(Bagenal, Fran - 2010) -- BFA Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarly and Creative Work uri icon



  • A leader in the space science community, Professor Bagenal studies the magnetic fields of planets, planetary plasmas, and the interaction of planetary objects—from giant Jupiter down to tiny comets—with the solar wind or magnetospheric plasmas.
    She has worked on several NASA space missions, including the Voyager mission to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and the Galileo and Deep Space 1 missions. She is a co- investigator on NASA’s New Horizons mission due to fly past Pluto in 2015.
    Professor Bagenal is known in her field for her model of the structure and composition of the Io plasma torus, a region of heavy ions in Jupiter’s magnetosphere. Professor Bagenal has also made significant contributions to many other areas of space physics including the outer planet magnetospheres, solar physics, Mars’ upper atmosphere, and magnetic fields.
    This breadth of extra-terrestrial studies characterizes Professor Bagenal’s research agenda, but what makes her unique is her ability to energize students and fellow researchers in these scientific pursuits. She achieves her visionary goals by undertaking research with her students and colleagues, by galvanizing the space science community, and by contributing her insight and efforts to convince funding agencies to move forward on space- craft programs. Professor Bagenal has been a CU-Boulder faculty member since 1989.

year awarded

  • 2010