Newsletter Editor editor at igpp.ucla.edu
Thu Aug 24 05:29:21 PDT 2023

Volume XXX, Issue 45


Table of Contents

1. Craig A. Kletzing


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


Craig A. Kletzing

From: Allison Jaynes (allison-n-jaynes at uiowa.edu)

We are devastated to announce the death of Craig Kletzing on August 10, 2023 at his home in Iowa City, Iowa. 

Craig Kletzing started his path to career scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in physics in 1981 and worked as an undergraduate researcher in space plasma physics. In 1983 he earned his master’s degree in physics and in 1989 he received his PhD degree in physics, both from the University of California, San Diego. His PhD thesis, entitled "Auroral electron time dispersion", examined precipitating electrons in the Earth's ionosphere using data from a sounding rocket mission. 

After receiving his PhD, he briefly worked as a research assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville before moving that same year to an assistant research-track professor position at the University of New Hampshire in 1989. He was promoted to Associate Research Professor in 1995. During his time at UNH, he also held a Visiting Scientist appointment at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik from 1993-1994. In 1996, he moved to the University of Iowa and started as a tenure-track associate professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. He was promoted to full professor in 2005. From 2011-2019, he held the title of F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor. In 2019, he was named the Donald A. and Marie B. Gurnett Chair, an honor he held until his death. 

Craig’s research was focused on space plasma, the physics of auroras, and the dynamics of the Van Allen radiation belts surrounding Earth. While at the University of Iowa, he was Principal Investigator for a suite of instruments on NASA's Van Allen Probes mission and he was Co-Investigator and led hardware contributions on NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale satellite mission. Craig also led multiple NASA sounding rocket missions. In all, he was involved in over 30 space missions throughout his career. His instrument specialty was measuring magnetic and electric fields and waves in space above active aurora and within the radiation belts. In 2019, Craig led a successful proposal for TRACERS, a NASA Small Explorer Mission. TRACERS will be launched in 2024 and will study how the solar wind and Earth’s magnetic fields interact in the cusp region, dynamically driven by magnetic reconnection. In 2022, he delivered the 39th Annual Presidential Lecture at the University of Iowa. In 2016, Craig was invited as a Distinguished Lecturer in the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics and in 2022, Craig was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society. 

Craig thoroughly enjoyed public outreach, exemplified by his many media interviews including on the high-profile Science Friday show on National Public Radio. He was a highly respected teacher and loved his time in the classroom. His enthusiasm for pedagogy translated to creating an engaging and welcoming learning environment. He cared deeply about sharing his love of physics with all students, and often preferred teaching large undergraduate College Physics courses for non-majors, capturing the students’ interest with lively demonstrations and the fascination he had for physics overall. 

Music was a constant passion in Craig’s life. Together with his wife, Jeanette Welch, he played in many Iowa City bands throughout his life including Hold My Llama, Bipolar, Brace for Blast, House of Escher, Truffle Pig and, most recently, Fork in the Road. 

A celebration of Craig’s career is being planned for summer 2024 in Iowa City. A tribute wall can be contributed to at the following site: https://www.lensingfuneral.com/obituaries/Craig-A-Kletzing.  

Craig, your enthusiasm and generosity will be missed by so many. 



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