James William LaBelle

Academic Appointments
  • Professor of Physics and Astronomy

  • Lois L. Rodgers Professor

Jim LaBelle is an experimental space plasma physicist. He has been at Dartmouth since 1989. He earned his undergraduate degree in physics from Stanford University (1980), followed by masters and doctorate degrees in applied physics from Cornell University (1982 and 1985). He did post-doctoral work at the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany (1985-7) and at Utah State University in Logan, Utah (1987-9). He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the International Union of Radio Scientists. He has had visiting fellowships at the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (1997, 2000-2001) and at the University of Sydney (2008). He has also done stints as visitor at Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Expaciais San Jose dos Campos Brazil (1993), European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association Tromso Norway (2001), and the South African National Space Agency Hermanus (2016).  In 2010, he was appointed to the inaugural Lois L. Rodgers Professorship at Dartmouth.


Wilder, Room 336
HB 6127


Physics and Astronomy


  • B.S. Stanford University
  • M.S. Cornell University
  • Ph.D. Cornell University

Selected Publications

  • LaBelle, J., Polarization measurements of unusual cases of medium frequency burst emissions extending below 1.5 MHz, Earth, Planets, and Space, 70, 143, doi: 10.1186/s40623-018-0912-7, 2018.

  • LaBelle, J., and Y. Chen,  Right-hand polarized 4fce auroral roar, 1: Observations, J. Geophys. Res., 7974-7980, doi: 10.1002/2016JA022890, 2016.

  • LaBelle, J., and M. Dundek, Comparison of Fine Structures of Electron Cyclotron Harmonic Emissions in Aurora, J. Geophys. Res., 120, doi:10.1002/2015JA021631, 2015.

  • LaBelle, J.,  X. Yan, M.C. Broughton, S. Pasternak, M. Dombrowski, R.R. Anderson, H.U. Frey, A.T. Weatherwax, and Y. Ebihara, Further Studies of Ground-Level Auroral Kilometric Radiation from Antarctica and Coordinated Geotail Satellite Observations, J. Geophys. Res., 120, doi:10.1002/2014JA020977, 2015.

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Works In Progress

  • Analysis ongoing of data from two recent sounding rockets: Cusp Alfven and Plasma Electrodynamics Rocket (CAPER) and Twin Rockets to Investigate Cusp Electrodynamics (TRICE), launched from Andoya, Norway in 2018-9. These experiments include DC-5MHz wave experiments, particle experiments, Langmuir probes, magnetometers, and wave-particle correlators.

  • Ground-level radio receivers at: South Pole Station, Antarctica; Churchill, Manitoba; and Toolik Lake, Alaska. Measuring polarization and arrival bearings of auroral radio emissions including auroral hiss, medium frequency burst, 2fce/3fce/4fce/5fce roar, ground-level Auroral Kilometric Radiation, other natural emissions, lightning-generated atmospherics, and man-made broadcast signals.

  • Ground-level antenna/preamps/digital receivers deployed at Dartmouth College, Siena College, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Jenny Jump NJ (associated with NJIT), Cornell University, Schenectady NY, and Massena NY, to measure gravity waves and TIDs via Doppler sounding using commercial radio signals.

  • Participation in two upcoming satellite missions: AERO/VISTA, twin satellites carrying a wave vector sensor to measure auroral radio emissions as well as perform interferometry; TRACERS to investigate character and consequences of reconnection in the polar cusps. Participation in proposed ARCS satellites, up to 32 cubesats to be flown in an array through the aurora (PI Professor Kristina Lynch).