About the Joint Space Weather Summer Camp
The Joint Space Weather Summer Camp (JSWSC) is an opportunity to learn about space physics in the context of meeting a very practical need -- to understand the influence of the Sun on the space and upper atmosphere of the Earth and its related impact on the technological systems and needs of modern society. This is a new, exciting, and emerging discipline called Space Weather, that has attracted the attention of the White House and senior leaders in government because of the importance of ensuring that our technological investments are properly protected against severe Space Weather.
About twenty students from UAH and from a variety of universities and research centers across Germany participate in a multiple week series of lectures, hands-on projects and experiments and excursions as they learn both the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of Space Weather and solar and space physics.
The JSWSC consists of two consecutive sessions. Students spend one session in Huntsville, where they learn about fundamental processes in plasma physics, our Sun, the solar wind and the interaction processes between solar wind and Earth’s upper atmosphere. Because of the close connections to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, students can also gain first-hand insight into Space Instrumentation.
During the second session the students visit various locations in northern Germany, e.g. the DLR site in Neustrelitz, the University of Rostock and the Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics e.V in Kühlungsborn, which is one of the German main centers for ‘middle atmosphere research’ and operates active cooperations with several international research organizations.
Photo: Copyright by ESA - P. Carril
Beyond the JSWSC
The Joint Space Weather Summer Camp is much more than just lectures, projects and experiments. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for cultural exchanges between the US and Germany in an academic setting. Therefore, a one week German course precedes the Summer Camp, where the students learn about German language and culture. The visit of the ‘Historical Technical Museum in Peenemünde’ in the Northeast of Germany or the visit of the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, US, are just two further examples of a program that goes beyond.
History of the Joint Space Weather Summer Camp
The Joint Space Weather Summer Camp is a partnership between UAHuntsville and the DLR and the University of Rostock. Because of the considerable historical ties between Huntsville and the state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern (Germany) in the development of rockets, missiles, and eventually manned space flight, the Joint Space Weather Camp was created to forge ties and develop communication between these two regions that have had such an impact on the 20th century.
In part, this motivation led to the original creation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Rostock, the DLR, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2010/2011.
The two primary initiators of the Joint Space Weather Sumer Camp were the Director of CSPAR, Gary Zank, and the former Vice President of Research, John Horack, together with their colleagues at the DLR in Neustrelitz, Wolfgang Mett, Holger Wandsleb, and Wolfgang Schareck (Rektor of the University of Rostock).
Since its launch in 2011 the JSWSC reoccurs annually.
If you are interested in the program of the Joint Space Weather Summer Camp 2013, you can download the 2013 Program here.