Calder Patterson Awarded Prestigious LPI Internship in Houston

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Calder Patterson


Calder Patterson, a second year student in Earth Sciences with a Concentration in Geophysics, has just been awarded a prestigious summer internship with the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). This organization, located in Houston, is "a research institute that provides support services to NASA". Calder was one of only 12 successful applicants, selected from around the world. Under the auspices of the LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science, Calder will be working on a project with plenty of Canadian content as described below: 


Geology and History of Haughton Crater, Canada  -

The 25 km diameter Haughton Crater on Devon Island, NWT, Canada is one of the best exposed terrestrial impact craters formed in sedimentary rocks.  This project will involve integrating recent geological/geophysical data and maps to develop a geological history of this feature and determine its specific morphological and structural configuration. 

Specific questions to be addressed include:

1. Did the crater form a central topographic peak or peak ring?
2. Have large portions of the breccia/melt units filling the crater been removed by erosion?
3. What was the original rim diameter of the crater?
4. Is there any surviving evidence of rim uplift? 


NASA maintains a research station at Haughton Crater, which is situated in an Arctic desert environment considered to be very similar to that on Mars.

This amazing opportunity was an outgrowth of a Dean's Summer Research Internship that Calder held last summer, under the direction of Scientist-in-Residence Dr. Richard Ernst. Dr. Ernst gave Calder the opportunity to work on a challenging research project where he investigated volcanism on Venus using radar data collected by the Magellan Probe. Dr. Ernst has continued to mentor Calder and encouraged him to apply for the LPI internship. Calder will be travelling with Dr. Ernst and two of his graduate students (Erin Bethell and Sarah Davey) for presentations at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, which is scheduled for 21-25 March of this year. Calder will be presenting the results of his Venusian research (co-authored by Dr. Ernst and Professor Claire Samson).