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2023 Early Career Award

2023 LAD Early Career Award Goes to James Schroeder

The Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) is presenting its 2023 Early Career Award to Professor James W. R. Schroeder of  WheatonJames Schroeder College. The award recognizes Dr. Schroeder’s experimental confirmation of the acceleration of auroral electrons by Alfven waves in the laboratory.

LAD’s Early Career Award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field within 10 years of receiving a PhD. Prof. Schroeder has established a budding career in laboratory studies of plasma physics relevant to space physics. He is an author on 8 publications, being first author on four of these, one in Nature Communications. Beginning with his PhD research, Prof. Schroeder began developing the experimental and theoretical tools needed to investigate the acceleration of auroral electrons. His work has gained media attention and he is currently building a new laboratory at Wheaton College to perform experiments relevant to space and astrophysical plasmas. He is active in mentoring undergraduate students in research and is working in collaboration with the Naval Research Lab to perform experiments in the Space Physics Simulation Chamber.

Prof. Schroeder received his PhD in Physics from the University of Iowa in 2017 under the supervision of Professors Gregory Howes, Craig Kletzing, and Fred Skif. He stayed on at the University of Iowa as Postdoctoral Researcher and then Assistant Research Scientist. In 2018, he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Physics at Wheaton College. He received a DoE National Undergraduate Fellowship for Summer Research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in 2008 and in 2013 received both an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for which he decided to accept the former. In 2018, he received a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, but opted to take the faculty position at Wheaton College. He is currently a Co-Investigator on a NASA Heliophysics Technology and Technology Development grant.

The LAD Early Career Award includes a cash award, a framed certificate, and an invited lecture by the recipient at a meeting of the Laboratory Astrophysics Division.

Phillip C. Stancil
LAD Past Chair
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Georgia
+1 (706) 542-2485

Rachel L. Smith
LAD Secretary
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences /
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Appalachian State University
+1 (919) 707-8239

James W. R. Schroeder
Department of Physics and Engineering
Wheaton College
+1 (630) 752-7460

The AAS Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD) advances our understanding of the universe through the promotion of fundamental theoretical and experimental research into the underlying processes that drive the cosmos.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.