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|Alma mater||Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan (B.A., 1953; M.S., 1957), University of Alaska Fairbanks (Ph.D., 1961)|
|Known for||Space physics, Aurora research|
|Awards||Chapman Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Fellow of the AGU, John Adam Fleming Medal of the AGU, Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence of the University of Alaska, and Order of the Sacred Treasures, Gold and Silver Stars by the Emperor of Japan|
|Institutions||University of Alaska Fairbanks|
|Thesis||A study of magnetic storms and auroras|
|Doctoral advisor||Sydney Chapman|
Syun-Ichi Akasofu ( , Akasofu Shun'ichi, born December 4, 1930, Saku, Nagano, Japan) is the founding director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), serving in that position from the center's establishment in 1998 until January 2007. Previously he had been director of the university's Geophysical Institute from 1986.
Akasofu earned a B.S. and a M.S. in geophysics at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, in 1953 and 1957, respectively. He earned a Ph.D in geophysics at UAF in 1961. Within the framework of his Ph.D. thesis he studied the aurora. His scientific adviser was Sydney Chapman. Akasofu has been a professor of geophysics at UAF since 1964.
Akasofu was director of the Geophysical Institute from 1986 until 1999, during which time the Alaska Volcano Observatory was established and Poker Flat Research Range was modernized. He went on to become the first director of the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) upon its establishment in 1998, and remained in that position until 2007. The same year, the building which houses IARC was named in his honor.
Akasofu has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research (1972-74) and the Journal of Geomagnetism & Geoelectricity (1972-present), respectively. Furthermore, he has served as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Planetary Space Science (1969-present), the Editorial Advisory Board of Space Science Reviews (1967-77), and the Editorial Committee of Space Science Reviews (1977-present). As a graduate student, Akasofu was one of the first to understand that the northern aurora was actually an aurora of light surrounding the North Magnetic Pole.