Newsletter Editor editor at igpp.ucla.edu
Mon Feb 7 01:21:15 PST 2022

Volume XXIX, Issue 10


Table of Contents

1. Michael Robert Collier


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


Michael Robert Collier

From: David Sibeck, Scott Porter, Brian Walsh (david.g.sibeck at nasa.gov)

Dr. Michael R. Collier passed away on January 9, 2022 at home in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Michael earned his Bachelor’s (1988), Master’s (1990), and Doctoral (1993) degrees in Physics from the University of Maryland-College Park. His thesis focused on energetic particles in the Jovian magnetosphere. 

Michael began work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as a research associate and became a civil servant in 1998. Within GSFC, he worked tirelessly to ensure the success of his many cross-disciplinary research teams. Outside GSFC, Michael established close working relationships and strong, lasting, friendships with scientists across the United States, Europe and Japan.  Before and after his recent appointment as Associate Lab Chief for the Geospace Physics Laboratory, Michael always conscientiously took the extra steps needed to ensure everyone he worked with was properly informed, properly treated, properly engaged, and properly rewarded within each of his projects.

Michael made major contributions to diverse topics spanning the evolution of trapped charged participle distributions, the propagation of solar wind plasma and magnetic field structures, the solar wind’s composition, and neutral atom imaging of the Earth’s magnetosphere. Michael was a true experimentalist and an innovator in particle instrumentation, most recently developing miniaturized energetic neutral atom and electrostatic plasma analyzer instruments for sounding rocket flights. Perhaps his largest impact has been on the nascent field of soft X-rays generated by ion-neutral charge exchange.  Michael pioneered the use of soft X-rays for magnetospheric studies. He led the development of the first instrument designed specifically to study solar wind charge exchange soft X-ray emissions, which flew on the Diffuse X-ray emission from the Local galaxy (DXL) sounding rocket in 2012.

Michael lived an active life, spending many hours hiking in the Shenandoah mountains, the Grand Canyon, and the hills outside Boulder City, Nevada where he had a home.  He was an opera and movie aficionado.

Michael leaves behind his beloved wife, his mother and sister, and a host of grieving colleagues.  His enthusiastic boyish smile and wonderful sense of humor are missed by all who knew him.  The lessons he taught us about a well-lived life, with commitment to family and friends, will be remembered by all.  His word was his bond. We will miss him terribly.


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