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Dr. Sixto Gonzalez

Dr. Sixto Gonzalez


Space and Atmospheric Sciences
Arecibo Observatory
HC 3 Box 53995
00612-8346 Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Tel. No.: 001 787 878-2612 ext. 252
Mobile No.: 001 787 245-2849
Fax No.: 001 787 878-1861
Email: sixto.gonzalez@sri.com

Department Tel. No.: 001 787-878 2612 ext 210
Department Fax No.: 001 787-878 1861



For the last 20 years my research interests have primarily focused on studies of the Earth's upper atmosphere (i.e., the ionosphere-thermosphere and protonosphere-exosphere coupled systems) using incoherent scatter radars, satellites, and optical instruments together with physics based numerical models. A major topic of research in my group lies in the general area of incoherent scatter radar theory, for example, exploring ways to improve the experimental techniques in order to improve both the precision and accuracy of the radar observations. Throughout my years at Arecibo I have continuously strived to improve my scientific, management and leadership skills, and to take advantage of my talent for thinking outside the box and finding innovative solutions.


  • 09/1988-12/1994 PhD Physics/Space Physics, Department of Physics, Utah State University, Logan UT
  • 08/1985-05/1988 B.Sc. Cum Laude, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, University of Puerto Rico, Humacao PR
  • 09/1983-12/1984 Departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA

SRI International, Center for Geospace Studies
10/11-present Senior Principal Research Associate
10/11-04/14 Director for Space and Atmospheric Sciences at the Arecibo Observatory

Cornell University, National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center
08/01-09/11 Assistant Director for Space and Atmospheric Sciences
09/03-09/06 Director of the Arecibo Observatory
01/99-09/11 Sr. Research Associate, Space and Atm. Sciences Department, Arecibo Observatory
10/93-01/99 Research Associate, Atmospheric Sciences Department, Arecibo Observatory
06/88-09/88 Research Assistant, NAIC summer student program, Arecibo, PR

Utah State University, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences
09/88-09/93 Graduate Research Assistant, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Technicon Electronics Corporation, Humacao PR
02/88-06/88 Assistant Quality Assurance, Troubleshooting engineer for Technicon Auto-analyzer system (continuous flow automated analyzer) production line.
National Center for Atmospheric Research, High Altitude Observatory (HAO)
06/87-08/87 Research Assistant, NCAR/HAO summer employment program, Boulder CO.


  • Recipient of President's Fellowship, Utah State University August 1992 through August 1993
  • Recipient of MARC fellowship, University of Puerto Rico, Humacao, PR, June 1986 through May 1988
  • Awarded prize for best physics paper presented at the 44th Joint Annual Meeting of the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society and the Brookhaven Semester Program, Dallas, Tx. April 1987

Selected form more than 70 peer reviewed publications with >1200 citations h-index:18
Scopus Author ID: 35495042100
Sixto A. González 0000-0001-5544-1426
References and citations at Google Scholar
References and citations at Researchgate

  1. Aponte N, Sulzer MP, Nicolls MJ, Nikoukar R, and González SA (2007), Molecular ion composition measurements in the F1 region at Arecibo J. Geophys. Res. 112, A06322, doi:10.1029/2006JA012028
  2. Brum, C. G. M., C. A. Tepley, J. T. Fentzke, E. Robles, P. T. dos Santos, and S. A. Gonzalez (2012), Long-term changes in the thermospheric neutral winds over Arecibo: Climatology based on over three decades of Fabry-Perot observations J. Geophys. Res. 117, A00H14, doi:10.1029/2011JA016458
  3. Chau, J. L., N. A. Aponte, E. Cabassa, M. P. Sulzer, L. P. Goncharenko, and S. A. González (2010), Quiet time ionospheric variability over Arecibo during sudden stratospheric warming events, J. Geophys. Res. 115, A00G06, doi:10.1029/2010JA015378 Citing Articles: 25
  4. Fejer, B. G., E. R. dePaula, S. A. González, and R. F. Woodman (1991), Average vertical and zonal F region plasma drifts over Jicamarca J. Geophys. Res. 96(A8), 13901–13906, doi:10.1029/91JA01171 Citing Articles: 266
  5. González, S. A., and M. P. Sulzer (1996) Detection of He+ layering in the topside ionosphere over Arecibo during equinox solar minimum conditions Geophys. Res. Lett. 23(18), 2509–2512 Web of Science® Times Cited: 36
  6. González, S. A., M. J. Nicolls, M. P. Sulzer, and N. Aponte (2005), An energy balance study of the lower topside ionosphere using the Arecibo incoherent scatter radar and heating facilities J. Geophys. Res. 110, A11303, doi:10.1029/2005JA011154
  7. González, S. A., M. P. Sulzer, M. J. Nicolls, and R. B. Kerr (2004) Solar cycle variability of nighttime topside helium ion concentrations over Arecibo J. Geophys. Res. 109, AO7302 doi:10.1029/2003JA010100 Citing Articles: 14
  8. Makela, J. J., González, S. A., MacPherson, B., Pi, X., Kelley, M. C., Sultan, P. J. (2000) Intercomparisons of total electron content measurements using the Arecibo Incoherent Scatter Radar and GPS Geophys. Res. Lett. 27, 1944-8007, doi:10.1029/2000GL000023 
  9. Sulzer, M. P., and S. González (1999), The effect of electron Coulomb collisions on the incoherent scatter spectrum in the F region at Jicamarca J. Geophys. Res. 104(A10), 22535–22551, doi:10.1029/1999JA900288 Citing Articles: 14
  10. Waldrop, L. S., E. Kudeki, S. A. González, M. P. Sulzer, R. Garcia, M. Butala, F. Kamalabadi (2006), Derivation of neutral oxygen density under charge exchange in the midlatitude topside ionosphere J. Geophys. Res. 111, A11, doi:10.1029/2005JA011496

National Research Council
Most recently, González served the National Research Council's Space Science Board as a member of a Committee tasked with planning and organizing a 3 day public workshop intended to help gather the facts about "The Role of High-Power, High Frequency-Band Transmitters in Advancing Ionospheric/Thermospheric Research" and generate a report summarizing what transpired at the event.
EISCAT Scientific Association
07/2007-07/2009 Member of the EISCAT Science Oversight Committee (SOC)
American Geophysical Union
06/2004-06/2006 Member Committee on Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation
07/2003-06/2005 Chair of the CEDAR Science Steering Committee
06/2000-06/2003 CEDAR Science Steering Committee member
Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)
07/2000-07/2008 Served 2 terms as Vice-Chair of Commission C

Bela G. Fejer, Utah State University, Logan UT

Dr. Bryan MacPherson Director, Advertiser Analytics at Cardlytics, Inc. Atlanta, GA
Dr. Diego Janches NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD
Dr. Jose R. Fernandez NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
Dr. Chris Wilford (unknown),
Prof. Lara Waldrop Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Dr. Pedrina Terra dos Santos Space and Atmospheric Sciences at the Arecibo Observatory, Center for Geospace Studies SRI International
Dr. Christiano Brum Space and Atm. Sciences Arecibo Observatory, Center for Geospace Studies, SRI International
Dr. Jonathan Fentzke Chief Operating Officer OmniEarth LLC
Prof. Julio Urbina Electrical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Dr. Genene Fisher, Sr. Advisor for Space Weather, NWS Headquarters Silver Spring, MD
Dr. Michael Nicolls Center for Geospace Studies, SRI International, Menlo Park CA

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Ionospheric Physics, Incoherent Scatter Radar, Space Sciences, Space Weather, Solar-Terrestrial Sciences