Spring 2016 Graduate Student News

2016 Curson Travel Award

Margaret Landis and Sarah Sutton have been announced as recipients of funds from the 2016 Curson Travel Scholarship.

Margaret is a third-year graduate student working with Associate Professor Shane Byrne. Her research focus is on icy processes on Mars and Ceres. She plans to use the Curson travel funds to support travel to the 6th International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, September 5-9; a one-day field trip is also scheduled as part of the meeting.  Attendance at the meeting, held only once every five years, will provide Margaret with the opportunity to observe Earth analogs of the martian features she is studying and to discuss Mars polar science with experts from around the world.

Sarah is a first-year graduate student advised by Assistant Professor Christopher Hamilton. She will travel to Iceland  for Professor Hamilton's four-week international workshop on planetary volcanism. This field work supports Sarah's research on a comparative study of channelized lava flows on Earth and Mars using field and remote sensing data. Sarah will work toward two goals: 1) morphologic and topographic characterization of flow and channel features at Laki and Holuhraun to validate channel flow models; 2) repeat topographic surveys at Holuhraun to measure mass-wasting and erosional processes. She will collect data and generate high resolution topography with a terrestrial scanning LiDAR and unmanned aerial vehicle photogrammetric images. These data, along with thermal images collected by the University of Iceland and remote sensing instruments on Landsat 7/8, will be used to constrain lava flow models. Data from Laki and Holuhraun will be inputs to lava/fluid flow models. These terrestrially validated models will then be used to test if flow morphologies on Mars are consistent with lava flow, or if aqueous processes are involved.

We'll report on the summer travel and research in the LPL Fall Newsletter!