Hyunju Kim Connor
                Assistant Professor
                Geophysical Institute & Physics Department
                University of Alaska Fairbanks
                2156 Koyukuk Drive, PO Box 757320
                Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7320, USA
                Tel: +1-907-474-5421
                Email: hkconnor@alaska.edu

  • Ph.D. in Physics, 2012, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA.
  • M.S. in Astronomy and Atmospheric Sciences, 2004, Kyungpook National University, South Korea.
  • B.S. in Physics, 2002, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, South Korea.
  • B.S. in Astronomy and Atmospheric Sciences, 2002, Kyungpook National University, South Korea.

Research Experience

For her PhD thesis, Dr. Connor investigated magnetopause dynamics that lead to reconnection, flux transfer events, and dispersed cusp ion structures, using a full particle tracing code and a global magnetosphere MHD model. During her postdoctoral time, she studied magnetosphere – ionosphere – thermosphere (MIT) coupling dynamics during various solar wind disturbances such as coronal mass ejections, co-rotating interaction regions, and solar wind dynamic pressure fronts by using a coupled MIT model. To validate her modeling results, she has analyzed spacecraft data from CHAMP, GRACE, DMSP, Polar, and Cluster. Additionally, she actively involves in mission planning of the upcoming soft X-ray spacecraft, CuPID, LEXI, and SMILE that are scheduled to launch in 2020, 2021, and 2023, respectively. She devotes herself to the space science community by serving as a chair of SMILE modeling working group, a member of the GEM workshop steering committee, a member of the NASA Geospace Dynamics Constellation (GDC) Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT), a reviewer of GRL and JGR papers, a review panel member of NASA grant programs, and a session convener of AGU, GEM, and CEDAR meetings.

Previous Positions 

  • Assistant Professor, 2017 – present, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, 2014 – 2017, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, 2012 – 2014, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.

Selected Honors

  • T. K. Moore Award for excellence in research and collaboration, 2020, UAF Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, AK, USA
  • NASA Heliophysics Peer Award, 2016, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • NSF AGS Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2015, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship, 2014, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.
  • Outstanding Student Paper Award, 2011, American Geophysical Union Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
  • Best Poster Award, 2009, International School for Space Simulation 9, France.
  • National Ph.D. Fellowship, 2005, Korean Science and Engineering Foundation, South Korea.
  • KNU President Award (Summa cum laude), 2002, Kyungpook National University, South Korea.


  • Connor, H. K. and J. A. Carter (2019), Exospheric Neutral Hydrogen Density at the Nominal 10RE subsolar point deduced from XMM-Newton X-ray observations, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, doi:10.1029/2018JA026187.
  • Collier, M. R. and H. K. Connor (2018), Magnetopause Surface Reconstruction from Tangent Vector Observations, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, doi:10.1029/22018JA025763.
  • Sibeck, D.G., R. Allen, H. Aryan, D. Bodewits, P. Brandt, G. Branduardi-Raymont, G. Brown, J. A. Carter, Y. M. Collado-Vega, M. R. Collier, H. K. Connor, T. E. Cravens, Y. Ezoe, M.-C. Fok et al. (2018), Imaging Plasma Density Structures in the Soft X-Rays Generated by Solar Wind Charge Exchange with Neutrals, Space Sci Rev (2018) 214: 79, doi:10.1007/s11214-018-0504-7
  • Kavosi, S., H. E. Spence, J. F. Fennell, D. L. Turner, H. K. Connor, and J. Raeder (2018), MMS/FEEPS observations of electron microinjections due to Kelvin-Helmholtz waves and flux transfer events: A case study. J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 123, doi: 10.1029/2018JA025244.
  • Shi, Y., E. Zesta, H. K. Connor, Y.-J. Su, E. K. Sutton, C. Y. Huang, et al. (2017). High-latitude thermosphere neutral density response to solar wind dynamic pressure enhancement, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 122. DOI:10.1002/ 2017JA023889
  • Connor, H. K., E. Zesta, M. Fedrizzi, Y. Shi, J. Raeder, M. V. Codrescu, and T. J. Fuller-Rowell (2016), Modeling the ionosphere – thermosphere response to a geomagnetic storm using physics-based magnetospheric energy input: OpenGGCM-CTIM results, J. Space Weather Space Clim., 6, A25, 2016, DOI: 10.1051/swsc/2016019.
  • Walsh, B. M, M. R. Collier, K. D. Kuntz, F. S. Porter, D. G. Sibeck, S. L. Snowden, J. A. Carter, Y. Collado-Vega, H. K. Connor, T. E. Craven, A. M. Read, S. Sembay, N. E. Thomas (2016), Wide field-of-view soft X-ray imaging for solar wind-magnetosphere interactions, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JA022348.
  • Connor, H. K., J. Raeder, and D. G. Sibeck (2015), Relation between cusp ion structures and dayside reconnection: OpenGGCM-LTPT results, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1002/2015JA021156.
  • Kuntz, K. D., Y. M. Collado-Vega, M. R. Collier, H. K. Connor, T. E. Cravens, D. Koutroumpa, F. S. Porter, I. P. Robertson, D. G. Sibeck, S. L. Snowden, N. E. Thomas, B. M. Wash (2015), The Solar Wind Charge-Exchange Production Factor for Hydrogen, Astrophys. J., 808, 143, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/808/2/143.
  • Connor, H. K., E. Zesta, D. M. Ober, and J. Raeder (2014), The relation between transpolar potential and reconnection rates during sudden enhancement of solar wind dynamic pressure: OpenGGCM-CTIM results, J. Geophys. Res, 119, doi:10.1002/2013JA019728.
  • Connor, H. J., J. Raeder, and K. J. Trattner (2012), Dynamic modeling of cusp ion structures, J. Geophys. Res., 117, A04203, doi:10.1029/2011JA017203.