fall

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