Welcome to Professor Jeffrey Thayer's research site at the University of Colorado at Boulder - link to faculty page and CV. Prof. Thayer's research program is rooted in studying the aerospace environment of our Earth’s atmosphere and geospace – that region of space strongly influenced by earth’s gravitational field, magnetic field, and plasma - neutral interactions. Prof. Thayer specializes in geophysical fluid dynamics, gas and plasma interactions, thermodynamics, and electrodynamics applied to the upper atmosphere (above 10 km altitude) and geospace. This field of research has increased over the years as our society rapidly becomes more dependent economically and socially on access to space and space assets. Understanding the upper atmosphere and geospace environment is critical for our “space” society and indications are that this field of study will continue to grow.
Prof. Thayer also specializes in active remote sensing techniques employing engineering concepts to design, develop, deploy and apply laser radars (lidars) to atmosphere studies and apply radar techniques to geospace studies. Remote sensing is a rapidly developing field with broad applications. Prof. Thayer's expertise is in active remote sensing and co-directs CU's Active Remote Sensing Lab (ARSENL). The active remote sensing techniques engage engineering concepts and solutions with an acute understanding of the scientific purpose. This effectively bridges and balances engineering concerns with scientific expectations. Instrument development, theory, and data analysis are essential aspects to the research. Prof. Thayer's research is hosted within the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR) and the discipline is part of the Aerospace Department's graduate focus area in Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science. See the AES RSESS flyer for more information on the program and the diverse research projects being conducted in the CU RSESS focus area.
Students in Prof. Thayer's group have the opportunitiy to travel around the world. See below for the past and current places students have gone to perform research in the RSES focus area.