Gerard Blanchard


Professor and Department Head

Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles

Geophysics and Space Physics



Office:  Pursley 210


Telephone:  985-549-2159


Space physics is the study of the properties and dynamics of the volume of space between the photosphere of the Sun and the atmosphere of the planets. I study the solar wind, the Earth's magnetosphere, and the Earth's ionosphere. My research involves both combining theory and observations to develop new methods of remote sensing of magnetospheric dynamics and using statistical analysis to forecast magnetospheric dynamics. I have experience in both in-situ (spacecraft) and remote sensing (radar, spectroscopic, magnetic) observational methodologies.


My recent work involves using the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network to study magnetic reconnection between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere. Magnetic reconnection is one of the major energy-exchange mechanisms between the solar wind and the magnetosphere.