Patricia H. Reiff is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University and the Director of the Rice Space Institute. She has been active in space plasma physics research for thirty-five years, with interests in magnetospheric convection, magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling and solar wind control of the magnetosphere and ionosphere of the Earth and Mercury.
She has been a leader in commercialization of space educational materials since 1994, and is the President-Owner of two successful Texas Corporations that sell educational products worldwide. She was a Co-I on the Dynamics Explorer and Polar Missions, and is a Co-I for both science and public outreach for the "IMAGE" spacecraft, for the "PEACE" electron spectrometer on "Cluster II", and is EPO lead for the MMS mission, as well as part of the EPO team for the NSF Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling.
She has served as Director of public education and teacher enhancement projects for over 19 years. Her "Space Update" software has been used by well over a million visitors at over 10 museums, and together with "Earth Update" and "Space Weather" has been distributed to over 100,000 educators and learners. In 2006, over 220,000 visitors to her websites downloaded over 1.2 Terabytes of images, animations, and data. In partnership with Dr. Carolyn Sumners of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, their "Immersive Earth" project creates full-dome digital planetarium shows, and has created a portable planetarium system to teach Earth and Space Science through immersive digital theater. She has over 90 referreed publications in journals and book sections, and has served as Editor or Associate Editor for EOS, Journal of Geophysical Research, Reviews of Geophysics and on the editorial board of Space Weather. She has served on advisory committees for the NSF, NASA, the National Academy of Science, the AAU, GSFC, UCAR, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. She has served as Chair of the Council of Institutions of the Universities Space Research Association and serves on the SPA Public Education Committee for the AGU. She has numerous awards, including being named as one of Houston's "Women on the Move" in 1990. She was elected to the Cosmos Club in 1992, was selected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1997, received the "Aerospace Educator Award" from Women in Aerospace in 1999 and the Service Award from NARS in 2004. She received NASA "Group Achievement" awards for the IMAGE and GGS missions, and was an organizer for the World Space Congress in 2002. She has led seven total eclipse tours, with two upcoming in 2008 and 2009.
Last update: May 2007