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PhD in IAGA #6

IAGA has a lot of different scientists working on various topics. In this series of blogs, we introduce some topics that were or are being worked on by PhD students. Hopefully this will give a better picture of the work being done in the field and encourage more early career researchers.

Dr. Anita Devi completed her postgrad from the Department of Geophysics, Kurukshetra University, India after which she worked for two years as a Geophysicist in TVIPL. She did her Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee in 2019. For a brief period of 3 months, she also worked as a Post-Doctoral fellow (SERB-NPDF) at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, India. During her doctoral research, she worked on various electrical and electromagnetic prospecting methods to deciphered resistivity structures. She is currently working as a Scientist at CSIR-NGRI, in magnetotelluric group. 

Her Ph.D. research was focused on 3D (3-Dimensional) individual and joint inversion of magnetotelluric (MT), Radio magnetotelluric and Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data. She presented the first 3D resistivity model for Garhwal Himalayan region around Roorkee-Gangotri and Chamoli region. She has worked on all the aspects of Magnetotelluric (acquisition, processing, 3D modelling and inversion). She is interested in delineating the 3D resistivity subsurface structures for exploration and tectonic studies. Her earlier work focuses on the geodynamic studies of Himalayan region. Currently she is working on 3D MT studies of both the Central Indian Tectonic Zone and the Himalaya region. She has published research papers in reputed national and international journals like Journal of Applied Geophysics and Near Surface Geophysics and participated in several International workshops (EMIW, IAGA-IASPEI).

Depth slices of the inverted 3D electrical model of Roorkee-Gangotri profile from Devi et al. 2019 with the letters marking the major resistivity features.

Training experiences: IAGA 2023 School

The IUGG Assembly that took place at Berlin from 11th to 20th July 2023 was preceded by the IAGA Summer School in Niemegk from 7th to 11th July. The school was organised by IAGA's ICEO - International Commission on Education and Outreach.

The participants were Early Career Researchers who got together at the magnetic observatory of Niemegk, Germany for theoretical and practical training in magnetism. There were 6 courses on various aspects of the magnetic field such as core and crustal fields, electromagnetic induction, and numerical as well as observational modelling among others. The 25 participants hailed from 15 different countries spread over the globe. Some testimonies of their experience are below-

Manu Varghese: IAGA summer school 2023 was my first in-person summer school, and the experience was really amazing! I met fellow students and researchers from different parts of the world. We discussed our research areas and I feel like such interactions open the way for future collaborative research and friendships. I also found lectures other than my focus area understandable since the professors started from first principles and their approach was well rooted in fundamental principles. Niemegk observatory, Germany is a place of long tradition in measuring the geomagnetic field and the observatory itself possesses a valuable set of archives. The visit to the observatory enlightened the path forward for my research.

Frederik Madsen: It was such a great experience, both to get a better understanding of the different aspects of the geomagnetic field, as well as being in the place where data is recorded, but also to make friends from all over the world - friends who may very well be my future colleagues. We all study different parts of the geomagnetic field, so in a sense, we’re all becoming experts in each other’s noise. It was really valuable to get such deep insight from people who are really passionate about the different features of geomagnetism. I'm very grateful for having had this experience - the 198 mosquito bites was definitely worth meeting such wonderful people!

Miroslav Hanzelka: The IAGA summer school was a great opportunity to meet with young scientists working on topics across the whole range of IAGA disciplines, something I don't usually experience during narrowly focused conference sessions. As someone who recently finished their Ph.D., hearing from the other students and post-docs about how Ph.D. research works in different countries helped me broaden my horizons. The hosts at the Niemegk observatory gave us a tour around the facilities, letting us see the history and present of geomagnetic field measurements in Germany. Many of the school organizers and lecturers were available even outside of the scheduled program, happy to discuss their work and give research tips to the students. The overall atmosphere at the IAGA school was very friendly and laid-back, thanks to both the organizers and the relaxed ambience of German villages. Would attend again :)

Nitin Kadam: My IAGA summer school experience was very transformative and enlightening. I gained valuable insights and connected with like-minded peers. The brainstorming lectures and hands-on activities (more specifically during the paleomagnetic sessions) provided a deeper understanding of the topics. The experience has undoubtedly enriched my academic journey and broadened my perspective.

Space News

The Voyager 1 and 2 satellites were launched in 1977 to study and understand the giant planets of our
Solar System. It provided the first and only measurements yet around the two ice giants - Uranus and Neptune. However, the mission didn't end after that. The two satellites are still operating far beyond the giant planets in interstellar space.

The interstellar space starts where the Sun can no longer affect the surroundings. Voyager 1 entered this region in August 2012 while Voyager 2's entry was in November 2018. Their present distances from Earth are about 23 and 19 billion kms respectively. But a few days ago, NASA lost communication with Voyager 2 due to a shift in antenna. Hopefully, they can get it back by October when the satellite next resets itself for orientation. The mission also has a twitter account to keep us updated about news beyond the Solar System.

Lastly, we leave you with an interesting image from Voyager 1 taken at a distance of about 6 billion kms (from the Sun) called 'The Pale Blue Dot'. Try to find the Earth here. Hint: Look at the bright scattered light near the right of the image. It shows just how unimportant we are in the vast expanse of the universe. A reminder to not take ourselves and others too seriously! 

Images Credit: NASA