Sam Schonfeld » Graduate Students

Sam Schonfeld

Graduate Student NMSUAstronomy

Photo of Sam Schonfeld

Biographical Info

Current Research

I am currently working with Dr. James McAteer in the solar group here at NMSU in collaboration with Dr. Stephen White, Dr. Rachel Hock-Mysliwiec, Dr. Carl Henney, and Dr. Nick Arge at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM. My research focuses on the relationship between the solar F10.7 radio flux and coronal extreme ultraviolet emission. This research has implications for models of the terrestrial ionosphere which use F10.7 as a proxy for the driving influence of the Sun on the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Undergraduate Research

My undergraduate senior thesis project was the Photometry and Isochrome Fitting of the Globular Cluster NGC 6712, for which I used optical observations (crowded field photometry) collected with my advisor Dr. Nathaniel Paust on the MDM 2.4-meter Hiltner Telescope. I was also involved in the construction of an all-sky camera to study local weather patterns at Whitman College. The camera uses a fish eye lens to take an optical picture of the full sky every ten seconds.

I also spent two summers during my undergraduate career as a research intern. In 2010 I worked with Dr. Paola Testa and Dr. Steve Saar at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to investigate the possibility of observing non-solar background objects with the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). In 2011 I worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with Dr. Philip Chamberlin to study the ultraviolet and x-ray signatures of solar flares relating to the Neupert Effect. This project involved analyzing data from multiple satellites including SDO and the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI).


Coronal Sources of the Solar F10.7 Radio Flux
Schonfeld, S. J., White, S. M., Henney, C. J., Arge, C. N., McAteer, R. T. J. 2015, ApJ, 808, 29.

Recent Meetings Attended
  • 2016 SHINE Meeting, Santa Fe, NM
  • 2016 SPD Meeting of the AAS, Boulder, CO
Teaching and Outreach Activities
  • TA for ASTR 301 and 330, 2015-2016
  • TA for ASTR 105 and 110, 2013-2014


  • SPD Studentship Award, 2015
  • New Mexico Space Grant, 2013-2014