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Scientific Staff Highlights Archive



October 2010


LPI Spotlighted in SpaceNews.com!

The Lunar and Planetary Institute was highlighted in a full-page story in spacenews.com on Oct. 25, 2010. The article emphasized the LPI’s growth over the last decade, the breadth of its programs, and its success in drawing external funding (notably its NASA Lunar Science Institute node)

LPI Scientists Host Impact Crater Training & Research

Dr. David Kring, LPI Senior Scientist, led a week-long Field Training and Research Program at Arizona’s Meteor Crater. The program aims to teach PhD and MS level students about impact craters and impact processes, to help them understand impact-cratered planet surfaces across the solar system. The program drew 24 students, from the US, Germany, Austria, and Canada. Dr. Kring was assisted by LPI post-doc Dr. Axel Wittman. The students were taught the field characteristics of Meteor Crater, the world's best preserved impact site, and given an opportunity to conduct original research. The research portion was quite successful, and will be the basis for a peer-reviewed paper.

Field Training and Research Program

LPI Community News

The student participants were:

Jeffrey Balcerski (Case Western Reserve University)
David Blair (Purdue University)
Matthew Chojnacki (University of Tennessee)
Patrick Donohue (University of Notre Dame)
Sarah Drummond (University of Tennessee-Knoxville)
Joshua Garber (University of California-Davis)
Michelle Hopkins (University of Colorado-Boulder)
Matthew Huber (University of Vienna)
Steven Jaret (Harvard University)
Anna Losiak (University of Vienna)
Analisa Maier (University of Colorado)
Julie Mitchell (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Lissa Ong (University of Arizona)
Lillian Ostrach (Arizona State University)
Katie O'Sullivan (University of Notre Dame)
Ross Potter (Imperial College London)
Stuart Robbins (University of Colorado-Boulder)
Bhairavi Shankar (University of Western Ontario)
Erin Shea (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Kelsi Singer (Washington University)
Michael Sori (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Sebastian Sturm (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
Malte Willmes (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
Michael Zanetti (Washington University)

Astrobiology Field Study, Northern California

Dr. Allan Treiman,LPI Associate Director for Research and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Celeste Mercer studied serpentinite rocks in the Trinity mountains of northern California. The work is part of the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Ames node efforts at understanding potential sources of energy for microbial life in Mars-analog settings. The study area is dominated by olivine-rich rocks (peridotite), such as are found in several places on Mars. Treiman and Mercer examined field relations and collected samples for laboratory analyses. The research will focus on interaction of sulfides and olivine-rich rock as a potential source of high-quality energy for microbial life. Treiman and Mercer focussed their efforts on drill core and rock exposures of rock adjacent to sulfide deposits (probably from ‘deep-sea black smoker’ hydrothermal systems).

Radar Field Study, Sicily

Dr. Steven Clifford, deputy science team lead for ESA’s WISDOM ground penetrating radar (GPR), participated in field study using GPR on Mt. Etna, Sicily. They studied pyroclastic deposits and buried lava flows with a prototype of the 0.5 -3 GHz WISDOM radar instrument that will fly on ESA's ExoMars Rover (2018).

Invited Presentations

LPI scientists gave at least four invited presentations in October.

Dr. Paul Spudis spoke about new discoveries at the lunar poles, at the Space Studies Institute’s Space Manufacturing Conference 14 Conference, NASA Ames, Oct. 29–31.

Dr. Steven Clifford spoke about the evolution and fate of water on Mars, at the Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, Oct. 21.

Dr. Juliane Gross spoke about the geology of the lunar highlands, to the Houston Astronomical Society, Oct 1.

Dr. Juliane Gross spoke about the geology of the lunar highlands, to the Geology Department of Rutgers University, Oct 27.

LPI Science Welcomes New Staff

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jennifer Rapp as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. Dr. Rapp will be working with Dr. David Draper of Johnson Space Center in high-pressure experiments on the formation and evolution of lunar magmas.