The Road to Mission Science: Seminars for Students and Early Career Researchers

April 20, 2022

The Road to Mission Science: Seminars for Students and Early Career Researchers

With support from the ChemCam instrument team on the Mars Curiosity mission, the LPI will be hosting informational webinars for students and early career researchers who have an interest in becoming involved in current or future planetary missions. Undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and early career scientists are invited to join us for a discussion of how to prepare, both academically and professionally, for a career in mission science. We will also share opportunities for getting involved!

The virtual events will feature a panel of mentors and mission scientists who will share their backgrounds, experiences, and recommendations. As we strive to increase the awareness and accessibility of mission science careers, we will describe the ongoing and upcoming missions, roles within missions, and ways that students can become involved. These seminars will also provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions and make connections with mission scientists.

The first event in this series was held virtually on Tuesday, May 10, at 2:00 p.m. CDT. Future programs in this series will be held in July and September.

The Resource Packet contains information about mission science, internships, fellowships, scholarships, awards, and more.

Watch the recording on YouTube  


Meet the Panel

Dr. Germán Martínez
Dr. Germán Martínez

Germán Martínez earned his PhD in Planetary Science from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, in 2010. Then, he moved to Ann Arbor, MI, where he spent 9 years as Postdoctoral Researcher and Faculty Member at the University of Michigan. In 2019 he joined the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX, where he currently serves as Staff Scientist. Germán is part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission and Co-Principal Investigator of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, for which he analyzes the weather and climate at both landing sites. He also contributed to NASA’s Phoenix mission to Mars by generating recalibrated measurements of relative humidity uploaded to NASA’s Planetary Data System. Germán is Associate Editor of Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, and author of more than 180 scientific contributions.

Dr. Tim Livengood
Tim Livengood

Tim Livengood is a planetary atmospheres spectroscopist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as a university scientist since 1991. He earned a PhD at Johns Hopkins University studying Jupiter’s UV aurora, then moved to mid-infrared wavelength to study stratospheres throughout the Solar System, with forays into visible light and the near-infrared. He has lately shifted to submillimeter to measure water, following an experience counting neutrons at the Moon, also to measure water. He expects to spend the rest of his career on water.

Dr. Alice Cocoros
Alice Cocoros

Alice Cocoros is a physicist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, focused on applying her expertise in data analysis, modeling, simulation, and physics to space missions such as NASA's latest New Frontiers mission, Dragonfly. She serves as the LIDAR Lead for the Mobility team on the Dragonfly mission, focused on implementing hazard detection for the rotorcraft on the surface of Titan. She earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Astrophysics from Williams College. She is passionate about diversity, inclusion, and mentoring.

Dr. Horton E. Newsom
Horton E. Newsom

Horton E. Newsom is a senior scientist and professor within the Institute of Meteoritics and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. He is a geologist and geochemist with more than 40 years of experience with planetary science. Dr. Newsom has been involved with several Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), and is a co-investigator and science team member on the ChemCam instrument on the MSL “Curiosity.” Dr. Newsom is also responsible for advisement of student research and has been extensively involved in NASA-funded educational outreach to K-12 teachers, and to local middle school and high school students, and Native American colleges.

A recording of this webinar will be available on YouTube. Please contact Grace Beaudoin (gbeaudoin@lpi.usra.edu) with questions about this event.

Get the solar system in your inbox.

Sign up for LPI's email newsletters