Graduate Student News

Welcome, Jonathan Dykhuis!

Congratulations to Melissa and Nathan Dykhuis, who welcomed a new son, Jonathan Joseph, born April 17, 9.0 lbs and 21 inches. Melissa writes, "He's got the sleep schedule of an astronomer already, and has a head start learning the names of the planets from his excited older brother, Matthew."

Graduate Student News

Welcome, Jonathan Dykhuis!

Congratulations to Melissa and Nathan Dykhuis, who welcomed a new son, Jonathan Joseph, born April 17, 9.0 lbs and 21 inches. Melissa writes, "He's got the sleep schedule of an astronomer already, and has a head start learning the names of the planets from his excited older brother, Matthew."

 

 

 

Jamie Molaro Wins College of Science Outstanding Service Award

LPL’s Jamie Molaro won the award for Outstanding Service and Outreach at the  8th Annual College of Science Graduate Student Awards.

Graduate Student News

Jamie Molaro Wins College of Science Outstanding Service Award

LPL’s Jamie Molaro won the award for Outstanding Service and Outreach at the  8th Annual College of Science Graduate Student Awards. The award, sponsored by the UA College of Science and the Associate Graduate Council, recognizes attention to broader impacts and involvement in activities outside of academic responsibilities that benefit the department, university and the larger community (e.g., representing graduate student interests on councils or committees, organizing graduate student events, assisting departmental recruitment, participating in K-12 outreach, etc.). Jamie more than met these criteria through her efforts in developing and organizing The Art of Planetary Science (TAPS) in 2013 and for leading the exhibit in its second, even more successful incarnation in 2014.

TAPS has become a community event, thanks to Jamie's efforts at networking and building partnerships with local artists, museums, and with local business. For 2014, Jamie crafted a significant new partnership with the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), dramatically increased the participation of the IAAA in this year’s art show, and also collaborated extensively with the local Tucson chapter of the IAAA in ensuring cross-advertisement between TAPS and the IAAA’s own local art show. Jamie also pursued new partnerships with the College of Science, which culminated in a private, catered showing for the Galileo Circle the night prior to the grand opening. Jamie strengthened existing partnerships that she had developed in 2013, most notably with the Tucson Museum of Art’s “Art on Tap” — an art and craft beer festival. Through collaboration with Tucson Museum of Art, Jamie was able to have the winners of TAPS and several selected works displayed while providing free access to the show for artists. Lastly, Jamie also coordinated advertisement for the art show, including talking with reporters for the Arizona Daily Star, UA News (video: http://tinyurl.com/artofplanetaryscience), The Daily Wildcat, and NPR. Jamie has also presented The Art of Planetary Science to the scientific community, with posters and talks at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) and American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Science (DPS) conference. These presentations serve to inform fellow scientists and science educators on how we created and executed such a successful art show—with the aim of inspiring similar programs at other institutions and attracting scientists to submit artwork for future shows. As this weren't enough, Jamie also coordinated with the organizers of the October 2014 DPS meeting (held in Tucson) to allow a miniature showing of the artwork at the conference.

Thanks to Jamie Molaro, the 2014 Art of Planetary Science was a resounding success, with more than 200 pieces of artwork from 90 artists and scientists. The show spanned three floors of the Kuiper Space Sciences building, which was transformed into an art gallery. Over the three nights of the art show (plus the special Galileo Circle event), TAPS drew a crowd of over 800 people—over double what we saw in the first show in 2013. The artists sold several dozen pieces of artwork, making over $2,000 for the local Tucson art community, along with several hundred dollars in donation to the College of Science and to LPL.

Jamie's award was announced at a reception held on April 7. This is the fourth consecutive year that an LPL graduate student has won one of the three college-wide awards. Given that our graduate students are competing against the best students from 11 other departments, having a winner four years in a row speaks to the excellence of our graduate students.

Congratulations, Jamie!

2015 Curson Travel Award

Ali Bramson and Kelly Miller have been announced as recipients of funds from the 2015 Curson Travel Scholarship.

Graduate Student News

2015 Curson Travel Award

Ali Bramson and Kelly Miller have been announced as recipients of funds from the 2015 Curson Travel Scholarship.

Ali is a fourth-year graduate student working with Associate Professor Shane Byrne. She plans to use the funds to support participation in a two-week summer field campaign in Iceland, followed by the fall 2015 HiRISE camera team meeting to be held in Lake Myvatn, Iceland. The field work is part of a Terrestrial Analogs for Planetary Surfaces campaign intended to fulfill science objectives of Assistant Professor Christopher Hamilton's NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics grant.

Kellly Miller is a fifth-year graduate student advised by Professor Dante Lauretta. Her Curson award will help to fund travel to the Solar System Origins Gordon Research Conference (GRC), to be held June 28 to July 3, at Mount Holyoke College. The topic of the GRC, which is intended as a scientific conference with limited participation, is "The Physics and Chemistry of Building Planets: Recent Advances and Future Prospects." Kelly will present a poster and work with colleagues in the planetary formation community.

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

James Keane Named Recipient of 2015 Gerard P. Kuiper Award

Congratulations to James Tuttle Keane, recipient of the 2015 Gerard P. Kuiper Memorial Award.

Graduate Student News

James Keane Named Recipient of 2015 Gerard P. Kuiper Award

Congratulations to James Tuttle Keane, recipient of the 2015 Gerard P. Kuiper Memorial Award.

James Keane is a fourth-year graduate student advised by Assistant Professor Isamu Matsuyama. He graduated from the University of Maryland (College Park) in 2011 with B.Sc. degrees in Astronomy (with High Honors) and Geology (with Honors). Keane's research interests include the formation and evolution of solar system planets, planetary satellites, and small bodies, with an emphasis on the interactions between rotational/orbital dynamics and geologic processes of terrestrial and icy bodies.

Keane was awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) for 2013-2016, for research on "Stability of Asteroid Regolith during Planetary Close Approaches." He is the recipient of several other awards, including a 2014 Outstanding Student Paper Award from the American Geophysical Union (fall meeting) for "The Contribution of Impact Basins and Mascons to the Lunar Figure: Evidence for Lunar True Polar Wander, and a Past Low-Eccentricity, Synchronous Lunar Orbit." Keane was also awarded a 2014 Galileo Circle Scholarship from the University of Arizona's College of Science.

In 2014, Keane was first author on two journal articles:

  • Keane, J. T., Matsuyama, I. (2014). Evidence for lunar true polar wander and a past low-eccentricity synchronous lunar orbit. Geophysical Research Letters 41:6610
  • Keane, J. T., Pascucci, I., Espaillat, C., Woitke, P., Andrews, S., Kamp, I., Thi, W. F., Meeus, G., Dent, W. R. F. (2014). Evidence for Disk Flattening or Gas Depletion in Transitional Disks. Astrophysical Journal 787:152.

In addition to his studies and research, Keane has been actively involved with planetary science outreach in Tucson and at LPL, including serving as a volunteer for OSIRIS-REx, Tucson Festival of Books, and LPL special events. He volunteers, too, at the Pima Air and Space Museum; works as a counselor for UA Astronomy Camp; and serves as a writer and artist for 321 Science! Keane is also one of two co-organizers responsible for developing and organizing The Art of Planetary Science at LPL.

Keane plans to defend his dissertation in 2016.


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."

 

2015 Galileo Circle Scholarships

Congratulations to LPL's 2015 Galileo Circle Scholarship recipients: Melissa Dykhuis, Youngmin JeongAhn, Tad Komacek, Margaret Landis, Xianyu Tan, Michelle Thompson, and Rob Zellem. Galileo Circle Scholarships are awarded to the University of Arizona's finest science students and represent the tremendous breadth of research interests in the College of Science.

Graduate Student News

2015 Galileo Circle Scholarships

Congratulations to LPL's 2015 Galileo Circle Scholarship recipients: Melissa Dykhuis, Youngmin JeongAhn, Tad Komacek, Margaret Landis, Xianyu Tan, Michelle Thompson, and Rob Zellem. Galileo Circle Scholarships are awarded to the University of Arizona's finest science students and represent the tremendous breadth of research interests in the College of Science.

Galileo Circle Scholars receive $1,000 each; these awards are supported through the generous donations of Galileo Circle members. The Galileo Scholars were honored at an early evening reception held on April 9, 2015.

Congratulations to all our 2015 Galileo Scholars!

Melissa Dykhuis
(Greenberg)

Youngmin JeongAhn
(Malhotra)

Tad Komacek
(Showman)

 

Margaret Landis
(Byrne)

 

Xianyu Tan
(Showman)

Michelle Thompson
(Zega)

Rob Zellem
(Griffith)

Fall 2014 GTA Award to Sarah Peacock

Sarah Peacock is the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for Fall 2014. Sarah earned the award for her work as a GTA with Dr.

Graduate Student News

Fall 2014 GTA Award to Sarah Peacock

Sarah Peacock is the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for Fall 2014. Sarah earned the award for her work as a GTA with Dr. Steven Kortenkamp in the PTYS/ASTR 206 course. She is a second-year graduate student working with Associate Professor Travis Barman.

The students that Sarah worked with nominated her as deserving for going "above and beyond," communicating enthusiasm for course content as well as for her own research, and crediting her with their success in the course. Dr. Kortenkamp cites a special challenge for Sarah and her fellow PTYS 206 GTA: having to learn and operate the new full-dome digital projection system at Flandrau, where the course is taught. When not under the Flandrau dome, Sarah  proctored regular evening observing sessions, held bi-weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions and group help sessions, and organized a special project that connected the undergraduate students with the LPL Art of Planetary Science exhibition by encouraging students to submit pieces to the show for extra credit. Sarah believes "that the show was a great way to make planetary science more accessible" to the students.

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

More Student Honors and Awards

Recent alumna Ingrid Daubar (2014) was the recipient of one of four Wiley-Blackwell Awards for outstanding presentations by students at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Casablanca for her talk on "New Dated Impacts on Mars and the Current Cratering Rate."

Graduate Student News

More Student Honors and Awards

Recent alumna Ingrid Daubar (2014) was the recipient of one of four Wiley-Blackwell Awards for outstanding presentations by students at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Casablanca for her talk on "New Dated Impacts on Mars and the Current Cratering Rate."

Catherine Elder (advisor: Adam Showman) and James Keane (advisor: Isamu Matsuyama) each received a 2014 AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award. Catherine won for her paper titled, "Convection and Melt Migration in Io’s Mantle." James received the award for a poster titled, "The Contribution of Impact Basins and Mascons to the Lunar Figure: Evidence for Lunar True Polar Wander, and a Past Low-Eccentricity, Synchronous Lunar Orbit." Typically the top 3-5% of presenters in each section/focus group are awarded an Outstanding Student Paper Award.

Sarah Morrison (advisor: Kaitlin Kratter) advanced to the semi-final round of the 2015 UA Grad Slam competition. Sarah's Grad Slam topic was: “Mind the Gap: Hunting for Exoplanets." Grad Slam is a campus-wide competition for the best 3-minute talk about student research and discovery. All disciplines are encouraged to participate. More information and video about Grad Slam is online from UA News.

Sarah Peacock (advisor: Travis Barman) was included on the NSF Honorable Mention list for her Graduate Research Fellowship Program proposal. Although she did not receive a GRFP, Sarah’s name will be listed on the GRFP web site and she will be provided with enhanced access to cyberinfrastructure resources, including supercomputing time, in support of research toward completion of the graduate program of study.

Michelle Thompson (advisor: Tom Zega) was first author on a paper in Earth, Planets and Space that was named by the journal as one of their highlighted papers for 2014. The paper, titled, "Microchemical and structural evidence for space weathering in soils from asteroid Itokawa," was co-authored by Roy Christoffersen, Thomas J. Zega, and Lindsay P. Keller; Earth, Planets and Space (2014) 66:89 (13 August 2014).

Student Honors and Awards

Three Ph.D. students with LPL affiliations were among the 11 winners of Uwingu travel grants. Congratulations to Ingrid Daubar (advisor: Alfred McEwen), Catherine Elder (advisor: Adam Showman), and Johanna Teske (Dept. of Astronomy, advised by Caitlin Griffith).

Graduate Student News

Student Honors and Awards

Three Ph.D. students with LPL affiliations were among the 11 winners of Uwingu travel grants. Congratulations to Ingrid Daubar (advisor: Alfred McEwen), Catherine Elder (advisor: Adam Showman), and Johanna Teske (Dept. of Astronomy, advised by Caitlin Griffith).

Kudos to Michelle Thompson (advisor: Tom Zega), who received Honorable Mention in the Geological Society of America's Stephen E. Dwornik Geoscience Student Paper Award for her talk titled, “Nanoscale Analysis of Space-Weathering Features in Soils from Itokawa," presented at the 45th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

 

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.

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.

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