About the CSP

The Boston University Center for Space Physics was formed during the 1987/88 academic year as a collaborative research unit between the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences. Since its inception, the Center has become a world-renowned cornerstone for expertise in heliophysics, Earth’s environment, inner and outer planetary science, and beyond.

CSP pursues a broad range of research in space physics, including: space plasma physics, magnetospheric physics, ionospheric physics, atmospheric physics, exoplanet studies, and planetary and cometary atmospheric studies. Students in astronomy, applied physics, and engineering conduct research through the Center. It also serves as the coordinating mechanism for grant management and proposal development through NASA, NSF, and the Department of Defense.


The mission of the Center for Space Physics is to promote and foster space physics research at Boston University, and to provide a central base for that research, including the teaching of space physics.


  • Create an intellectual atmosphere conducive to the exploration and exchange of new ideas
  • Provide a formal link between research groups in the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Promote open collaboration among students, post-docs, and faculty from the various departments pursuing space science research at Boston University.
  • Increase external sponsorship for space physics research.
  • Provide faculty members and staff the opportunity to pool resources in large, collaborative projects that can further support space physics research


The Center is administered by a Director Professor Joshua Semeter, and an Associate Director, Associate Professor Paul Withers. They are assisted by Assistant Director Erin Reynolds, Fiscal Coordinator Andrew Engel, and Grants Coordinator Thomas O’Connor. The Center’s Faculty are drawn from departments in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering who provide the research leadership. As principal investigators they write research proposals, manage research projects, and supervise graduate students and research staff. The research staff consists of research associates, usually fairly recent PhD’s beginning their professional careers, and technical support staff such as programmers and data analysts.

Center Statements

Center Statement on Racism

Respectful Workplace Statement