Stephen A. Fuselier is the Executive Director of the Space Science Directorate, Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute. He is recognized for his fundamental contributions to understanding the physics of the interaction of the solar wind with Earth’s magnetosphere, comets, and the interstellar medium. Fuselier was born and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a BS in physics and from the University of Iowa with an MS and a PhD in physics. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos Laboratory before working at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center as a scientist and manager. In 2011, he joined Southwest Research Institute. He is a Co-Investigator and instrument lead on several NASA and European Space Agency missions. His awards and honors include Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, recipient of the AGU James B. Macelwane Medal and the European Geosciences Union Hannes Alfvén Medal, and membership in the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Stephen A. Fuselier uses space in situ observations to investigate the interaction between the Sun and the Earth's magnetosphere. In particular, he investigates the plasma physics of the Earth's bow shock and the process of magnetic reconnection. Reconnection is a fundamental plasma physics process that converts magnetic energy into particle energy. It is the primary process for transfer of mass, energy, and momentum into the Earth's magnetosphere and is the way the solar wind couples to the Earth's magnetosphere to produce space weather. He also uses Energetic Neutral Atom imaging to understand the interaction of the Sun's heliosphere with the local interstellar medium. This complex interaction produces the outer boundaries to the Sun's heliosphere and impacts the access of cosmic rays to the inner solar system. Finally, he is interested in the use of in situ mass spectrometer measurements to determine the composition and dynamics of comae surrounding comets. Comets are primordial remnants from the formation of the solar system. Mass spectrometer measurements sample the primordial solar system composition, help to understand where comets were formed in the early solar system, and help to understand how much they have evolved since their formation.

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Section 16: Geophysics