Dr. James H. Adams, Jr.



Dr. Adams did his Ph.D. research at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1972, he worked at the Naval Research Laboratory rising to become the leader of the cosmic ray group there. In 1999 he moved to NASA Marshall Space Flight Center where he lead the cosmic ray group the material sciences group and NASA’s Space Radiation Shielding Project. In 2012 he joined CSPAR as a Senior Research Scientist which is his current position.

His career has been split between basic and applied research on the space radiation environment. He has flown six space missions and numerous stratospheric balloon flights. He was the first to measure the ionic charge state of solar energetic iron ions, demonstrating that these particles we accelerated in the chromosphere by coronal mass ejections. He also measured the ionic charge state of anomalous cosmic rays, showing that they were mostly singly ionized which confirmed a theoretical prediction. He developed the Cosmic Ray Effects on Micro-Electronics (CRÈME) model that has been used for decades to design of spacecraft electronics. He has also assisted NASA with radiation protection of space crews since the beginning of the Space Shuttle Program and continues in that role today.


  • Ph.D., N.C. State University, 1972
  • M.S., N.C. State University, 1968
  • B.S., N.C. State University, 1966
  • A.A., Lee McRae College, 1963

Classes Taught

A Special Topics Course on Applied Nuclear Physics

Recent Grants & Contracts

  • NASA Grant to investigate extreme energy cosmic rays and neutrinos
  • NASA Contract to develop a design reference environment for the design for the lunar lander for NASA’s Artemis Mission to the moon.

Selected Publications

  • Mission Specific Solar Radiation Environment Model (MSSREM): Peak Flux Model, Zachary D. Robinson, James H. Adams, Jr., Jonathan H. Fisher, Joseph H. Nonnast, David Terri. Accepted to Space Weather (2020).
  • The SIRE2 Toolkit, James H. Adams, Zachary D. Robinson, Joseph H. Nonnast, Jonathan H. Fisher, David Hope, Zachary B. Lane, Robert Reed, Jonathan Z. Fisher, Kevin Warren and Brian Sierawski, Space Weather, 18, no. 7 (2020).
  • The JEM-EUSO mission: An introduction, J.H. Adams Jr. et al (JEM-EUSO Collaboration). Exp. Astron. (2015) 40:3–17
  • CRÈME: The 2011 Revision of the Cosmic Ray Effects on Micro-Electronics Code, J. H. Adams, Jr., A. F. Barghouty, M. H. Mendenhall, R. A. Reed, B. D. Sierawski, K. M. Warren, J. W. Watts, and R. A. Weller, IEEE Trans. on Nucl. Sci., 59, 3141-3147 (2012).
  • The Mean Ionic Charge State of Solar Energetic Fe Ions Above 200 MeV per Nucleon, A.J. Tylka, P.R. Boberg, J.H. Adams, Jr., L.P. Beahm, W.F. Dietrich and T. Kleis), Astrophysical Journal, v. 444, L109-113 (1995).
  • The Charge State of the Anomalous Component, J.H. Adams, M. Garcia-Munoz, N. L. Grigorov, M B. Klecker, A. Kondratyeva, G. M. Mason, R. E. McGuire, R. A. Mewaldt M. I. Panasyuk, Ch. A. Tretyakova, A. J. Tylka, and D. A. Zhuravlev, Ap. J. Letters, vol. 375 L45-L48 (1991)
  • The Variability of Single Event Upset Rates in the Natural Environment, James H. Adams, Jr., IEEE Transactions in Nuclear Science, Vol. NS-30, No. 6, p. 4475-80 (1983).