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Grand Seminar to focus on space research including the sun and our solar system

Nicola Fox, Ph.D., heliophysics division director for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Loyola University Maryland’s academic division of natural and applied sciences will present the 2022 Grand Seminar on Tuesday, April 5, at 6 p.m. This year’s Grand Seminar, which will be held in McGuire Hall, will feature keynote speaker Nicola Fox, Ph.D., heliophysics division director for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington, D.C.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Fox as our 2022 Grand Seminar keynote speaker,” said Bahram Roughani, Ph.D., associate dean for the natural and applied sciences. “Having a highly accomplished women scientist and a NASA division director addressing the Loyola community is very fitting as we celebrate 50 years of women at Loyola. Dr. Fox also uses her vast scientific knowledge to communicate how science impacts the society through her outreach efforts. I look forward to her talk, which will shed light on the scientific knowledge about the hottest star in our neighborhood and how such scientific knowledge can even impact our daily life.”

This year’s keynote is titled, “What’s New and Good Under the Sun.” Fox will discuss space research including the sun. The sun’s constant outpouring of solar wind not only helps us understand fundamental information about how the universe works, but also helps protect our technology and astronauts in space. NASA seeks knowledge of near-Earth space because, when extreme, space weather can interfere with our communications, satellites, and power grids. The study of the sun and space can also teach us more about how stars contribute to the habitability of planets throughout the universe.

Fox earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and doctoral degree in Space and Atmospheric Physics from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Telematics and Satellite Communications from the University of Surrey. In the past, Fox has served as the deputy project scientist for the Van Allen Probes, and the operations scientist for the International Solar Terrestrial Physics program. Prior to her role at NASA, Fox worked at the Applied Physics Lab at the Johns Hopkins University where she was the chief scientist for heliophysics and the project scientist for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe.

Fox, who is originally from England, previously worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., where she received a number of agency awards for her outstanding performance. Fox has also authored numerous scientific articles and papers in addition to delivering science presentations worldwide. In addition to her research, she is also involved with science education and outreach activities.

For more information about the event and to register, go to