Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences News

Professor Harry ‘Hap’ McSween Named SEC Professor of the Year

Harry “Hap” McSween, a UT professor who is world-renowned for his research of meteorites and Mars, has been named the Southeastern Conference Professor of the Year. McSween is a Chancellor’s Professor and distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences. The SEC Professor of the Year Award honors one SEC faculty member from the fourteen conference universities whose record in research, scholarship and service places him or her among the elite in higher education.

Burr to Discuss Saturn Moon Findings at Science Forum on April 19

Devon Burr, assistant professor of earth and planetary science, has been publishing papers about NASA’s mission to Titan, a moon of Saturn, since 2006. She will be discussing some of the mission’s findings at the Science Forum on April 19.

Lecturer to Discuss Crocodylian Bite Marks at Friday’s Science Forum

Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, lecturer in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, helped make an interesting discovery in a dinosaur fossil earlier this year. She will be discussing her research at the Science Forum at noon on Friday, April 12, in Dining Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena.

Meteorites Revealing Secrets of Russian Fireball

Larry Taylor, distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences, has samples of the meteor which exploded over Russia. He is studying them to see what insight they can provide into the rare impact by a space rock, and other stories they may have to tell.

NPR: NASA Says Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Life

Hap McSween, earth and planetary sciences professor, spoke to NPR about NASA’s Mars Curiosity mission’s latest discovery. An analysis of a rock sample collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes by revealing some key ingredients for life.

UT Expert Helps Find Evidence That Prehistoric Crocs Ate Small Dinosaurs

Drumheller-Horton feeding a partial cow hind limb to a group of American alligators at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida. She was collecting bite mark samples from different species of crocodylian on cow and pig limbs.

Prehistoric relatives to crocodiles and alligators fed on tiny dinosaurs, according to fossil evidence discovered by a team of researchers, including a UT lecturer. Stephanie Drumheller, a 2005 graduate and lecturer in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, analyzed bite marks on some seventy-five-million-year-old dinosaur bones that were collected in southern Utah in 2002.

News Sentinel: UT expert: Meteorites not uncommon

The Knoxville News Sentinel interviewed Joshua Emery, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, about the 10-ton meteor that broke into pieces over Russia. Emery said the astronomical event is not terribly uncommon.

Professor Shares Photos from Rover Mission

Linda Kah is an integral part of the NASA team working on the Curiosity rover on Mars. The associate professor of earth and planetary sciences works on camera team that is searching for features within rocks that might provide clues to the role of fluids in the planet’s past. This week, she shared a self-portrait of the rover.