Dr. Ernst and Students Make A Valuable Contribution at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Group picture in front of a Lunar and Planetary Science Conference welcome banner

 

Scientist-in-Residence Dr. Richard Ernst and three students recently attended the 47th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. The conference was held March 21st to 25th in The Woodlands, Texas. Our students who attended were Sarah Davey (Ph.D. Candidate), Erin Bethell (M.Sc. Candidate) and Calder Patterson (2nd year Geophysics student). 

By all accounts, it was a fantastic experience for each student. Apart from seeing talks and posters with stunning images and data from the current and recent missions, e.g. for  Pluto, Ceres (asteroid), Mars, etc., they also did a lot of networking, including with some leading planetary scientists.

For instance, on the very first day they met with:

Professor Jim Head (Brown University), who helped train the Apollo astronauts in the late 1960s and who has been involved in almost every space science mission since. He has also been a mentor to our Dr. Ernst for his Venus research.

Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist, who also researches the geology of Venus. Dr. Stofan is coming to Ottawa for the ASTRO Conference, which is coming up May 17-19. She hopes to meet with Dr. Ernsts' Venus Working Group during her visit.

Dr. Walter Kiefer is a staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Calder has accepted an internship with the Lunar and Planetary Institute this summer.

During the conference, they also  met with Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt (astronaut and geologist), who walked on the moon in  December 1972 on the final Apollo mission (Apollo 17).


From left to right: Dr. Richard Ernst, Sarah Davey, Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt and Erin Bethell

From left to right: Dr. Richard Ernst, Sarah Davey, Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt and Erin Bethell

 

Sarah, Erin and Calder each presented research of their own: Sarah and Erin in the form of oral presentations and Calder and Sarah in the form of posters. Also, Sarah co-chaired the Venus session that she and Erin participated in. Dr. Ernst also presented a poster.

Their abstracts are available here: 

  • Bethell, Oral presentation on CIRCUMFERENTIAL GRABEN-FISSURE SYSTEMS OF VENUSIAN CORONAE AS POSSIBLE ANALOGUES OF GIANT CIRCUMFERENTIAL DYKE SWARMS ON EARTH.
  • Davey, Oral presentation on EVALUATION OF VIRTIS EMISSIVITY ANOMALIES USING CROSS-CUTTING RELATIONSHIPS IN THE VICINITY OF MIELIKKI MONS, VENUS. 
  • Davey, Poster on MEASURING THE BULK DENSITY OF VERY SMALL METEORITE FRAGMENTS (VOLUME < 0.5 CM3) USING 3D LASER IMAGING. 
  • Davey, Venus session (Co-chair) of VENUS: SURFACE AND ATMOSPHERE 
  • Ernst, Poster on GIANT CIRCUMFERENTIAL DYKE SWARMS ON EARTH AS POSSIBLE ANALOGUES OF CORONAE ON VENUS. 
  • Patterson, Poster on PIT CHAINS ASSOCIATED WITH RADIATING GRABEN-FISSURE SYSTEMS ON VENUS: FORMATION DURING LATERAL DYKE INJECTION? 

 

Sarah Davey presenting her research

Sarah Davey presenting her research

 

Networking conversations indicated that there is a lot of interest in the planetary science research being done right here at Carleton.