For his distinguished contributions to understanding the upper atmosphere, Dr. Michael P. Hickey, university dean of research and graduate studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – currently a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society – has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Election as a Fellow of the AAAS is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Dr. Hickey has been a member of the organization, affiliated with the AAAS Physics Section, since the year 2000.
“In addition to being a world leader in aviation and aerospace education, Embry-Riddle is increasingly a premier science and engineering institution, too,” said Dr. Maj Mirmirani, interim senior vice president for academic affairs and research and dean of the university’s Florida-based College of Engineering. “Dr. Hickey’s status as a Fellow of the world’s largest general scientific society – publisher of the Science family of journals – is consistent with the university’s broader transformation.”
Dr. Mirmirani noted that other Embry-Riddle faculty members, working across the university’s Daytona Beach as well as the Prescott, Ariz., and Worldwide campuses, have previously been named Fellows or Senior Members of a growing array of leading science and engineering organizations, including but not limited to the following:
This year, 396 AAAS members have been named Fellows of the AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Central Time at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Tex.
This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 24, 2017.
In recommending Dr. Hickey to be named a Fellow of AAAS, Dr. Timothy L. Killeen, president of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, wrote: “He has all the attributes of scientific leadership – effective communications skills, and a sincere commitment to the development of human capital and the advancement of discovery.”
Dr. Killeen further commented on the importance of Dr. Hickey’s research contributions over the years: “Of particular value to upper atmosphere science has been his extended study of the experimental characteristics of atmospheric gravity waves in the middle and upper atmosphere. Through multiple techniques, he has developed approaches that work not just on Earth but in other planetary environments, as well.”
Dr. Hickey’s studies of atmospheric responses to major earthquakes and weather systems “has deepened the knowledge that we have gained of the way in which the global atmosphere responds to multi-variant forcing functions,” Dr. Killeen added. A recent example of such work, published in Geophysical Research Letters, investigated the impacts of powerful oceanic gravity waves that rocketed into the atmosphere following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake off Japan’s eastern coastline.
In addition to his primary role at Embry-Riddle, Dr. Hickey, who earned his Ph.D. degree in Physics from La Trobe University, serves as director of the Center for Space and Atmospheric Research and as director of the university’s Institutional Research Board.
The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected.
Each steering group reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.
The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.
To date, in addition to Dr. Hickey, Embry-Riddle has one other AAAS Fellow – Ginger Pinholster, Assistant Vice President, News & Research Communications.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.