Rick Wilder

Research Scientist - Space Plasma


  • 303-735-7192
  • Office: SPSC-N279


Rick Wilder is a Research Scientist at LASP. His main research interests include magnetic reconnection, wave-particle interactions, and large scale electric currents in the magnetosphere. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 from Virginia Tech, where he worked on SuperDARN radar and ground magnetometer data under the supervision of Dr. Robert Clauer. He also helped build and deploy ground instruments in both Virginia and Antarctica.

He is currently working on the Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) mission's Burst Data and Scientist In The Loop program. He also works on observations of waves and parallel electric fields in association with magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause, as well as magnetic reconnection in the magnetosheath. He is also working with MHD simulations to understand the coupling between the magnetosheath-magnetopause interaction and the associated ionospheric current system.


Virginia Tech — Blacksburg, VA
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering and Space Science, 2011

Virginia Tech — Blacksburg, VA
B.S. Electrical Engineering, 2005


Research Interests and Skills Include: Magnetospheric Physics, Magnetic Field Topology, Magnetic Reconnection, Polar Cap Phenomena, Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling, Space-based Electric Field Measurements, Radar Observations (Coherent and Incoherent Scatter).


MMS Scientist in the Loop and Burst Management

Observations of Magnetic Reconnection at the Earth's Magnetopause

Large-scale current systems on open field lines.



Gingell, I., Schwartz, S. J., Eastwood, J. P., Burch, J. L., Ergun, R. E., Fuselier, S., et al. ( 2019). Observations of magnetic reconnection in the transition region of quasi‐parallel shocks. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 1177– 1184. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL081804

Wilder, F. D., Lopez, R. E., Eriksson, S., Pham, K., & Lin, D. ( 2019). The relative importance of geoeffective length versus Alfvén wing formation in the saturation of the ionospheric reverse convection potential. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 1126– 1131. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL080639

V. Angelopoulos et al. (2019), The Space Physics Environment Data Analysis System, Space Science Reviews, 215, 9, doi: 10.1007/s11214-018-0576-4


Trattner, K. J., Burch, J. L., Cassak, P. A., Ergun, R., Eriksson, S., Fuselier, S. A., et al ( 2018). The transition between antiparallel and component magnetic reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause. Journal of Geophysical Research: [...]

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American Geophysical Union, Sigma Xi Research Society, Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society

Honors and awards

National Science Foundation Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (AGS-PRF), 2012-2014
Honorable Mention, Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011
Inducted into the Sigma Xi Research Society, 2011
Best Student Tutorial Award, GEM Summer Workshop, 2009
Inducted into the Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society, 2004