fall

Get to Know a Post-doc: Justin Erwin

Justin Erwin joined LPL in May 2013, working as a post-doctoral fellow on the aeronomy of solar and extra-solar planets with Dr. Roger Yelle.

Department News

Get to Know a Post-doc: Justin Erwin

Justin Erwin joined LPL in May 2013, working as a post-doctoral fellow on the aeronomy of solar and extra-solar planets with Dr. Roger Yelle. His research focuses on the influence of close-in orbits on the escape of hydrogen from extrasolar gas giants. In particular, his research is focused on the enhancement of kinetic escape due to the 3D gravitational and non-inertial forces, and the non-thermal escape due to various stellar interactions. He also studies non-LTE radiative transfer in the atmospheres planets in our own solar system.

Justin is from Redding, Connecticut. He studied at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech), where he earned a B.S. in Mathematics (2006), a B.S. in Physics (2006), and a M.S. in Applied Mathematics (2008) with a thesis on control theory. Justin earned his Ph.D. in 2013 from the University of Virginia, conducting research on the atmosphere of Pluto and developing a radiative-conductive-escape atmospheric model. In his free time, Justin enjoys biking, cooking, and enjoying the weather outdoors in the southwest.

Meet LPL Staff: Ron Richards and Vicki Robles de Serino

Ron Richards joined LPL as an Administrative Associate with the OSIRIS-REx project in April 2014. He recently returned to the University of Arizona after a six-year whirlwind employment tour of some of the other institutions of higher learning in the U.S.

Department News

Meet LPL Staff: Ron Richards and Vicki Robles de Serino

Ron Richards joined LPL as an Administrative Associate with the OSIRIS-REx project in April 2014. He recently returned to the University of Arizona after a six-year whirlwind employment tour of some of the other institutions of higher learning in the U.S. (University of South Florida, Nevada State College, and Southern Oregon University). Ron is currently Facilities Manager for the Michael J. Drake Building (home of the OSIRIS-REx project); his previous UA positions included Information Specialist for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Office Assistant, Senior, in the Office of Career Services. He is "delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with OSIRIS-REx, and with the chance to return to Tucson."


Vicki Robles de Serino began her career at LPL in January 2014. She is an Administrative Assistant supporting several research groups in the Kuiper building. Before coming to LPL, Vicki worked at UApresents for more than 6 years in various roles, beginning as a part-time Receptionist and transitioning to a Development Assistant and Administrative Assistant. She assisted the Executive Director, planned donor-related events, administered donations, helped with processing day-to-day financial transactions, and assisted with hiring as needed. When she's not at work supporting successful research endeavors, Vicki says she loves spending time with her family and enjoying her hobbies: reading, running, and photography.

Recent Faculty Honors

Faculty News

Recent Faculty Honors

Regents' Professor Victor Baker: 2014 Harold McMaster Visiting Scientist at Bowling Green State University and received a Certificate of Excellence in Reviewing for the journal Planetary and Space Science.
Senior Research Scientist Lon Hood: named in the June 3rd issue of EOS (Transactions, AGU) as a recipient of a 2013 Editors' Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for his work with Geophysical Research Letters.

Professor Dante Lauretta: named a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society. Fellows of the Meteoritical Society are members who have distinguished themselves in meteoritics or allied sciences.

Associate Professor Joellen Russell: named a University of Arizona 1885 Society Distinguished Scholar for 2014. Read more about Professor Russell and her research.

Professor Adam Showman: 2014 Salpeter Lecturer at Cornell University.

2013 Nininger Meteorite Award to Ingrid Daubar

Ingrid Daubar has won the prestigious Nininger Meteorite Award for 2013, which recognizes outstanding student achievement in the "Science of Meteoritics" as embodied in an original research paper, for her paper on "The Current Martian Cratering Rate." More about Ingrid's winning research and the Nininger award itself, which is presented by the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies,"

Graduate Student News

2013 Nininger Meteorite Award to Ingrid Daubar

Ingrid Daubar has won the prestigious Nininger Meteorite Award for 2013, which recognizes outstanding student achievement in the "Science of Meteoritics" as embodied in an original research paper, for her paper on "The Current Martian Cratering Rate." More about Ingrid's winning research and the Nininger award itself, which is presented by the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies," is available at http://meteorites.asu.edu/nininger-2013

Past winners of the award include LPL alumnus William Hartmann (1966), current LPL faculty member Dante Lauretta, and former LPL director Laurel Wilkening. Recent LPL alumni Devin Schrader (2012) and Eve Berger (2011) have received honorable mentions.

Ingrid defended her dissertation on August 28. Her research advisor is Professor Alfred McEwen.

Undergraduate PTYS Minor: Nathanial Hendler

Nathanial Hendler is an undergraduate minor in the Department of Planetary Sciences. Before beginning his studies at the UA, Nathanial worked for over ten years as a software developer (most recently as a game developer for Sony). He then took a job at Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole for one season.

Department News

Undergraduate PTYS Minor: Nathanial Hendler

Nathanial Hendler is an undergraduate minor in the Department of Planetary Sciences. Before beginning his studies at the UA, Nathanial worked for over ten years as a software developer (most recently as a game developer for Sony). He then took a job at Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole for one season. That experience motivated him to pursue an undergraduate degree (beginning with coursework at Pima Community College) with a major in geology and a minor in planetary science and mathematics. Nathanial has been assisting Dr. Ilaria Pascucci with research involving protoplanetary disk dispersal; next semester, he'll work with her to investigate the disk mass stellar mass relation using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.  Nathanial has been involved with other science projects, including the fabrication and spectroscopy of ice dwarf analogue ices at Northern Arizona University, OSIRIS-REx stereophotoclinometry software maintenance through NASA Space Grant, paleoseismology field-work in Southern California, and Salt River Canyon detrital zircon dating. After graduation, Nathanial hopes to pursue a career in academic research.

When he's not working on his academic and research pursuits, Nathanial is busy with his many extracurricular hobbies and interests, which include baking bread and repairing radios, TVs, and vintage computers. He admits to having authored the only Macintosh System 6/7 Twitter client and part of his personal insect collection is on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Nathanial has played guitar and sung with several local bands: "The George Squier Orchestra often drew crowds of 8 or more people, and was named one of Tucson's best new bands by the Tucson Weekly while our debut album received an “Album of the Year” pick from the legendary Al Perry."  Nathanial also spends time outdoors and "derives great pleasure from traveling the world with my wife and from exploring Arizona's bounty of geology in my Suzuki Samurai."

2014 Carson Fellowship to Daniel Lo

Daniel Lo is the recipient of the 2014 Carson Fellowship Award, which provides one academic year of support, including salary, tuition and a small supply stipend. Daniel is beginning his first year of graduate studies at LPL.

Graduate Student News

2014 Carson Fellowship to Daniel Lo

Daniel Lo is the recipient of the 2014 Carson Fellowship Award, which provides one academic year of support, including salary, tuition and a small supply stipend. Daniel is beginning his first year of graduate studies at LPL.

Raised in Singapore, Daniel completed his high school at Raffles Junior College before graduating with a double major in Physics and Planetary Science with honors from the California Institute of Technology. Daniel has wide-ranging interests, especially in surfaces and atmospheres of the terrestrial planets. In particular, he is interested in understanding how surface processes shape local geomorphologies, surface-atmosphere interactions, hydrocarbons on Titan and water on Mars.

In high school, Daniel studied polynomial fields with Dr. Lang Mong Lung and the degradation of ascorbic acid with Dr. Leong Lai Peng, both from the National University of Singapore. He decided to pursue a research career after a year-long tenure as a coach for the Young Physicists’ Tournaments, which ask participants to investigate a series of 17 pre-released open-ended problems, culminating in an oral defense. Daniel coached his high school team for the Singapore Young Physicists’ Tournament to top rankings. He then coached the national team for its first appearance at the International Young Physicists’ Tournament; the team emerged as champions. Daniel recalls, “That was probably when I first really comprehended the no-one-really-knows-the-answer component of research. I had all these problems that I don’t have solutions to, and I just had to come up with a viable research methodology, guide my students along, and provide them with both the technical and financial resources to succeed. I felt like a professor.”

This emphasis on research and exploration continued into his undergraduate career at Caltech, where he studied the North pole of Jupiter using Cassini images with Dr. Andrew Ingersoll; performed flume experiments to study the development of waterfall plunge pools with Dr. Michael Lamb; and, with Dr. Edward Stone, worked with numerical simulations to understand the electron response of the High Energy Telescope on the STEREO spacecraft. While a sophomore at Caltech, Daniel put together a team for the RASC-AL Exploration Robo-Ops Competition, which challenges students to build a remotely controlled rover that is capable of collecting rock samples. His team came in second.

Daniel is currently working with Dr. Roger Yelle on the MAVEN mission to study the atmosphere of Mars, but he's already planning for the future: “You will probably think I am crazy, but I am going to be a planetary scientist in Singapore. You may think there is hardly anything there now, but we have launched our first earth-observing satellite a few years ago, and we have just created our space agency. Also, space exploration is becoming more international in nature, which means it is easier for small countries like Singapore to participate. In a few years the soil will be fertile to support a couple of planetary scientists, and I believe that with the experience and network I would have built up by then, I can be one of them.”


The Lt. Col. Kenneth Rondo Carson and Virginia Bryan Carson Graduate Fellowship is an endowment established by the estate of Virginia B. Carson, honoring her husband, a former member of the "Flying Tigers," a former member of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff Strategic Air Command, retired master navigator and enthusiast of space exploration. Colonel Carson greatly admired the professionalism and accomplishments of NASA's space program. The Carson Fellowship is awarded to students pursuing degrees in the Department of Planetary Sciences, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, selected on the basis of academic achievement and the promise of further scholarly endeavor.

Berkner Internship for Thompson

Fourth-year graduate student Michelle Thompson was awarded a Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Internship with the National Academies Space Studies Board.

Graduate Student News

Berkner Internship for Thompson

Fourth-year graduate student Michelle Thompson was awarded a Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Internship with the National Academies Space Studies Board. The internship will afford her the opportunity to spend 10 weeks in Washington, D.C., during the Fall 2014 semester. In addition to the Berkner internship, Michelle is the 2014 recipient of the Curson (formerly Shandel) Travel award; information about her funded travel and research interests is available in this newsletter. She is also recipient of a Canadian NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) and a 2014 NESSF (NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship). Michelle's advisor is Assistant Professor Tom Zega.

2014 NESSF Awards

Kudos to LPL graduate students with new or continuing NESSF (NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship) Awards:

New for 2014

Graduate Student News

2014 NESSF Awards

Kudos to LPL graduate students with new or continuing NESSF (NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship) Awards:

New for 2014

  • Diana BolserMicrostructural and synthetic studies of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions: Insights into early nebular chemistry"  (Dept. of Chemistry; advisor: Tom Zega)
  • Tad Komacek, "Magnetic effects in hot Jupiters" (advisor: Adam Showman)
  • Cecilia Leung, "Mesoscale meteorological modeling of the martian hydrological cycle" (advisor: Alfred McEwen)
  • Kelly Miller, "Tracing sulfur in the early Solar System with the Rumuruti chondrites" (advisor: Dante Lauretta)
  • Xianyu TanAtmospheric circulation of brown dwarfs" (advisor: Adam Showman )
  • Michelle ThompsonUnderstanding space weathering of asteroids and the lunar surface: Analysis of experimental analogs and samples from the Hayabusa and Apollo missions"  (advisor: Tom Zega)

Renewed for 2014

  • Patricio Becerra, "Wavelet Analysis of Martian Polar Stratigraphy from HiRISE Topography" (advisor: Shane Byrne)
  • James Keane, "Stability of Asteroidal Regolith During Planetary Close Approaches" (advisor: Isamu Matsuyama)
  • Jamie Molaro, "Thermal Stress Weathering in the Inner Solar System" (advisor: Shane Byrne)
  • Sarah Morrison, "Multiple Planet-Debris Disk Interactions: Probing Planetary System Evolution" (advisor: Renu Malhotra)

Spring 2014 GTA Award to Sky Beard

Sky Beard is the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for Spring 2014. Sky earned the award for his work as a GTA for Dr. Tamara Rogers' PTYS/ASTR 170B2 course. He is a third-year graduate student working with Professor Timothy Swindle.

Graduate Student News

Spring 2014 GTA Award to Sky Beard

Sky Beard is the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for Spring 2014. Sky earned the award for his work as a GTA for Dr. Tamara Rogers' PTYS/ASTR 170B2 course. He is a third-year graduate student working with Professor Timothy Swindle.

Sky received several nominations from the undergraduate students in the class, each emphasizing the time, patience, and dedication that he took to meet with students outside of class and outside his office hours. One student credited Sky with grade improvement from a D to an A. To quote from one of the nomination forms, "Sky…puts his students before himself and truly wants to see his students progress in the course. He is a true inspiration for any undergraduate….”

Recipients of the Outstanding GTA Award receive funds of up to $1,000 to support travel to a professional meeting of their choice.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - fall