University of Scanton to Host HamSCI Workshop

Members News

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.