Dr. Colin M Komar

Dr. Colin M Komar

  • RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
  • 301.286.7252
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 673
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: CATHOLIC UNIV OF AMERICA
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Colin Komar completed a Bachelor's of Science degree in Physics from Illinois Wesleyan University in May 2008.  Dr. Komar went on to graduate school at West Virginia University, and completed a Master's of Science degree in Physics in December 2010.  Dr. Komar completed a Ph. D. in Physics in May 2015 at WVU under the direction of Dr. Paul Cassak.  Dr. Komar is now a postdoctoral researcher at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center under the direction of Dr. Alex Glocer.

    Current Projects

    Ultralow Frequency Wave Power in Global Magnetospheric Simulations

    Studying the production of Ultralow Frequency Waves in global magnetospheric simulations based on idealized solar wind conditions and observations.  The goal is to: (1) see how well the waves are captured in global magnetospheric simulations, and (2) understand the role these waves play in affecting ultra-relativstic electron populations.

    The Global vs. Local Control of Solar Wind-Magnetospheric Coupling

    Understanding how the plasma local to the reconnection site, such as enhanced magnetospheric densities, will affect the magnetospheric reconnection rate. Additionally,  exploring how collisional (resistive) and collisionless (Hall effect) reconnection physics affect the plasma conditions local to the reconnection site. With these parameters in mind, the goal is to understand how global magnetospheric dynamics may change as a result of these effects at magnetospheric reconnection sites.

    Identifying Magnetic Reconnection in Global Magnetospheric Simulations

    Providing context of the global magnetospheric dynamics by identifying where reconnection is possible in global magnetospheric simulations to inform missions where reconnection is likely to be observed.

    Education

    Doctor of Philosophy, Physics, May 2015

    West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

    Dissertation Title: “The Nature of Magnetic Reconnection at the Dayside Magnetopause”

    Advisor: Paul A. Cassak

    Master of Science, Physics, December 2010

    West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

    Bachelor of Science, Physics, May 2008

    Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL

    Positions/Employment

    4/2015 - Present

    Postdoctoral Scientist

    Catholic University of America, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD

    Awards

    Basu United States Early Career Award in Sun-Earth Systems Science, awarded by the Space Physics and Aeronomy section of the American Geophysical Union – June 2016

    Student Poster Prize, for the poster titled “Comparative Analysis of Dayside Reconnection Models in Global Magnetospheric Simulations” awarded at the Geospace Environment Modeling Summer Workshop, June 2014

    Dr. Mohindar S. Seehra Research Award, awarded annually by the West Virginia University Department of Physics and Astronomy ‘recognizing doctoral students advancing research in Physics by publishing research in high-quality, peer-reviewed Physics journals, May 2014

    NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium Graduate Research Fellow, April 2014

    Student Poster Prize (Honorable Mention), for the poster titled “Tracing Magnetic Separators in Global Magnetospheric Simulations and Their Dependence on IMF Clock Angle” awarded at the Geospace Environment Modeling Summer Workshop, June 2013

    First Prize in the Magnetosphere Category of 2013 CCMC Student Research Contest, awarded annually by NASA’s Community Coordinated Modeling Center to students performing outstanding research using CCMC resources, May 2013

    NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium Graduate Research Fellow, April 2013

    2010 Carl Rotter Graduate Teaching Award in Physics, awarded annually by the West Virginia University Department of Physics and Astronomy for outstanding teaching in the classroom, April 2010

    National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellow, Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research (CASPER), Baylor University, Summer 2007

    Publications

    Refereed

    Ofman, L., R. E. Denton, J. Bortnik, et al. X. An, A. Glocer, and C. Komar. 2017. "Growth and nonlinear saturation of electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves in multi-ion species magnetospheric plasma." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122: [10.1002/2017ja024172]

    Walsh, B. M., C. M. Komar, and Y. Pfau-Kempf. 2017. "Spacecraft measurements constraining the spatial extent of a magnetopause reconnection X line." Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (7): 3038-3046 [10.1002/2017gl073379]

    Komar, C. M., and P. A. Cassak. 2016. "The local dayside reconnection rate for oblique interplanetary magnetic fields." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 121 (6): 5105--5120 [10.1002/2016JA022530]

    Doss, C. E., C. M. Komar, P. A. Cassak, et al. F. D. Wilder, S. Eriksson, and J. F. Drake. 2015. "Asymmetric magnetic reconnection with a flow shear and applications to the magnetopause." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 120: 7748 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1002/2015JA021489]

    Komar, C. M., R. L. Fermo, and P. A. Cassak. 2015. "Comparative analysis of dayside magnetic reconnection models in global magnetosphere simulations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 120: 276 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1002/2014JA020587]

    Komar, C. M., P. A. Cassak, J. C. Dorelli, A. Glocer, and M. M. Kuznetsova. 2013. "Tracing magnetic separators and their dependence on IMF clock angle in global magnetospheric simulations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 118: 4998-5007 [10.1002/jgra.50479]

    Talks, Presentations and Posters

    Invited

    Reconnection's Role in the Geospace System

    6 / 18 / 2015

    Scene-setting talk in a joint session of the Geospace Systems Science and Reconnection in the Magnetosphere focus groups.
    2015 GEM Summer Workshop
    Snowmass, Colorado

    ULF Power in the BATS-R-US Model and Electron Resonance Conditions

    6 / 17 / 2015

    2015 GEM Summer Workshop
    Snowmass, Colorado

    The Sun, Solar Wind, and Heliosphere

    6 / 14 / 2015

    2015 GEM Student Workshop
    Snowmass, Colorado

    Magnetohydrodynamic models:  What are they?  What can they be used for?

    6 / 15 / 2014

    2014 GEM Student Workshop
    Portsmouth, Virginia

    On the Location of Magnetic Reconnection at the Dayside Magnetopause

    4 / 24 / 2014

    Heliophysics Science Seminar
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Greenbelt, Maryland

    A Student's Perspective on NASA's Community Coordinated Modeling Center

    4 / 2 / 2014

    7th Annual CCMC Workshop
    Annapolis, Maryland

    Loacating Magnetic Reconnection at Earth's Dayside Magnetopause in Global Magnetospheric Simulations

    6 / 19 / 2013

    CCMC Student Research Contest Award Talk
    2013 GEM Summer Workshop
    Snowmass, Colorado

    Space Physics Research Using NASA's Community Coordinated Modeling Center

    6 / 16 / 2013

    2013 GEM Student Workshop
    Snowmass, Colorado

    Tracing Magnetic Separators and Their Dependence on IMF Clock Angle in Global Magnetospheric Simulations

    4 / 8 / 2013

    Dayside Science Teleconference (Remote Presentation)
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    Other

    A Local Analysis of Magnetic Reconnection at the Dayside Magnetopause

    6 / 18 / 2015

    2015 GEM Summer Workshop, Contributed Poster
    Snowmass, Colorado

    Measures of Magnetic Reconnection at the Dayside Magnetopause

    12 / 15 / 2014

    2014 AGU Fall Meeting, Contributed Poster
    San Francisco, California

    Comparative Analysis of Dayside Reconnection Models in Global Magnetospheric Simulations

    6 / 17 / 2014

    2014 GEM Summer Workshop, Contributed Poster
    Portsmouth, Virginia

    On the Location of Magnetic Reconnection at the Dayside Magnetopause

    12 / 9 / 2013

    2013 AGU Fall Meeting, Contributed Talk
    San Francisco, California

    Tracing Magnetic Separators in Global Magnetospheric Simulations and Their Dependence on IMF Clock Angle

    6 / 18 / 2013

    2013 GEM Summer Workshop, Contributed Poster
    Snowmass, Colorado

    Separator Morphology and Null Location Dependence on Clock Angle in Global Magnetospheric MHD Simulations

    12 / 3 / 2012

    2012 AGU Fall Meedting, Contributed Poster
    San Francisco, California

    On the Nature of Magnetic Reconnection at the Dayside Magnetopause in Global Magnetospheric MHD Simulations

    12 / 8 / 2011

    2011 AGU Fall Meeting, Contributed Poster
    San Francisco, California

    Professional Service

    Organized volunteers and staffed table for the Geospace Physics Laboratory’s participation for the Science Jamboree outreach event at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on July 7, 2015

    Spoke with Illinois Weslyean University undergraduates about personal graduate school experience, Bloomington, IL, November 16, 2013

    Elected Treasurer of West Virginia University Physics and Astronomy Graduate Student Organization, Position held October 2013 to September 2014

    Graduate student mentor for WVU Rocksat-C/Undergraduate Student Instrumentation Project (USIP) team “West Virginia Rocketeers,” Fall 2013

    Teaching Experience

    Graduate Teaching Assistant

    West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
    - PHYS 111: Mechanics, Fall 2008 to Spring 2010
    - PHYS 112: Electricity and Magnetism, Fall 2008
    - PHYS 106: Descriptive Astronomy, Fall 2008

    Selected Public Outreach

    Volunteer for Explore@NASAGoddard Open House Event 9 / 2015 - 9 / 2015

    Goddard Space Flight Center opened its doors to the public on September 26, 2015 and accepted an estimated 20,000, nearly double the anticipated visitors for this event.

    Staffed table at opening of a Space Weather exhibit 9 / 2014 - 9 / 2014

    Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia, Morgantown, WV, September 27, 2014

    Staffed table at Space Day 2 / 2014 - 2 / 2014

    Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia
    Morgantown, WV, February 8, 2014

    Research Interests

    Solar-wind-magnetosphere coupling

    Investigating the response of the terrestrial magnetosphere to solar wind input.  In particular, the global and local consequences of magnetic reconnection at the terrestrial magnetopause.

    Inner Magnetosphere Dynamics

    Understanding the dynamic response of Earth's radiation belts, ring current, and plasmasphere.  In particular, how different solar wind conditions the wave-particle interaction with relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt, the composition of the ring current, the location of the plasmapshere, and the compositional changes these distinct plasma regions undergo from substorm injections.

    Model Development

    Developing models of Earth's magnetosphere and other plasma systems.

    Ionospheric Outflow

    Understanding the ionosphere's influence on global magnetospheric dynamics, as well as the upwelling of ions from several hundred kilometers and travelling into the magnetosphere along closed magnetic field lines.

    Basic Plasma Physics

    Understanding the basic physical processes governing plasma dyanmics such as wave-particle interactions and the energization of plasma particles to relativistic energies through electric and magnetic fields.

    Fusion

    Understanding the energy generation through the combination of atomic nuclei.

    Professional Societies

    American Geophysical Union, 2011 - Present
    American Physical Society, 2008 - Present

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Colin Komar completed a Bachelor's of Science degree in Physics from Illinois Wesleyan University in May 2008.  Dr. Komar went on to graduate school at West Virginia University, and completed a Master's of Science degree in Physics in December 2010.  Dr. Komar completed a Ph. D. in Physics in May 2015 at WVU under the direction of Dr. Paul Cassak.  Dr. Komar is now a postdoctoral researcher at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center under the direction of Dr. Alex Glocer.

    Publications

    Refereed

    Ofman, L., R. E. Denton, J. Bortnik, et al. X. An, A. Glocer, and C. Komar. 2017. "Growth and nonlinear saturation of electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves in multi-ion species magnetospheric plasma." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 122 [10.1002/2017ja024172]

    Walsh, B. M., C. M. Komar, and Y. Pfau-Kempf. 2017. "Spacecraft measurements constraining the spatial extent of a magnetopause reconnection X line." Geophysical Research Letters 44 (7): 3038-3046 [10.1002/2017gl073379]

    Komar, C. M., and P. A. Cassak. 2016. "The local dayside reconnection rate for oblique interplanetary magnetic fields." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 121 (6): 5105--5120 [10.1002/2016JA022530]

    Doss, C. E., C. M. Komar, P. A. Cassak, et al. F. D. Wilder, S. Eriksson, and J. F. Drake. 2015. "Asymmetric magnetic reconnection with a flow shear and applications to the magnetopause." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 120 7748 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1002/2015JA021489]

    Komar, C. M., R. L. Fermo, and P. A. Cassak. 2015. "Comparative analysis of dayside magnetic reconnection models in global magnetosphere simulations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 120 276 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1002/2014JA020587]

    Komar, C. M., P. A. Cassak, J. C. Dorelli, A. Glocer, and M. M. Kuznetsova. 2013. "Tracing magnetic separators and their dependence on IMF clock angle in global magnetospheric simulations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 118 4998-5007 [10.1002/jgra.50479]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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