James L. Clem

Associate Professor of Physics
All FacultyPhysics

Contact Information
Phone: 724-458-3883
Email: clemjl@gcc.edu

James L. Clem

What is your educational background?

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Victoria, 2006
  • M.Sc., Physics, University of Victoria, 2002
  • B.Sc., Physics, University of Arkansas, 1998

What are the main focuses of your research?
The bulk of my past and current research focuses on the multi-wavelength, photometric properties of stellar populations (star clusters) in our galaxy. Through carefully-calibrated observations of the stars in these clusters, we are able to estimate their distances, ages, and compositions in an attempt to gain a better understanding of how our Milky Way Galaxy has evolved over the past 12+ billion years.

I also employ the use of the 0.5m telescope at the Grove City College Observatory to tackle a variety of my other research interests, including, but not limited to, the time-series photometric observations of variable stars, the tracking and follow-up observations of near-Earth asteroids, and the monitoring of stars for extrasolar planet transits. Moreover, I use the Grove City College observatory to train undergraduates in the modern techniques of observational astronomy and astronomical data analysis.

What specific courses or specialties do you teach?
Most courses I teach are related to astronomy and astrophysics. Grove City College is quite unique in the sense that it offers two semesters of introductory astronomy courses that are open to all students, regardless of major. Additionally, I teach two upper-level astronomy courses (Observational Astronomy and Introduction to Astrophysics) for students who are enrolled in the astronomy minor program.

What is the most important piece of advice you give students to help them succeed?
The best bit of advice I can give to an incoming, or current, student is to take this time in your life to discover and learn all you can about the world and who you are. You are never going to have as many resources, like-minded peers, free hours, and opportunities in your life as you do in college, so don’t waste them.

Selected Publications

  • “Faint UBVRI Standard Star Fields at +50o Declination,” The Astronomical Journal, 2016.
  • “Faint UBVRI Standard Star Fields,” The Astronomical Journal, 2013.
  • “Two Short-Period Eclipsing Binary Stars in the Field of PG 1047+003,” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2012.
  • “The Effects of Differential Reddening and Stellar Rotation on the Appearance of Multiple Populations in Star Clusters: the Case of Trumpler 20,” The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2012.
  • “Deep, Wide-field CCD Photometry for the Open Cluster NGC 3532,” The Astronomical Journal, 2011.
  • “Bright Variable Stars in NGC 6819: An Open Cluster in The Kepler Field,” The Astronomical Journal, 2010.
  • “Monitoring R CrB at Minimum Light,” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2010.
  • “The Eclipsing Binary PG 1323-086A (GSC 0554400493),” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2010.
  • “Galactic Globular and Open Clusters in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I. Crowded-Field Photometry and Cluster Fiducial Sequences in ugriz,” The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 2008.
  • “Fiducial Stellar Population Sequences for the u’g’r’i’z’ System,” The Astronomical Journal, 2008.