Haystack’s Larisa Goncharenko has been named the incoming chair of the CEDAR Science Steering Committee (CSSC) for 2020–2023, effective August 2020.
The Coupling, Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR) Program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division, studies the interaction region of the Earth’s tenuous upper atmosphere. This region, which separates interplanetary space from the lower atmosphere and biosphere, plays a vital role — not only in maintaining the habitability of the planet, but also as the location for the majority of human investment in operational space assets. Since CEDAR’s inception more than 35 years ago, a growing appreciation of the interdependencies between different aspects of the whole Earth environment, together with the rapid evolution of supporting technologies and infrastructure, drive the continuously evolving mission of CEDAR.
As chair, Goncharenko will lead the committee that coordinates the effort of the U.S. aeronomy (upper atmospheric science) community, maintains rigorous connections with other national and international programs, and provides scientific advice to the NSF.
CEDAR and Haystack have shared a productive relationship for many years. Haystack Observatory provides long-term observations from the Millstone Hill Incoherent Scatter Radar and a worldwide network of GNSS receivers to the entire CEDAR research community, and maintains and operates a CEDAR Madrigal database that hosts data from numerous ground-based instruments. Haystack researchers initiate and lead frequent CEDAR observational campaigns, organize technical and scientific workshops at the annual CEDAR meeting, and participate extensively in CEDAR community science.
Former Haystack Director Joseph Salah served as SCCS chair in 1997–1999, and Haystack Associate Director John Foster served as SCCS chair in 2009–2012.
Goncharenko was born and educated in Ukraine and joined Haystack Observatory in 1996 as a CEDAR post-doctoral researcher. She has been a research scientist at Haystack since 1997. Goncharenko is active in a variety of projects that use analysis of observations from ground-based incoherent scatter radars, GNSS receivers, ionosondes, and multiple space-based satellite observations, and modeling studies of ionospheric features related to meteorological disturbances, geomagnetic storms, waves and tides. Her primary research focus is on whole-atmosphere coupling, which involves the relationships amongst layers of the Earth’s atmosphere and the effects of sudden stratospheric warmings and the polar vortex on the state of the thermosphere and ionosphere.
Goncharenko has a strong commitment to public service and leadership, with past roles as a Secretary of American Geophysical Union, Space Physics and Aeronomy section (2008–2012) and a member of the SCCS (2008–2011). Her current and more recent roles include membership on the NASA Heliophysics Advisory Committee, the NASA Science and Technology Definition Team for GDC (Geospace Dynamics Constellation), and the Space Weather Committee of the American Meteorological Society.