Prof. Amy Keesee

Amy Keesee

Office: Space Science Center, Morse Hall RM 415, Durham, NH 03824

Our technology-driven society is dependent upon satellite technology for communication, navigation, and national security, as well as upon a reliable power grid for everyday needs such as money transactions, job functions, and food storage. These infrastructure systems are vulnerable to geomagnetic activity, when charged particles in the space surrounding Earth are energized and transported due to energy input from the Sun. My research centers on studying these charged particles during enhanced geomagnetically active events to improve our understanding of and eventually be able to forecast the characteristics of space during them. Such improved space weather forecasts would provide a reliable warning system to protect satellite and power grid infrastructure.

My research includes three areas: magnetospheric physics, instrument development, and laboratory plasma physics. In magnetospheric physics, I analyze satellite-based data to understand the dynamics of the magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms. These data are often incorporated with computer models to improve understanding of the underlying physics. I am working to develop the next generation of plasma spectrometers to measure charged particles in space, particularly on small platforms such as CubeSats. The spectrometer is also being developed as a diagnostic for fusion energy producing plasma research. I am also involved in laboratory based plasma physics research, particularly with laser-based diagnostics. These studies help us to understand space-relevant phenomena.

Courses Taught

  • PHYS 408: General Physics II Recitation
  • PHYS 408H: Honors/General Physics II
  • PHYS 708: Optics
  • PHYS 797: Senior Design Project
  • PHYS 806: Intro to Physics Rsch&Teaching
  • PHYS 951: Plasma Physics
  • PHYS 999: Doctoral Research


  • Ph.D., Plasma Physics, West Virginia University
  • M.S., Physics, West Virginia University
  • B.S., Mathematics, Davidson College

Research Interests

  • Flight Instruments
  • Instrumentation, Techniques (Physical Sciences)
  • Magnetospheric Phenomena
  • Nuclear Fusion, Plasma Research
  • Plasma Physics
  • Space Sciences
  • Space Weather
  • Spectroscopy

Selected Publications

  • Scime, E. E., Dugas, M., Gilbert, T. J., John, R., Keesee, A. M., & Wagner, G. (2024). Demonstration of a Multi‐Layer, Lithographically Manufactured Plasma Spectrometer. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 129(1). doi:10.1029/2023ja032194

  • Sorathia, K. A., Michael, A., Merkin, V. G., Ohtani, S., Keesee, A. M., Sciola, A., . . . Pulkkinen, A. (2023). Multiscale Magnetosphere‐Ionosphere Coupling During Stormtime: A Case Study of the Dawnside Current Wedge. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 128(11). doi:10.1029/2023ja031594

  • Bashir, M. F., Keesee, A. M., Claudepierre, S. G., Hartinger, M. D., MacDonald, E. A., Jaynes, A., . . . Shprits, Y. (n.d.). Recognition for All: A Way Forward to Enhance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Space Physics. Vol. 55, Issue 3 (Heliophysics 2024 Decadal Whitepapers), 55(3). doi:10.3847/25c2cfeb.bff53876

  • Argall, M., McGranaghan, R., Smith, A., Klein, K., Bortnik, J., Chen, T. Y., . . . Shuster, J. (n.d.). Intelligent Missions in the Living Heliospheric System Observatory. Vol. 55, Issue 3 (Heliophysics 2024 Decadal Whitepapers). doi:10.3847/25c2cfeb.abb7e520

  • Gabrielse, C., Gkioulidou, M., Chen, M., Ohtani, S., Nishimura, Y., Liu, J., . . . Chen, T. Y. (n.d.). Mesoscale Phenomena & their Contribution to the Global Response: A Focus on the Magnetotail Transition Region & Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling. Vol. 55, Issue 3 (Heliophysics 2024 Decadal Whitepapers). doi:10.3847/25c2cfeb.c1c8b81d

  • Walsh, A. P., Haaland, S., Forsyth, C., Keesee, A. M., Kissinger, J., Li, K., . . . Taylor, M. G. G. T. (2014). Dawn-dusk asymmetries in the coupled solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere system: a review. ANNALES GEOPHYSICAE, 32(7), 705-737. doi:10.5194/angeo-32-705-2014

  • Sun, X., Keesee, A. M., Biloiu, C., Scime, E. E., Meige, A., Charles, C., & Boswell, R. W. (2005). Observations of ion-beam formation in a current-free double layer. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 95(2). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.025004

  • Keesee, A. M., Scime, E. E., & Boivin, R. F. (2004). Laser-induced fluorescence measurements of three plasma species with a tunable diode laser. In REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS Vol. 75 (pp. 4091-4093). doi:10.1063/1.1787166

  • Zweben, S. J., Maqueda, R. J., Stotler, D. P., Keesee, A., Boedo, J., Bush, C. E., . . . Team, N. S. T. X. (2004). High-speed imaging of edge turbulence in NSTX. NUCLEAR FUSION, 44(1), 134-153. doi:10.1088/0029-5515/44/1/016

  • Kline, J. L., Scime, E. E., Boivin, R. F., Keesee, A. M., Sun, X., & Mikhailenko, V. S. (2002). rf absorption and ion heating in helicon sources. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 88(19). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.88.195002

  • Most Cited Publications