Jacob Bortnik, professor of space physics in the UCLA College, has been awarded the Joanne Simpson Medal for Mid-Career Scientists from the American Geophysical Union. Given annually, the Simpson Medal honors individuals working in Earth and space sciences who have made notable scientific achievements while displaying exemplary character.

Bortnik’s research focuses on “space weather in the Earth’s near-space environment” and includes topics such as the dynamic variability and origin of the natural plasma waves in near-Earth space, applications of machine learning to space weather prediction, and the measurement and numerical modeling of the high-energy electrons.

Bortnik said he finds it especially meaningful to receive an award named after Simpson, a former UCLA faculty member (and the first woman faculty member of the atmospheric and oceanic sciences department), who was also the first woman in the United States to receive a doctorate in meteorology.