will each serve a three-year term.

2021 Space Weather Advisory Group

Commercial providers:

  • Jennifer Gannon, vice president of research and development, Computational Physics, Lafayette, CO
  • Conrad Lautenbacher, executive chairman, GeoOptics, Dunwoody, GA
  • Seth Jonas, principal, Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, MD
  • Kent Tobiska, president, Space Environment Technologies, Pacific Palisades, CA
  • Nicole Duncan, heliophysics mission area lead, Ball Aerospace, Boulder, CO


  • Tamas Gombosi, distinguished professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Delores Knipp, research professor, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
  • Scott McIntosh, deputy director, National Centers for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
  • Heather Elliott, staff scientist, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX
  • George Ho, chief scientist (Instrumentation), Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD

End users:

  • Mark Olson, senior engineer and manager, Reliability Assessments, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, Atlanta, GA
  • Michael Stills, retired, (former) director, Flight Dispatch, Network Operation Control Center, United Airlines, Ashburn, VA
  • Craig Fugate, chief emergency management officer, One Concern, Gainesville, FL
  • Tamara Dickinson, president, Science Matters Consulting, Washington, DC
  • Rebecca Bishop, principal scientist, Aerospace Corp, El Segundo, CA
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, editor-in-chief

Dan first joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As editor, he now produces content for Meteorological Technology International, unearthing the latest technological advances and research methods for the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest meteorological news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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