Spring 2023 Newsletter


Citizen scientists can help the Catalina Sky Survey search for space rocks.

Read More Join the asteroid hunt

IN THIS ISSUE  Spring 2023 Edition

Welcome to the LPL Newsletter!

Mark Marley, Ph.D.
Department Head and Laboratory Director

Welcome to the Spring 2023 LPL Newsletter! As traditional, we highlight in this issue the many awards our amazing faculty, students, and staff have been honored with over the past year. Some of our recent LPL Ph.D. recipients are also highlighted. In early May, I had the pleasure of witnessing the hooding of six of our graduates—all women—at the College of Science commencement ceremony.

Also, be sure to read about the epic LPL spring field trip to the Big Island of Hawai’i. Our field trips are generally expeditions to the diverse geology of Arizona and the Southwest. Fortunately, we can sometimes rely on the Wilkening-Sill endowment to head farther afield. The Hawai’i trip was enabled by a combination of the endowment and a generous donation, supplemented by funds from LPL. Reviews from the student participants were across the board excellent and we look forward to doing another trip before too long. Donations to the field trip endowment support these outstanding educational opportunities.

Finally, be sure to read the cover story about the citizen science opportunity to support LPL’s Catalina Sky Survey’s asteroid search. This program was the brainchild of CSS’ Carson Fuls. I look forward to giving it a try.

Of course we are all looking forward to the return of the OSIRIS-REx sample container on September 24. NASA TV will be carrying the re-entry live and excitement is building as the Earth-spacecraft distance (currently 0.75 AU as I write this) decreases. We will be back in July with a monthly update to include all the latest science news.

Students gathered in front of steaming lava.

Department News

Destination Hawai'i

Thanks to the generosity of donors and support from LPL, the PTYS 590 planetary geology field studies course was able to spend 11 geology-filled days on the Big Island.

Read More View All Department News

Photo of Caitlin Griffith.

Faculty News

Professor Caitlin Griffith transitions to emeritus faculty

Colleagues, friends, and former students gathered on May 16 to celebrate Professor Griffith's career at LPL.

Read More View All Faculty News

Photo of Patrick OBrien.

Graduate Student News

Patrick O'Brien receives 2023 Kuiper Memorial Award

Patrick O'Brien earned his Ph.D. from LPL in December 2022 with a dissertation on The Rise and Fall of Lunar Topography and is is currently a Research Scientist with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, and a member of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner team.

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Photo of Maria Steinrueck

Alumni News

Maria Steinrueck named 51 Pegasi B Fellow

Dr. Steinrueck’s research seeks to enable more accurate observational interpretations and predictions across a range of exoplanet types through three-dimensional climate modeling. She will undertake her fellowship at the University of Chicago.

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