As part of the new NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) project “Habitability of Hydrocarbon Worlds: Titan and Beyond”, led by Rosaly Lopes at JPL, we are investigating the mechanisms and pathways by which biosignature-hosting materials might be transported from a habitable ocean environment to the surface, where they could be recognized by remote sensing instruments. These mechanisms might include cryovolcanism, solid state convection in the ice shell, fracture/fault propagation, and the formation of subsurface fluid reservoirs that might facilitate fluid migration to the surface. See nai.nasa.gov/teams/can-8/jpl-titan/ for a more detailed description of the overall project.
Opportunities exist in this area at the University of Hawaii (UH) for:
- A graduate student to pursue their PhD, enrolled through the Department of Earth Sciences (formerly known as Geology and Geophysics; soest.hawaii.edu/GG/), but hosted within the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP; www.higp.hawaii.edu). The deadline for applying to graduate school at UH is January 15 for Fall 2019 admission; more details at www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/admissions/gg_admissions.html
- A postdoctoral researcher to develop a proposal for the NASA Astrobiology Postdoctoral Program, to be hosted at HIGP. The next deadlines for this program are November 1 and March 1; more details at nasa.gov/funding/postdoctoral-fellowship-program
In both cases, individuals are sought who have solid physics/math backgrounds, and interests/expertise in numerical modeling, cryomagmatism, ice physics, Titan and/or other icy satellites.
Please contact Sarah Fagents at [email protected] for more information.