University of Scanton to Host HamSCI Workshop

The University of Scranton will host the HamSCI Workshop 2023, which engages amateur radio enthusiasts and professional scientists to collaborate on existing and future innovative research projects. Titled “Forging Amateur-Professional Bonds,” the conference takes place March 17-18 at locations on campus and at the historic Lackawanna Station hotel. HamSCI is an officially recognized NASA Citizen Science project and the conference has received grant support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC.)

“The HamSCI Workshop plays a unique and important role in the development of both the amateur radio community and the scientific workforce,” said Nathaniel Frissell, Ph.D., (W2NAF) assistant professor of physics and electrical engineering at The University of Scranton.

Speakers for the HamSCI Workshop 2023 include a keynote presentation by Patricia Reiff, Ph.D., (W5TAR) professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University and founding director of the Rice Space Institute. She will discuss the importance of united teams of amateurs and professionals in conducting and advancing scientific research. She earned her Ph.D. in space physics and astronomy from Rice University.

Joseph Huba, Ph.D., vice president of Syntek Technologies and former head of the Space Plasma Physics Section at the Naval Research Laboratory, will discuss “Modeling the Ionosphere with SAMI3.” Dr. Huba’s tutorial will provide a general overview of ionospheric physics and SAMI3, which models the plasma and chemical evolution of seven ion species. Dr. Huba earned his Ph.D. in theoretical plasma physics at the University of Maryland.

Also, speaking at the conference will be Jesse Alexander (WB2IFS/3), a licensed amateur radio operator, who will discuss his efforts to introduce young people to the wonder of the Electromagnetic Spectrum through hands-on ham radio-based experiences.

The HamSCI Workshop will give participants hands-on experience using University’s amateur radio station W3USR as well. The workshop will also serve as a team meeting for the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station project (PSWS), which is a $1.3 million NSF funded project previously awarded to Dr. Frissell.

The workshop also features presentations of research abstracts related to the latest developments related radio science and amateur radio, including those related to solar eclipse ionospheric effects, Sporadic E, traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs), and space and terrestrial weather impacts to radio propagation. University of Scranton students Veronica Romanek, Hampton, New Jersey, a senior physics and Spanish double major; Francis Tholley ’21, Darby, a software engineering graduate student, who earned his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Scranton; and Shaaf Sarwar, Qazalbash Chowk, Lahore, Pakistan, a senior physics major and recipient of the University’s full-tuition Presidential Scholarship, will be among the research presenters.

In addition, the Murgas Amateur Radio club from NEPA will showcase old amateur radios in an “Amateur Radio Through the Ages” exhibit in the display cases on the second floor of Loyola Science Center. The Murgas Amateur Radio Club and Scranton Pocono Amateur Radio Club will also run a special event amateur radio station at the workshop using the W3USR call sign and offer on-site amateur radio license exams.

The HamSCI Workshop 2023 offers both in-person or virtual participation. Lodging for the event is available at the historic Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton and the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center. For registration details and conference information, visit the HamSCI Workshop 2023 webpage.

The University of Scranton Virtual HamSCI Workshop

The fourth annual HamSCI Workshop 2021 for amateur radio operators and professional scientists will be held in a virtual format on Friday and Saturday, March 19-20. The University of Scranton will serve as host for the Zoom webinar, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), that will include addresses by guest speakers, poster presentations and demonstrations of relevant instrumentation and software.

Participation is free through support from the NSF and the University. The theme of this year’s workshop is midlatitude ionospheric science.

The workshop will also serve as a team meeting for the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station project, which is a NSF funded project awarded to University of Scranton physics and electrical engineering professor Nathaniel Frissell, Ph.D. The project seeks to harness the power of a network of licensed amateur radio operators to better understand and measure the effects of weather in the upper levels of Earth’s atmosphere.

The workshop’s keynote address on the “History of Radio” will be given by Elizabeth Bruton, Ph.D., curator of technology and engineering at the Science Museum of London. She will discuss the history, science, technology and licensing of radio amateur communities from the early 1900s through to the present day, exploring how individuals and communities contributed to “citizen science” long before the term entered popular usage in the 1990s. Dr. Bruton has been a non-licensed member of Oxford and District Amateur Radio Society since 2014 and their web manager since 2015.

J. Michael Ruohoniemi, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech and principal investigator of the Virginia Tech SuperDARN Initiative, will review the physics of the midlatitude ionosphere and discuss ways in which the amateur radio community can contribute to advancing scientific understanding and technical capabilities. Joe Dzekevich K1YOW, an amateur radio citizen scientist who recently published his work in CQ Magazine, will present “Amateur Radio Observations and The Science of Midlatitude Sporadic E.” The event will also include virtual oral presentations by researchers from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MIT Haystack Observatory, the University of Oslo, the University of Bath, Case Western Reserve University, Dartmouth College. the University of Alabama, Clemson University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and The University of Scranton, among others.

University students Veronica Romanek (KD2UHN), Hampton, New Jersey; Cuong Nguyen, Ashley; and M. Shaaf Sarwar (KC3PVF), Lahore, Punjab, are among the iposter presenters.

A full schedule of speakers and registration information can be found on the HamSCI Workshop 2021 website.