Beth Ellen Clark Joseph

Beth Ellen Clark Joseph

Professor and Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Specialty:Planetary Science and Alternative Energy Engineering
Phone:(607) 274-3968
Office:267 Center for Natural Sciences
Ithaca, NY 14850

Research Projects

  • Solar Hot Water for Ithaca College: A Demonstration Project for Emerson Hall Dormitory, with Sarah Burleson (Physics 2011)
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps: A Case Study of 5 Local Installations, with Caitlin Ahearn (Physics 2010)
  • Wind Power for Ithaca College, with Allison Krasnow (Biology 2007), Steve Figgatt (Environmental Studies 2008)
  • Solar Photovoltaics for Ithaca College, with Romaine Isaacs (Physics 2010)
  • Radar and Infrared Survey of X/M/E-type Asteroids with Michael Shepard (Bloomsburg University), Maureen Ockert-Bell (Ithaca College), and Romaine Isaacs (Physics 2010)
  • Spectral Modeling of Asteroid Composition Including Space Weathering Effects with Nate Ricci (Cornell)
  • Asteroid Albedos with Sanya Levi (Ithaca College)
  • Deconvolving Terrestrial Alteration Mineral Spectral Signatures from Meteorite Reflectance Measurements with Sweta Shah (Ithaca College), Taki Hiroi (Brown), and Mike Zolensky (NASA Johnson Space Center)
  • Surface composition and photometric properties of asteroid 433 Eros with Britt Scharringhausen (Ithaca College) and Jay Schuren (Ithaca College, Cornell).
  • The Cornell MID-Infrared Asteroid Spectroscopic (MIDAS) Survey with Lucy Lim (Cornell), Jim Bell (Cornell), and Tim McConnochie (Cornell).
  • Radar and Spectroscopic Studies of Asteroid 2100 Ra-Shalom with Michael Shepard (Bloomsburg Univ.), Andrew Rivkin (MIT), and Jim Bell (Cornell).
  • A teacher workshop series to develop instructional materials for spacecraft mission design with Maureen Bell (Sciencenter) and Jamie De Gregory (Ithaca College).
  • Infrared spectroscopy of X,E,M, and P-type asteroids with Bobby Bus (U.H.), Andrew Rivkin (MIT), Josh Sanders (Ithaca College), and Sweta Shah (Ithaca College)
  • Spectroscopy of MUSES-C spacecraft mission target asteroid 1998 SF36 with the MUSES-C mission team.
  • History of Astronomy - oral history of the early days in astronomy research (with Jamie De Gregory (Ithaca College)).


  • Electricity and Magnetism (PHYS-118)
  • Power: Energy Options for a Global Society (PHYS-141)
  • Earth Science (PHYS-171)
  • Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies and the Universe (PHYS-174)
  • Introductory Physics (PHYS-101 lab, PHYS-102 lab, PHYS-120 lab)
  • Independent Research (PHYS-299, -399, -499)
  • Math Methods for Physicists (PHYS-301)
  • Intermediate Mechanics (PHYS-311)


  • Member of the Presidents Climate Commitment Committee
  • Organizer of the College-wide seminar series "Physics Cafe"
  • Current Physics Department Chair
  • Member of the Committee on Campus Energy Efficiency
  • Former Member of the Center for Natural Sciences Sustainability Group
  • Former Member of the Committee for the Freshman Reading Initiative
  • Former Member of the Ithaca College Faculty Council
  • Former Member of the Environmental Studies Steering Committee

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, "Meteoritics and Planetary Science"
  • Co-CHAIR, American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences Conference, Cornell 2008
  • Former Member, NASA "Planetary System Science Management Operations Working Group"
  • Editor, "Earth & Sky" Syndicated Radio Show
  • CHAIR, Scientific Organizing Committee, 7th International Asteroids, Comets, Meteors (ACM) Conference Cornell University, 1999.
  • Member, Scientific Organizing Committee, Asteroids 2001: From Piazzi to the Third Millenium . Palermo Italy, June 11-16, 2001.
  • Member, NASA and NSF Program Review Panels, HST, PG&G, PA, PIDDP, Mars Exploration: 1995-present.
  • Expert Reader, Millbrook Press, 2001-2006.
  • Former Member, NASA Planetary Astronomy Program Management Operations Working Group 1995-2000.


  • Music: Choir (soprano), Piano
  • Outdoors: hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, & cycling
  • Nature: birding, wildflowers, trees, wildlife
  • Quilting
  • Reading: biography, history, energy, science