Newsletter Editor editor at igpp.ucla.edu
Sat Aug 22 08:16:52 PDT 2020

Volume XXVII, Issue 52


Table of Contents

1. Passing of Sam Bingham (1988-2020)


Announcement Submission Website: http://goo.gl/forms/qjcm4dDr4g


Passing of Sam Bingham (1988-2020)

From: Ian Cohen (ian.cohen at jhuapl.edu), Barry Mauk, Sasha Ukhorskiy, Drew Turner, Sarah Vines, and Robert Allen (The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory); Chris Mouikis and Lynn Kistler (University of New Hampshire) (ian.cohen at jhuapl.edu)

We are incredibly saddened to inform the community that Dr. Sam Bingham passed away unexpectedly over the 4th of July weekend. 

Sam was born on August 10th, 1988 in Decatur, Georgia. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Math from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2010, where he worked part time as a Sports/Production Writer responsible for coverage of over one hundred UMass athletics events for radio and internet broadcasts. Sam subsequently began graduate studies in geophysics at Boise State University. However, geophysics was not meant to be and in 2011 Sam transferred to the University of New Hampshire (UNH), where he found passion and calling in both space physics research and teaching. He conducted his doctoral research under Drs. Lynn Kistler and Chris Mouikis, primarily focusing on analyses relating to particle and wave observations in the inner magnetosphere from the Van Allen Probes mission. His published studies included statistical investigations of CME- and CIR-driven storms during the Van Allen Probes era and statistical investigations of the associated ring current response, source electron, and chorus wave activity. He also taught multiple introductory-level physics courses as a Lecturer and completed the cognate program in college teaching from the UNH Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

After successfully defending his thesis in Spring 2019, Sam began a postdoctoral fellow position in the Solar & Space Physics Group at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). There he worked as a member of the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) investigation with Drs. Ian Cohen and Barry Mauk, focusing primarily on the study of energetic ion charge-state determination and energization processes in Earth’s magnetotail. He also recently co-chaired the newly-formed Self-Consistent Inner Magnetospheric Modeling Focus Group for the NSF Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) community.

Sam was a bright and promising early career researcher and genuinely caring friend. He loved sports and the outdoors, with both passions coming together most profoundly in his affection for skiing, at which he was an expert. He grew up skiing with his family and continued enjoying to travel and ski all over the world as an adult. He was also raised with multiple Corgi dogs, and Sam carried that love into his adulthood as well, most recently as the proud and doting owner of his dog, Pisgah, who survives him along with his parents, Thomas and Sara, and his younger sister, Leah.

Sam was humble, gracious, and funny a with a dry humor and exceptionally quick wit. He was known to go out of his way to help others. He was a truly remarkable friend and colleague who will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

The devastating news of his loss comes amidst what are already such exceptionally difficult times and leaves many of us attempting to cope with this loss and our grief in a time of already heightened stress, often without access to many of our normal support structures.  Sam’s family, his many friends, and our scientific community have all lost a truly special person. 

A virtual memorial service organized by Sam’s family will be held from 4:00pm - 5:30 pm on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020. More details on this life celebration can be found at  https://www.memoryofsambingham.com/, along with recordings of previous tributes (including the one from Virtual GEM), donation details, a digital guestbook, and many photos.


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