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Christina Lee

Assistant Research PhysicistUniversity of California, BerkeleySpace Sciences Laboratory
Photo of Christina Lee


Dr. Lee is currently an Assistant Research Scientist at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Christina works in the Space Physics Research Group (SPRG) on a variety of space-related research projects. As a science team member on the NASA Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission and the MAVEN Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) instrument team, a major focus of her current work is the use of spacecraft observations and numerical simulations to investigate the impacts of the solar wind, interplanetary coronal mass ejections (CMEs), SEPs, and galactic cosmic rays on the atmosphere and surface of Mars. This includes analyzing in situ measurements of solar energetic particles and upstream solar wind plasma and magnetic field conditions, characterizing the space weather event periods using solar imagery and in-situ solar wind observations from near-Earth assets as well as global heliospheric solar wind and CME simulations from Wang-Sheeley-Arge(WSA)-Enlil coupled solar corona-solar wind model. Previously, Christina was an National Research Council postdoctoral scholar and research scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, where she conducted research in the ensemble modeling of Earth-directed ‘halo’ CMEs using the WSA-Enlil-cone modeling system. This included characterizing the sensitivity of the modeled CME shock arrival times to the parameterization of the CMEs as well as the modeled background solar wind conditions. As a natural follow-on to this research, Christina also works on modeling SEP transport in the inner heliosphere using the SEPMOD code together with WSA-Enlil-cone.

Christina received her Ph.D from the UC Berkeley Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) and conducted her dissertation research at SSL. Under the directions of Drs. Janet Luhmann and Imke de Pater, she studied the large-scale solar wind structure during quiet solar conditions of Cycles 22 and 23 using in situ spacecraft measurements together the WSA-Enlil numerical model. She also investigated the effects of the weak solar polar magnetic fields during the minimum phase of Solar Cycle 23 on the properties of the near-ecliptic solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field measured at around 1 AU (distance from the Sun to Earth). In the context of the ambient solar wind structure at 1 AU, Christina also examined the large-scale organization of energetic particles by corotating solar wind streams.