The Baron Marcel Nicolet Medal 2020

Doctor Madhulika Guhathakurta

Dr. Madhulika Guhathakurta (Lika) has contributed significantly to all the three criteria for the Baron Marcel Nicolet Medal. Lika was one of the founders of the International Living With a Star Program (ILWS), which is the foremost program to unite the space weather communities across the world. The LWS program remains the cornerstone of NASA’s space-weather science efforts. Furthermore, she was the US Space Weather Point-Of-Contact for the United Nation’s Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS) program, and was instrumental in getting space weather included as a permanent COPUOS agenda item.

Lika was a prime mover in getting COSPAR/ILWS to develop a space weather Roadmap. Echoes of it can easily be found in space-weather legislation currently making the rounds in the United States. Lika has made pioneering contributions to space-weather education. She is the driving force behind the Heliophysics Summer School, which focuses on the physics of space weather events from the Sun to the Earth. The school has educated hundreds of students and science teachers over the past 16 years, and has developed a much-needed curriculum in space-weather science in the form of a series of Heliophysics textbooks. Lika has also supported early-career space-weather scientists through the Jack Eddy postdoctoral program that matches fellows with experienced scientist mentors, with the goal of training the next generation of space-weather scientists.