New MIST councillors in 2017

Congratulations to Jasmine Sandhu and Jonny Rae, both at MSSL, who have been elected (and, in Jonny’s case, re-elected) to MIST Council. They join Ian McCrea (Chair - RAL), Sarah Badman (Lancaster), Luke Barnard (Reading) and John Coxon (Southampton), all of whom continue in their posts.

Thanks to everyone who stood for election – the fact that the positions were contested is a very positive and healthy sign. There are two positions that are up for election every year, and MIST Council relies on having volunteers with a spread of science area, institution, career stage, etc. Please do give consideration to standing (or persuading a colleague to stand) in future!

Rishbeth Prizes 2017

Congratulations to Jade Reidy (University of Southampton) and Mervyn Freeman (British Antarctic Survey) for winning this year's Rishbeth prizes for their presentations at the National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Hull this July.

Jade Reidy won the prize for best student talk, on the subject of ‘Preliminary results of an interhemispheric survey of polar cap aurora’, and Mervyn Freeman won the prize for best poster, on the subject of ‘The temperature signature of an IMF-driven change to the global atmospheric electric circuit in the Antarctic troposphere’.

Both winners have committed to write a piece for Astronomy & Geophysics on the topic of their research, so look out for those in future issues of A&G!

Nigel Wade

It is with deep sadness that we have to inform the MIST community of the untimely death after a short illness of Nigel Wade who worked in the Radio and Space Plasma Physics (RSPP) group at Leicester for over 30 years.  Nigel was one of the unsung heroes of our research field.  His role in the RSPP group was first as a programmer working on EISCAT data analysis, then as the RSPP group’s computer systems manager and more recently he had been involved in the code development for the operations of the MIXS instrument on Bepi-Colombo.  During his time at Leicester Nigel has provided computing support to well over a hundred academic staff, postdoctoral staff and postgraduate students,  a number of whom are still in the research field today.  In the 1980s and 1990s Nigel was also heavily involved in supporting EISCAT campaigns in Scandinavia and indeed was campaign manager on a number of occasions.  He will be missed by all of us.

New Members of MIST Council

After a hard-fought campaign by the five candidates, the results of the MIST Council elections are now in!

It is a pleasure to announce that Ian McCrea returns to the council for a second term whilst Sarah Badman is newly elected to the council, bringing some much needed northern perspective.

Rob, Jonny, Luke and John congratulate the new and returning members of council, and we look forward to working together for the community over the next year.

Rishbeth Prizes 2016

Congratulations to Nadine Kalmoni (MSSL) and Carley Martin (Lancaster) for winning this year's Rishbeth prizes for their presentations at Luner MIST at Lancaster University this April.

Nadine won the prize for the best student talk with her presentation, "Statistical characterisation of the growth and spatial scales of the substorm onset arc", while Carley won the poster prize with her work for her poster, "Cassini magnetometer observations of the orientation, motion and structure of Saturn’s magnetospheric current sheet."

Articles by both winners will appear shortly in A&G!

Extended deadline for MIST Council elections

The deadline for voting in the MIST Council elections has been extended until 20:00 BST on 29 July, so please cast your vote this week! All members of the mailing list should have received information on how to vote; if you have not, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he will help you.

The nominees are:

  • Sarah Badman, Lancaster University
  • Biagio Forte, University of Bath
  • Ian McCrea, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Rob Shore, British Antarctic Survey
  • Simon Thomas, Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Their statements are as follows!

Sarah Badman, Lancaster University

“MIST council plays an important role in communicating within the MIST community and representing its interests to other organisations. If elected I will broaden the Council’s representation of region (north-west) and research area (outer planets) while carrying out this role.”

Biagio Forte, University of Bath

“My research interest is on ionospheric scintillation and the effects the ionosphere can have on systems such as GPS, Galileo, EGNOS. This is an example of the impact adverse space weather conditions may have on our society.”

Ian McCrea, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

“I am a senior scientist at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, with a background in ionospheric physics as studied by ground-based radars. I have been a member of MIST Council since 2013 and Chair since 2014. I am standing again with the aim of continuing the initiatives which we have taken in the past three years, including the biennial Spring MIST meetings and closer links with the solar community in education and training. I also hope to work towards more support for doctoral training and thematic funding, on the NERC side of the STP community.”

Rob Shore, British Antarctic Survey

“I am a postdoctoral researcher currently based at the British Antarctic Survey. My 9-year research career has thus far focused on novel methods of discovering the workings of the Earth and its space environment via the magnetic field. I think that this post would be an excellent opportunity to learn the inner workings of MIST in more detail, and to provide a meaningful contribution to the ongoing health of the MIST community.”

Simon Thomas, Mullard Space Science Laboratory

“I’ve been in the MIST community now for 5 years and have been very active with MIST event during this time, attending almost all meetings and giving a number of presentations. I am currently a PDRA at Mullard Space Science Laboratory studying space weather with Prof. Lucie Green after completing a short PDRA with Prof Chris Owen on solar wind particles. My PhD was at the University of Reading with Dr. Matt Owens and Prof. Mike Lockwood on cosmic ray modulation in the solar wind. I also have an undergraduate in Physics from the University of Bath and an MSc in Meteorology from Reading. Therefore, I have a broad background of MIST science ideal for a council role. Throughout my career so far, I have thoroughly enjoyed MIST events when the community joins together and I have learnt a lot from the friendly community at meetings such as Autumn and Spring MIST. I am keen to keep up the excellent work of previous council members in promoting the work of early-career scientists and assisting in their development through these meetings and the giving out of awards such as the Rishbeth Prize. Furthermore, I am very keen to help to promote the work of members of the MIST community through outreach, be it through social media or by helping to organise public engagement events in our research area. I have gained a lot from the MIST community and standing for MIST council is an excellent way to give something back to the community. Therefore, I would be open to suggestions from MIST members for new ways to improve the community and our science output.”

Amendment of MIST Charter

December saw MIST Council propose an amendment to the MIST Charter which increases the size of the Council from five to six members. The amendment was passed with no objections from the MIST community, so the Charter will be amended accordingly, with the changes taking effect at the next MIST Council election.

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