Breakfast Meeting with NASA Chief Scientist and Chief Technologist

Friday, May 20, 2016

From left to right in the picture: Cole Kingsbury, Jamie Graff, Andrew Hay, Dr. David Miller, Dr. Richard Ernst, Dr. Ellen Stofan, Erin Bethell, Calder Patterson, Dr. Claire Samson, Dr. Ken Buchan, Sarah Davey, and Dr. Marie-Claude Williamson with Judy Carrodeguas taking the picture.

From left to right in the picture:
Cole Kingsbury, Jamie Graff, Andrew Hay, Dr. David Miller, Dr. Richard Ernst, Dr. Ellen Stofan, Erin Bethell, Calder Patterson, Dr. Claire Samson, Dr. Ken Buchan, Sarah Davey and Dr. Marie-Claude Williamson, with Judy Carrodeguas taking the picture

 

The 17th Astronautics Conference of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (ASTRO 2016) just completed at the Delta Hotel in downtown Ottawa. This conference featured Keynote Speakers and eminent space scientists Dr. David Miller (Chief Technologist, NASA) and Dr. Ellen Stofan (Chief Scientist, NASA).

Scientist-in-Residence Dr. Richard Ernst was able to arrange an opportunity for the Venus Working Group and guests to meet with the NASA chiefs, Drs. Stofan and Miller, over breakfast on Wednesday. Specifically, his group consisted of himself, Dr. Claire Samson, six Carleton students (five graduates and one undergraduate), and Drs. Ken Buchan and Marie-Claude Williamson of the Geological Survey of Canada. Ms. Judy Carrodeguas (NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations) organized the visit with Dr. Ernst.

At the beginning, we went around the table and everyone introduced themselves and their research interests. The students sitting next to the NASA chiefs had an opportunity for more in-depth conversations. For instance, graduate students Jamie Graff and Erin Bethell brainstormed with Dr. Stofan about their shared interests on Venusian coronae and rifting.  Dr. Stofan encouraged both Jamie and Erin to send her their research results in future for her input. Andrew Hay, who has a M.Sc. rover project, discussed it with Dr. Miller. Rising 3rd year student Calder Patterson also had an opportunity to share about his work on pit chains. Cole Kingsbury discussed his Ph.D. work on the High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP), which has some similarities to Venusian magmatic events.

From the Geological Survey of Canada, Dr. Buchan and Dr. Williamson (Adjunct Research Professor with our department) also contributed their insights. Dr. Buchan in particular has been working with Dr. Ernst on proposed terrestrial analogues of coronae, a particular class of enigmatic volcano-tectonic features on Venus. This work was of interest to Dr. Stofan, who has produced so much seminal work on coronae over the past 20 years.

The meeting was a fantastic experience for everyone involved.