Over the next five years, Jeffrey Moersch will be traveling to faraway places—from the Arctic to the Chilean desert—in a quest to learn more about a place even farther away—Mars. The earth and planetary sciences professor is part of a new NASA-funded research team helping prepare for the Mars 2020 rover mission. The interdisciplinary team is a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and is one of seven to receive a five-year grant of about $8 million.
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences News
National Geographic featured the research of Stephanie Drumheller, an earth and planetary sciences lecturer. Drumheller’s work involved giving alligators n pig bones or cow legs. Through understanding the damage modern alligators leave on bones, Drumheller and other paleontologists can follow the depredations of alligators and their crocodile cousins through time. “In order to see the
National Geographic featured an in-depth story on the research of Stephanie Drumheller, an earth and planetary sciences lecturer. She and her Virginia Tech colleagues examined 220-million-year-old bite marks in the thigh bones of an old reptile and found evidence that two predators at the top of their respective food chains interacted—with the smaller potentially having
At the beginning of the age of dinosaurs, gigantic reptiles—distant relatives of modern crocodiles—ruled the earth. Some lived on land and others in water and it was thought they didn’t much interact. But a tooth found by a UT researcher in the thigh of one of these ancient animals is challenging this belief.
WBIR-TV featured the research of Ben Rozitis, a postdoctoral researcher, which found that a gravity-defying asteroid that poses one of the largest threats to Earth is actually more like a giant clump of flour. The fact that the rocks and dust are not flying apart means the asteroid is being held together by something more
Research by a UT team is receiving ample news coverage including on The Weather Channel, Space.com, and Times of India. Ben Rozitis, a postdoctoral researcher; Eric MacLennan, a doctoral candidate; and Joshua Emery, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, studied near-Earth asteroid 1950 DA and discovered that the body, which
When faculty members Karen Lloyd and Andrew Steen saw an opportunity to introduce a group of inner-city New Jersey high school students to science, they made it happen. Lloyd, an assistant professor of microbiology, and her husband, Steen, an assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, just completed their second summer program with students and teachers from Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark.
Two earth and planetary sciences doctoral students will be furthering their study of the cosmos with help from NASA. NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowships are awarded once a year “to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines required to achieve NASA’s scientific goals.” The recipients, including UT’s Eric MacLennan, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Richard Cartwright, of Atlanta, Georgia, will each get $30,000 a year for three years.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek celebrated faculty, staff, and students for their accomplishments throughout the past academic year. Sally Parish, director of the Center for Leadership and Service; Rita Smith, executive associate dean of UT Libraries; and Melody Branch, business manager for the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, were recognized for their service to the university.
Distinguished Scientist Bob Hatcher has been awarded the 2014 Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal. The award makes Hatcher the only recipient of the three most prestigious medals in his field. The award is presented to a geoscientist who has demonstrated a long history of scientific achievement and exceptional service to the geoscience profession. Hatcher is also the recipient of the American Geosciences Institute’s 2006 Ian Campbell Medal and the Geological Society of America’s 2006 Penrose Medal.