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Lan Jian

Associate Research Scientist

University of Maryland College Park
Education Ph.D. in Geophysics and Space Physics, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2008.
  M.Sc. in Geophysics and Space Physics, UCLA, 2006.
  B.Sc. in Geophysics, University of Science and Technology of China, 2003.

Lan Jian works in the Heliospheric Physics Laboratory (Code 672) at NASA/GSFC through the GPHI program. Her Ph.D. work titled “radial evolution of large-scale solar wind structures” earned AGU Scarf Award in 2009. Before joining GPHI, she worked more than three years as Assistant Geophysicist at UCLA. She has more than 10 years of experience analyzing the spacecraft observations of solar wind structures, from macroscale to microscale, and studying the space plasma physics. She has also done extensive validation of coronal and heliospheric models, which is crucial for improving the space weather forecasting. She won COSPAR Zeldovich Medal in 2016 for excellence and achievements as a young scientist.

Research Interests
  1. Macroscale structures in the solar wind, including interplanetary coronal mass ejections, stream interactions between fast and slow solar wind, shocks, solar energetic particles, heliospheric current sheets and plasma sheets, etc. and their evolution and solar cycle variations
  2. Microscale structures in the solar wind, including ion cyclotron waves, magnetosonic waves, whistler waves, mirror mode waves, etc., and the interactions between these waves and solar wind particles (electrons, ions)
  3. Space weather forecasting using coronal and heliospheric models
    Relationships between solar activities and the magnetospheric and/or ionospheric activities of planets
  4. Outer heliosphere and interstellar medium
  5. Magnetometry used on space missions
Teaching Interests

Guided UCLA undergraduate and graduate students to perform solar wind research, and collaborated with a Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellow on using the audification method for space research
Interested in teaching Physics and Space Physics courses

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants, and Sponsored Research

Past: 4/1/2011 – 9/30/2015, Principal Investigator (PI), National Science Foundation (NSF) AGS 1242798, Systematic Evaluation of the Coronal and Heliospheric Models Installed at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC), subject to the NSF provisions of 04-585, "Solar, Heliospheric, and Interplanetary Environment (SHINE).”

Current: 4/1/2013 – 3/31/2017, PI, Grant NNX13AI65G, Long-Period Investigation of Ion Cyclotron Waves in the Solar Wind in the Inner Heliosphere, subject to the provisions of NASA NRA: NNH12ZDA001N-SHP, “Solar and Heliospheric Supporting Research and Technology.”

Current: 4/15/2013 – 3/31/2018, PI, NSF AGS 1321493, Integrated Real-Time Modeling System for Heliospheric Space Weather Forecasting, subject to the provisions of NASA NNH11ZDA001N-LWSCSW, “Living with a Star Targeted Research and Technology NASA/NSF Partnership for Collaborative Space Weather Modeling.” Dusan Odstrcil from George Mason University is the PI of the whole collaborative project. 

Current: 8/15/2013 – 7/31/2017, Co-PI (PI: Nariaki Nitta from Lockheed Martin), NSF AGS 1259549, Understanding Multi-Spacecraft Observations of Solar Energetic Particle Events in Terms of Global Disturbances in the Solar Corona and Heliospheric Magnetic Field Connection, subject to the provisions of NSF 04-585, SHINE.

Current: 1/1/2015 – 12/31/2017, Co-PI (PI: Thomas Broiles from Southwest Research Institute), Grant NNX15AB75G, Understanding Wave-Particle Interactions between Solar Wind Plasma Waves and Heavy Ions, subject to the provision of NASA NRA: NNH14ZDA001N-LWS, “Heliophysics Living With a Star Science.”

GPHI Task 1: Data processing and analysis for the Solar TErrestrial RElation Observatory (STEREO) mission.

GPHI Task 2: Processing of the magnetic field data for the Voyager mission, determining the magnetometer zero offsets for the external magnetic field.

Intellectual Contributions

Lan Jian has published 83 papers (most listed at and, 18 as the first author, 14 as the second author. Her h-index is 15 according to Thomson Reuters, and 19 according to Google Scholar.

  • She has processed Voyager 2 magnetometer data, which are served by NASA’s Space Physics Data Facility to public.
  • She has been providing the Level 3 event lists of STEREO mission and solar wind event lists of Wind/ACE mission to public.
  • She has built comprehensive validation metrics for solar wind prediction and participated in the model validation for coronal mass ejections and solar energetic particle events.

Lan Jian has given 122 first-authored presentations in meetings, including 21 invited talks. She has numerous coauthored conference presentations. She has given 24 seminars at multiple universities and institutes.