The Road to Mission Science: Seminars for Students and Early Career Researchers
June 17, 2022
NASA is sending spacecraft to study objects throughout the solar system! With support from the ChemCam instrument team on the Mars Curiosity mission, the LPI is 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!
Each virtual event features 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 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 next event in this series will be a 90-minute virtual seminar on Tuesday, July 19, at 3 p.m. EDT / 2 p.m. CDT / 1 p.m. MDT / 12 p.m. PDT. The webinar will be recorded and available online on LPI’s YouTube channel.Register YouTube Livestream
Meet the Panel
Dr. Lynnae C. Quick is an ocean worlds planetary scientist and associate branch head in the Planetary Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry (PG3) Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Her scientific work focuses on modeling geological processes, notably volcanism and cryovolcanism on the planets and moons in our solar system, and constraining rates of geological activity on low-mass extrasolar planets. She is a co-investigator on NASA’s Europa Clipper and Dragonfly Missions, is a member of the steering committee for NASA’s Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) and serves as co-chair of the of the National Society of Black Physicists’ Earth and Planetary Systems Sciences section. Dr. Quick received a bachelor’s degree in physics from North Carolina A&T State University and an M.S. in physics, with a concentration in astrophysics, from the Catholic University of America. She obtained a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University in 2013.
Dr. Andy Rivkin is a Planetary Astronomer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and an expert in asteroid science. He received his Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from the University of Arizona in 1997 and is the Investigation Lead for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, NASA’s first planetary defense test mission. Rivkin’s research centers on near-infrared spectroscopy and spectrophotometry of asteroids. In addition to observational work, he has been active in the broader Near-Earth Object community, serving as a team member on several efforts to understand and report the impact hazard we face and how to lessen it, and leading a group reporting to NASA about the most important unknown factors related to human exploration of an asteroid. Asteroid 13743 was named “Rivkin” in recognition of his work in the field.
Ryan Anderson is a planetary scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center and science team member on the Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rover missions. Ryan attended the University of Michigan, where he double majored in Physics and Astronomy, and Cornell University where received his PhD in Planetary Science. His first mission experience was as part of the Pancam team for the Mars Exploration Rovers. Ryan's PhD work included a detailed study of Gale crater, the landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover (MSL), and studies of how to improve the accuracy of quantitative Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy. Ryan is a member of the ChemCam science team on Curiosity and the SuperCam science team on the Perseverance rover.
Lydia Kivrak is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Florida. She began her doctoral research in 2019 and is exploring new methods to detect diagnostic organic biosignatures in extraterrestrial environments with derivatization and thermochemolysis wet chemistry experiments. She is a collaborator on the NASA Perseverance mission.
Click here to learn more about the previous seminar and find the recording. And come back in September for the final installment in this series!