Los Alamos National Laboratory

Elizabeth MacDonald

IRIS Team Leader & Staff Scientist since 2007

Contact information

Space Science and Applications, ISR-1
Los Alamos National Laboratory
P.O. Box 1663, MS D466
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Phone: 505.606.0257
Fax: 505.665.7395
Pager: 505.949.0502
Text Page: 5059490502@contactwireless.com

Email: macdonald@lanl.gov

Research Description

My research has focused on experimental particle measurement techniques and data analysis in the magnetosphere and ionosphere for the last 15 years. Currently I am the PI for the Z-Plasma Spectrometer on the DOE Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System (SABRS) geosynchronous payload and a Co-I on the Helium, Oxygen, Proton, and Electron Spectrometer on the NASA Radiation Belts Storm Probe mission. I've been working on both projects since coming to LANL as a post-doc in 2005. I also lead the Innovative Research and Integrated Sensing (IRIS) team in my group. In the recent past I've led the DoE-funded Technology Infusion Project entitled Modular Advanced Space Environment Instrumentation (from 2009-2011) and served as the PI for the Advanced Miniaturized Plasma Spectrometer on the DOE SABRS Validation Experiment payload (2007-2008).

I have a blend of expertise in both instrument development and data analysis and interpretation that comes from sounding rocket and satellite instrumentation experience. This experience ranges over the complete cycle of instrument production, including design and modeling, integration and testing, calibration, satellite operations, and in situ scientific data analysis. As a result, I'm very interested in instrument technology development, basic magnetospheric science, and space situational awareness national priorities. My specific research interests include wave-particle interactions and the effect of plasma on radiation belt dynamics, mapping, coupling, and transport between the ionosphere and the inner magnetosphere, and the impact of heavy ions on geomagnetic storm processes.

I am also actively involved in educational outreach efforts aimed at increasing diversity in technical fields and communicating the beauty of science. Outside of work I like to hike, climb, and ski in the beautiful sunny environs of northern New Mexico.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publication List

Google Scholar profile

  • MacDonald, E. A., L. W. Blum, S. P. Gary, M. F. Thomsen, and M. H. Denton, High-speed stream driven inferences of global wave distributions at geosynchronous orbit; relevance to radiation belt dynamics, Proc. of the Royal Society, 2010.
  • Blum, L. W., E. A. MacDonald, S. P. Gary, M. F. Thomsen, H. E. Spence, Ion Observations from Geosynchronous Orbit as a Proxy for Ion Cyclotron Wave Growth During Storm Times, J. Geophys. Res., 114, A10214, doi:10.1029/2009JA014396.
  • MacDonald, E., H. Funsten, E. Dors, M. Thomsen, P. Janzen, R. Skoug, G. Reeves, J. Steinberg, R. Harper, D. Young, J. -M. Jahn, and D. Reisenfeld, New Magnetospheric Ion Composition Measurement Techniques, FUTURE PERSPECTIVES OF SPACE PLASMA AND PARTICLE INSTRUMENTATION AND INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIONS: Proceedings of the International Conference. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 1144, pp. 168-172, 2009.
  • MacDonald, E. A., M. H. Denton, M. F. Thomsen, and S. P. Gary, Superposed epoch analysis of a whistler instability criterion at geosynchronous orbit during geomagnetic storms, J. of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 70, 14, 2008.
  • MacDonald, E., K. A. Lynch, M. Widholm, R. Arnoldy, P. M. Kintner, E. M. Klatt, M. Samara, J. LaBelle, and G. Lapenta, In Situ Measurement of Thermal Electrons on the SIERRA Nightside Auroral Sounding Rocket, J. Geophys. Res., 111, A12310, doi:10.1029/2005JA011493, 2006.
  • MacDonald, E., M. Thomsen, H. Funsten, Background in Channel Electron Multiplier Detectors Due to Penetrating Radiation in Space, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci., June 2006.

Professional Links

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Elizabeth MacDonald working with an AMPS prototype solid state detector.

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