Prof. Al Weatherwax

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Contact Information

Office: Roger Bacon 225
Email: aweatherwax at
Phone: (518) 786-5089
Full Address: Department of Physics, Siena College, 515 Loudon Road, Loudonville, NY 12211-1462


Courses Taught

Advanced Lab; Astronomy; General Physics I, II, III; Electronics; Modern Physics; Thermal Physics


Research and Interests

Dr. Allan Weatherwax is a Professor of Physics and the Associate Dean of Science at Siena College, in Loudonville, New York. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Dartmouth in 1995 where he studied natural auroral radio emissions, radiowave propagation, and wave-particle interactions. Following graduate school, he joined the faculty at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Physical Science and Technology. He also served as a visiting professor of physics at Washington College. In 2002, he joined the Department of Physics at Siena College.

Professor Weatherwax’s principal research interests have included space plasmas, geophysics, and the aurora. He also studies engineering problems related to the impacts of atmospheric and space processes on both space and terrestrial technologies. The broad focus of his research is directed toward improved understanding of the mechanisms which couple solar processes into the terrestrial environment. A long-term practical goal of this research is to improve the capability to forecast and mitigate the influence of space weather events on technological systems.

Weatherwax has conducted geophysical research in the Antarctic and the Arctic since the 1990s, and he has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous NSF and NASA grants. At present, he directs optical, radio, and magnetic experiments in Antarctica, Canada, and Greenland, and also serves as the co-director of the satellite mission Firefly that will explore the mysteries of gamma rays produced by lightning discharges.

Weatherwax serves on numerous national and international committees and is currently a member of the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. He is an author of more than 75 engineering and science papers. The Weatherwax Glacier is named in his honor to recognize his research efforts in the Antarctic image

Some Synergistic Activities

  • Member, Polar Research Board, National Academy of Science
  • U.S. Delegate to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, The National Academies Polar Research Board
  • Chair, ICESTAR Scientific Group on Physical Sciences, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research


Some Recent Papers

  • Kauristie, K., A. Weatherwax, R. Stamper, and E. Donovan, Geospace research with optical measurements during the fourth International Polar Year, Atmos. Chem. Phys., in press, 2007.
  • Ebihara Y., Y.-M. Tanaka, S. Takasaki, A.T. Weatherwax, M. Taguchi, Quasi stationary auroral patches observed at the South Pole Station, J. Geophys. Res., 112, A01201, doi:10.1029/2006 JA012087, 2007.
  • Ye S., J. LaBelle, A.T. Weatherwax, Further study of flickering auroral roar emission: 1. South Pole observations, J. Geophys. Res., 111, A07301, doi:10.10292005JA011271, 2006.
  • Weatherwax A.T., P.H. Yoon, J. Hughes, J. LaBelle, L.F. Ziebell, Further study of flickering auroral roar emission: 2. Theory and numerical calculations, J. Geophys. Res., 111, A07302, doi:10.1029/2005JA011288, 2006.
  • Yoon, P.H., J. LaBelle, A.T. Weatherwax, and M. Samara, Mode conversion radiation in the terrestrial ionosphere and magnetosphere, Geospace Electromagnetic Waves and Radiation, Lect. Notes Phys. 687, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, 10.1007/b11580119, 2006.