Robert McCoy

Directors Office

Bob McCoy has been the Director of the Geophysical Institute since 2011. Prior to coming to Alaska he worked for the Navy for 30 years in the Washington D.C. area; 15 years as a space scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and 15 years as a program officer at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). During his last four years at ONR he was jointly appointed as the Technical Director of the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office in Albuquerque N.M. At NRL Bob was principal investigator for 23 sounding rocket, satellite and International Space Station experiments to study the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of the earth and comets. At ONR he managed the Navy’s space research program and the Tactical Space Innovative Naval Prototype program. At ONR he sponsored more than 20 space experiments all of which are in orbit around the earth. He published more than 60 papers in referred journals and is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He helped create the Space Weather Science and Technology Activities Commission (STAC) Committee for the AMS and serves as its chair. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Alaska Aerospace Corporation. He chairs the Selection Committee for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Space Weather Prize and serves on the University Space Research Associates (USRA) Issues and Program Committee. He taught physics at the U. S. Naval Academy and graduate space physics at George Mason University.

He received his Ph.D. in Astro-Geophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1981; his M.S. in Physics from Texas A&M University in 1976; and his A.B. in Physics from Cornell University in 1974. He served four years of active duty in the Army. He has extensive leadership training in the Army and at the Federal Executive Institute, the Eastern Executive Development Center, the Center for Creative Leadership, and the ONR Leadership Development Program.

He was awarded the Rotary International Stellar Prize for Space Achievement (2010); the NRL 75th Anniversary Innovator Award (1998); two Alan Berman Publication Awards (1994, 2001); the NASA Goddard Group Achievement Award (2004); and the NRL Group Achievement Award (1983). He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society and Sigma Xi.

Bob McCoy has three children. His two sons work in the IT industry, one has his own company and one does network management for distance learning at Old Dominion University. His daughter graduates from St. Andrews in Scotland in late June 2015. He is a private pilot; he hikes, bicycles, motorcycles, kayaks, skis, and has a snow machine.

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