Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Ramon Lopez
University of Texas at El Paso


"For accomplishments in improving the quality of science education for all Americans. For contributions as founder of the Teacher Scientist Alliance Institutes which introduced K-12 students to the excitement of scientific discovery. For increasing participation of underrepresented minorities in physics."


Ramon E. Lopez is currently the C. Sharp Cook Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Texas at El Paso. He received his Batchelor's degree in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1980, and his Doctorate in Space Physics from Rice University in 1986. His research area is space plasmas, and his current interests center on space weather and global magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the magnetosphere. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and he has served on a variety of education and outreach committees and in elected positions in the APS, AGU, and SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans). Dr. Lopez has been involved in science education since he was a graduate student. His grass-roots work - visiting schools, mentoring students, and working with teachers - led to collaboration with national organizations that promote exemplary science education. He worked closely with Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland for a decade to help revise their elementary and middle school science programs. From 1994 - 1999 he was the Director of Education for the American Physical Society, where he established the Teacher-Scientist Alliance Institutes. This effort led to creation of hands-on science programs in school systems around the country. Dr. Lopez continues to work for high quality science programs at all levels, serving on groups like the National Research Council's Committee on Undergraduate Science Education. Dr. Lopez has also worked to increase opportunities in science for underrepresented minorities in a variety of capacities. He has collaborated with SACNAS to expand their programs for teachers serving minority students, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors. He has also worked with NASA and NSF as those agencies established programs to promote increased diversity in Earth and Space sciences. Finally, Dr. Lopez has been active in bringing space science to the public. He was the co-Producer of Electric Space, a 4000 square-foot traveling museum exhibit on the space environment, and he is the co-author of Storms from the Sun, a popular science book about space weather.

Selection Committee:

Victor L Granatstein (Chair), David Hafemeister (12/02), Allen Bromley ('01 rcpnt) (12/02), Antonia Herzog (Vice-Chair) (12/03), Ray Kidder (12/03)