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Academy honors retired researcher Neugebauer
Academy honors retired researcher Neugebauer

Retired JPL researcher Marcia Neugebauer has been named a recipient of the National Academy of Sciences’ Arctowski Medal for her work that definitively established the existence of the solar wind.


Marcia Neugebauer is one of 17 scientists honored this year by the Academy of Sciences in recognition of extraordinary scientific achievements. The Arctowski Medal award—consisting of a medal, a $20,000 prize and a gift of $60,000 to an institution of the recipient’s choosing—recognizes outstanding contributions to the study of solar physics and solar-terrestrial relationships. Honors are scheduled to be bestowed in April at the academy’s annual meeting.

Neugebauer said she would donate the latter part of the prize to the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, where she currently works as an adjunct research scientist.

The award is Neugebauer’s second honor this year for her work in solar and interplanetary physics. She was also chosen in January as the recipient of the 2010 George Ellery Hale Prize by the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society. The society’s highest recognition for research in solar physics, the Hale Prize is awarded once a year for outstanding contributions over an extended period of time to the field of solar astronomy.

After a 45-year career at the Laboratory, Neugebauer in 2002 moved to Arizona to continue her research. Toward the end of her JPL career, she was a co-investigator on the Genesis mission to collect samples of the solar wind.

Among her other career honors are NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal and Distinguished Service Medal. She has also served as president of the American Geophysical Union.

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