Jamie Molaro is the 2016 recipient of the Gerard P. Kuiper Memorial Award, the department's highest award for graduate student scholarship. Jamie defended her dissertation titled, "Stress, on the Rocks: Thermally Induced Stresses in Rocks and Microstructures on Airless Bodies, Implications for Breakdown," in July 2015. She is currently a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at JPL, where her research focus is modeling thermally induced breakdown on the Moon, asteroids, and comets.
While a graduate student at LPL, Jamie was the recipient of a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (2012-2015) and a University of Arizona (UA) College of Science Galileo Circle Scholarship. She was active in the LPL community, serving on several departmental committees and volunteering with numerous recruitment and outreach programs and events. Jamie completed the UA Certificate in College Teaching. For fall 2014, she developed and taught "Introduction to Planetary Science for Teachers."
Jamie was founder and organizer (2013-2015) of The Art of Planetary Science at LPL. This annual art exhibition features science and space-themed artwork from local artists alongside artwork from scientists, made from scientific data. The event has grown each year and is much anticipated by the campus, as well as the larger Tucson community. In 2015, the UA College of Science recognized Jamie with the College of Science Graduate Student Service Award.
The citation for the Kuiper Award reads: "This award is presented to students of the planetary sciences who best exemplify, through the high quality of their researches and the excellence of their scholastic achievements, the goals and standards established and maintained by Gerard P. Kuiper, founder of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona."