Patricia Reiff

Patricia Reiff
Contact Information
Institution:Rice University
Organization:Rice Space Institute
Phone Number: 7133484634
Email Address:
Social Media:
facebook: (Patricia H Reiff)
facebook Discovery Dome
Facebook: Trigger.MMS
Facebook: MagMultiScale (MMS page)
twitter: DiscoveryDome
twitter: PatReiff
twitter: TriggerMMS
Skype: eplanetarium

Prof. Patricia Reiff has been involved in space plasma physics research for over 40 years, with interests in magnetospheric convection, magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, plasma particle acceleration mechanisms, and solar wind control of the magnetosphere and ionosphere of the Earth and Mercury. She received her Ph.D. analyzing Apollo plasma data, and was an NRC Fellow in 1975-76 analyzing Atmosphere Explorer data. She was a Co-I on the Dynamics Explorer, Polar and IMAGE Missions, was a Co-I for both science and public outreach for the PEACE electron spectrometer on Cluster II, is EPO lead for the MMS mission, and was on the EPO team for the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling. She provides realtime spaceweather alerts ( to about 1,000 subscribers. She has served as Director for public education and teacher enhancement projects for over 25 years. Her "Space Update" software has been used by over a million visitors at over 15 museums, and together with "Earth Update" and "Space Weather" has been distributed to over 300,000 educators and learners. These software CD's (now DVD's) received the highest rating from NASA review panels. Her project "Immersive Earth", in cooperation with the Houston Museum of Natural Science, created full-dome digital planetarium shows teaching Earth science, and has created a portable planetarium system “Discovery Dome” to teach Earth and Space Science through immersive digital theater, which is now in over 220 sites in 33 countries and 33 states ( These projects have spun off two companies, Space Update, Inc. ( and MTPE (htttp:// to distribute educational materials and portable planetariums. She has over 125 refereed publications, and has served as Editor or Associate Editor for EOS, Journal of Geophysical Research, Reviews of Geophysics and served on the editorial board of Space Weather. She has served on advisory committees for the NSF, NASA, the National Academy of Science, the AAU, Goddard Space Flight Center, UCAR, and Los Alamos, and on the NASA E/PO MOWG. She has served as Chair of the Council of Institutions of the Universities Space Research Association and serves on the SPA Public Education Committee for the AGU. She is a member of ΣΠΣ, ΠΚΠ and ΣΞ and has numerous awards, including being named as one of Houston's "Women on the Move" in 1990. She was elected to the Cosmos Club in 1992, was selected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1997, and received the AGU “Athelstan Spilhaus Award” for public education in 2009. She received the "Aerospace Educator Award" from Women in Aerospace in 1999 and the Service Award from NARS in 2004. She received NASA "Group Achievement" awards for the IMAGE, GGS and Cluster missions, and was an organizer for the World Space Congress in 2002. She has received Certificates of Appreciation for the EPO efforts from NASA and the Sloan Foundation. In 2013 she received the first-ever "Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington" (SPARC) award.  Listed in American Men and Women of Science and Who's Who, she has served as President of the Citizens' Environmental Coalition. She has led many teacher workshops and scientific tours. In addition to training twelve PhD's, she created a "Master of Science Teaching" degree, with 27 teacher alumni as of 2014.  In 2016 she will travel to Indonesia for her 15th trip to an eclipse centerline (with only two rainouts).

Dr. Patricia Reiff at Rice University
Dr. Patricia Reiff at Rice University
Professional Information
Primary Forum:Heliophysics
My SMD Projects:

Current: E/PO Lead, MMS (Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission);

Previous:  IMAGE Outreach (Space Weather); the Public Connection (Space Update), Museums Teaching Planet Earth (Earth Update, "Force 5"),  Immersive Earth (Discovery Dome, "Earth's Wild Ride", "Dinosaur Prophecy", "Impact Earth"), Future Space ("We Choose Space", "Great Planet Adventures"), Cluster outreach ("Force 5: 2010")

My Professional Societies:

AGU (Fellow), Sigma Xi, Sigma Pi Sigma, Cosmos Club, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, International Planetarium Society

My Publications (journals, blogs, products):

Selected Research Publications:

Bala, R., and P. H. Reiff, Validating the Rice Neural network and the Wing Kp realtime models, Space Weather, in press, (2014).

Bala, Ramkumar and P. H. Reiff, Improvements in Short-term Forecasting of Geomagnetic Activity, Space Weather, 10, doi:10.1029/2012SW000779, (2012). 

Bala, R.. P. H. Reiff and J. E. Landivar, “Realtime prediction of magnetospheric activity using the Boyle Index”, Space Weather, 7, S04003, doi:10.1029/2008SW000407, (2009).
Goldstein, J., R. A. Wolf, B. R. Sandel, and P. H. Reiff, Electric fields deduced from plasmapause motion in IMAGE EUV images, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, doi:10.1029/2003GL018797, (2004).
Sarantos, M., P. H. Reiff, T. W. Hill, R. M. Killen, and A. L. Urquhart, "A Bx-interconnected magnetosphere model for Mercury", Planet. Space Sci., 49, 1629-1635, (2001).
Reiff, P. H., “Magnetospheric Convection”, in “Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics”, Macmillan/Grove Press, New York, (2000).
Reiff, P. H., “Plasma Entry, Transport and Loss in the Magnetosphere and Ionosphere”, in Sun-Earth Plasma Connections, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., Vol. 109, p. 149 - 159, (1999).
Boyle, C. B., P. H. Reiff, and M. R. Hairston, "Empirical Polar Cap Potentials", J. Geophys. Res., 102, p. 111 - 125, (1997).
Reiff, P. H., "The use and misuse of statistics in space physics," J. Geomag. Geoelect., 42, (1990), pp. 1145-1174.
Reiff, P. H. and J. G. Luhmann, "Solar Wind Control of the Polar-Cap Voltage," in Solar-Wind Magnetosphere Coupling, ed. Y. Kamide and J. Slavin, Terra Publ. Co., Tokyo, (1986), pp. 453-476.
Reiff, P. H., T. W. Hill, and J. L. Burch, "Solar-Wind Plasma Injection at the Dayside Magneto-spheric Cusp," J. Geophys. Res., 82, (1977), pp. 479-491.

Selected Outreach Publications:

Zimmerman, L., S. Spillane, P. Reiff, and C. Sumners, “Comparison of Student Learning about Space in Immersive and Computer Environments”, Journal and Review of Astronomy Education and Outreach, V1, p. A5-A20, (2014).

Reiff, P. H. and C. C. Law, “Earth Update”, CD-Rom, V. 8.0, Rice Space Institute, ISBN 978-1931-523-431, (2010).
Reiff, P. H., and C. C. Law, "Space Weather", CD-Rom, Version 9.0, ISBN 978-1-931523-530, Rice Space Institute, Houston, (2009).
Sumners, C., and P.H. Reiff, "Impact Earth”, Planetarium show, Rice University, (2009).
Sumners, C., P. H. Reiff, and W. Weber, “Learning in an Immersive Digital Theater”, Advances in Space Research, ed. C. Morrow, doi:10.1016/j.asr.2008.06.018, (2008).
Reiff, P. H., C. C. Law, C. Sumners, and I. Smith, "Space Update", DVD-Rom, Version 8.0, ISBN 978-1-931523-530, Rice Space Institute, Houston, (2007).
Sumners, C., and P.H. Reiff, "Night of the Titanic”, Planetarium show, HMNS, (2007).
Sumners, C., P. H. Reiff, and W. Weber, “Learning in an Interactive Digital Theater”, Proceedings of the XVIII International Planetarium Society 2006 Conf., p. 144-146, ed. Tanya Hill, (2006).
Sumners, C., and P.H. Reiff, “Dinosaur Prophecy”, Planetarium show, Rice University, (2006).
Sumners, C. and P. H. Reiff, “Earth’s Wild Ride”, Planetarium show, Rice University, (2005).
Sumners, C and P. H. Reiff, “Force 5: Comparing the Great Storms on Earth and in Space”, in Proceedings of the 13th Symposium on Education, J1.7, American Meteorological Society,,, (2004).
Sumners, C. and P. Reiff, "Creating Full-Dome Experiences in the New Digital Planetarium", NASA Office of Space Science Education and Public Outreach Conf., Ed. Narasimian, Beck-Winchatz, Hawkins, and Runyon, ASP Conference Series, 319, p. 374-376, San Fran., (2004).
Reiff, P. and C. Sumners, "Space Update: A Fun Way to Teach Space Science", NASA Office of Space Science Education and Public Outreach Conference, Ed. Narasimian, Beck-Winchatz, Hawkins, and Runyon, ASP Conference Series, 319, p. 155-159, San Francisco, (2004).
Reiff, P.H., D. Garay, and A. Furitsch, “Using Ham Radio to Teach Space Weather”, in Proceedings of the 13th Symposium on Education, P 1.38, American Meteorological Society,, (2004).