J. Virginia Lincoln

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Jeannette Virginia Lincoln (September 7, 1915 – August 1, 2003) was an American physicist.[1]

The daughter of Rush B. Lincoln, a major general in the US Army Air Forces, and Jeannette Bartholomew Lincoln, a chemistry professor, she was born in Ames, Iowa. She studied at Dana Hall in Wellesley, Massachusetts and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in physics from Wellesley College. She received a master's degree from Iowa State University in 1938.[2] From 1935 to 1942, she was an instructor in household equipment at Iowa State. In 1942, she began work in the Interservice Radio Propagation Laboratory (later renamed the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory or CRPL) at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in Washington, D.C.; she transferred to the NBS in Boulder, Colorado when the CRPL was moved there in 1954. In 1959, she became Chief of Radio Warning Services. In the same year, she was the only woman in the US delegation to the International Geophysical Year meeting in Moscow. In 1966, she became director for the World Data Center for Solar-Terrestrial Physics. She later became the Solar-Terrestrial Physics division chief for NOAA's National Geophysical and Solar-Terrestrial Data Center. She retired from federal service in 1980.[1]

Lincoln developed a statistical method for predicting sunspots which is still in use today. In 1973, she received the Department of Commerce Gold Medal for Distinguished Service.[2] She was also named to the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 2000.[3]

Lincoln died in Boulder at the age of 87, August 1, 2003.[2][4]

Early life[edit]

J. Virginia Lincoln was born on September 7, 1915, in Ames, Iowa. Her brother, Rush B. Lincoln Jr. became a Major General in the US Army. Their parents were Rush B. Lincoln and Jeannette Bartholomew Lincoln. Her father was a Major General in the US Army Air Forces. Lincoln's mother taught Chemistry at Iowa State University. Their grandfather Lincoln fought in the Civil War as a Confederate Captain. Lincoln was unsurprisingly deep into her family's military life and continued with this throughout her life. In 1936 she received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Wellesley College and a master’s degree from Iowa State University in 1938. Simultaneously, she was an instructor in household equipment at Iowa State from 1936 to 1942. She was teaching people how to use all the new electronics and devices that came into their lives.[5]

Career[edit]

In 1942, Lincoln joined the U.S. National Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC, working as a physicist in the Interservice Radio Propagation Laboratory (IRPL).[6] There she did ionospheric research.

In 1946 the CRPL (Central Radio Propagation Laboratory) was created in order to keep information and research in a one place and to provide radio propagation predictions. These predictions included the investigation of solar and geophysical effects as well as ionospheric data. In 1954 CRPL moved to Boulder, Colorado and Lincoln's first job was a radio weather forecaster. She prepared monthly ionospheric prediction contour maps. These predictions were used in selecting frequencies for long distance radio communications. In 1949, Lincoln helped create a statistical method for predicting sunspot activity that is still used today.[7]

Lincoln was the only woman in the official United States delegation of fifty scientists to attend the 1958 meeting of the International Geophysical Year in Moscow. There were several women in the Russian delegation and Lincoln took note of this difference between her country and Russia. In 1959, she became the Deputy Chief of the Radio Warning Services of the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory.[8] There the research and engineering that enables the U.S. Government, national and international standards organizations, and many aspects of the private industry to manage the radio spectrum and ensure that innovative, new technologies are recognized and put to use. Lincoln was the first woman to head a section in a federal bureau. Her area of expertise was in forecasting solar phenomena that affected the technology of radio communications.[9]

While working as the director of the World Data Center for Solar-Terrestrial Physics and the Solar-Terrestrial Physics Division Chief for NOAA’s National Geophysical and Solar-Terrestrial Data Center, Lincoln created a statistical method for predicting sunspots that is still used to forecast solar storms. From there she worked at the Data Center from 1966 until 1980, the year of her retirement. After Lincoln retired, she became involved with the Boulder Historical Museum, traveled extensively, and played golf.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jeannette Virginia Lincoln (1915 - 2003)". American Astronomical Society.
  2. ^ a b c "Boulder County history: Virginia Lincoln encouraged women scientists". Daily Camera. August 26, 2011.
  3. ^ "J. Virginia Lincoln". Colorado Women's Hall of Fame.
  4. ^ Coffey, Helen E. (2004-12-01). "Obituary: Jeannette Virginia Lincoln, 1915-2003". 36: 1679–1681. Bibcode:2004BAAS...36.1679C. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "J. Virginia Lincoln - Colorado Women's Hall of Fame". Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  6. ^ Coffey, Helen E. (2004-12-01). "Obituary: Jeannette Virginia Lincoln, 1915-2003". 36: 1679–1681. Bibcode:2004BAAS...36.1679C. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Coffey, Helen E. (2004-12-01). "Obituary: Jeannette Virginia Lincoln, 1915-2003". 36: 1679–1681. Bibcode:2004BAAS...36.1679C. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "J. Virginia Lincoln 1932". 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  9. ^ "In Memoriam: J. Virginia Lincoln". IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine. 45 (4): 86–86. August 2003. Bibcode:2003IAPM...45R..86.. doi:10.1109/MAP.2003.1241315. ISSN 1045-9243.
  10. ^ "J. Virginia Lincoln 1932". 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2017-12-04.