Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences News

UT’s Engel Co-Investigator on Grant Funded Through Oil Spill Penalties

A UT earth and planetary sciences professor is co-principal investigator on a project that will study how practices to restore coastal marshes and lands are impacting marsh food webs. The project recently received a $2 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s RESTORE Science Program. NOAA disbursed a total of $16.7 million to fund various research projects from penalties paid by parties responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Burr Co-Authors Paper Examining Electric Sands of the Moon Titan

Turns out that the grains covering the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, act like clingy packing peanuts—they become electrically charged and cause particles to stick to them. The study describing this finding, co-authored by UT researcher Devon Burr, was published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Christian Science Monitor Interviews McSween about Martian Volcano

One Martian volcano may have erupted for at least 2 billion years, according to new research. The most recent study has long suggested that big volcanic centers on Mars, such as Tharsis and Elysium, could have formed as long ago as 3 or 4 billion years ago, says Harry “Hap” McSween, a geoscientist at UT who was not involved in the research.

Emery Part of New NASA Mission ‘Lucy’ to Explore Early Solar System

UT’s Joshua Emery is part of a NASA mission that could provide new insight into one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system. The project, named Lucy, is one of two recently selected by NASA to be formulated into missions. Emery will serve on the science team for Lucy.

Nature Features McSween’s Involvement in Mars 2020 Plan

Nature, the weekly journal of science, recently featured one of NASA’s current projects, which involves building a rover that it hopes will bring back signs of life from Mars. Harry “Hap” McSween, Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, is a part of the team working on the $2.4 billion project to bring back a rock from Mars, which could take place as early as July 2020.