What else have the members of the Department of Astronomy & Planetary Science been doing?
Our faculty, staff, and students are making a difference on campus and around the world. Read about some of our achievements, activities, and successes.
Thanks to David Trilling for keeping track of all these accomplishments!
NASA’s Lunar Trailblazer mission was confirmed, with launch in 2025 Accordion Closed
Christopher Edwards is a member of the science and instrument team.
Recent PhD and current postdoc Samuel Navarro-Meza participated in the Noche de las Estrellas (Night of the Stars) public outreach event in Mexico (en espanol) Accordion Closed
PhD student Andy Lopez was interviewed at least twice about the Arecibo radio telescope and its recent collapse (en espanol) Accordion Closed
Jennifer Buz gave an invited talk at GSA (Geological Society of America) Accordion Closed
with Christopher Edwards and Shaye Fordring as co-authors. Shaye is an NAU undergrad and Space Grant intern.
PhD Student, Annika Gustafsson, gave a talk Accordion Closed
at the recent Apophis T-9 Years: Knowledge Opportunities for the Science of Planetary Defense meeting. Cristina Thomas was on the SOC for this meeting and was a session chair.
Alum, Nicole Karnath Accordion Closed
who has an MS from our (former) department, is now working at SOFIA as an instrument scientist.
First year PhD student Ryder Strauss is on a new paper Accordion Closed
Colin Chandler, Will Oldroyd, and David Trilling are on a new paper Accordion Closed
Josh Emery and David Trilling are on a new paper Accordion Closed
Annika Gustafsson is on a new paper Accordion Closed
Our department had a number of people present in the 1st Annual Arizona Astrobiology Research Symposium Accordion Closed
Presenters included undergrad student Lonnie Dausend; grad students Amber Young and Ari Koeppel; and faculty Christopher Edwards. My apologies if I missed anyone.
PhD student, Will Oldroyd writes Accordion Closed
“I recently gave a virtual presentation for the Saguaro Astronomy Club and the East Valley Astronomy Club (both in the Phoenix-Mesa area) titled “The Search for Planet X.” They liked it so much that I was invited to give a similar presentation for the West Valley Astronomy Club next semester.”
PhD student Ryder Strauss is on a new paper Accordion Closed
PhD student, James Windsor and faculty Ty Robinson and David Trilling are co-authored on a new paper, led by Chris Doughty from SICCS Accordion Closed
See also the NAU News article about this research: Looking to the shadows: NAU researchers turn to trees to determine if multicellular life on exoplanets exist
On October 2, President Cheng sent an email entitled “Celebrating student success this family weekend,” Accordion Closed
which talks a lot about different things going on around campus. PhD student Annika Gustafsson was specifically mentioned by name for her Amelia Earhart fellowship awarded earlier this year — one of only two students from across the
entire campus to be named in that email.
Josh Emery is on a new paper: Accordion Closed
David Trilling and Josh Emery appeared on invited review articles in Nature Astronomy Accordion Closed
The invited review articles summarize the Spitzer Space Telescope’s contributions to Solar System science over nearly 16 years of operations. David Trilling is lead author of one of those papers and co-author on the other; Josh Emery is co-author on both.
Here is the NAU News article: NAU scientists author papers in Nature Astronomy chronicling legacy of Spitzer Space Telescope
David Trilling attended (virtually) a conference in Germany Accordion Closed
In addition to his science talk, he gave a public lecture as part of the conference.
This is a pretty cool thing: They had nine speakers from all over the world, speaking in their own native languages (English, Hungarian, Spanish, Hindu/Urdu, Persian, German, Portuguese). You can watch Trilling’s talk here: Asteroids in the Solar System as seen by Spitzer and JWST
Congratulation to Dr. Samuel Navarro-Meza Accordion Closed
Samuel, a visiting PhD student from UNAM in Ensenada, Mexico, who has been working in the Trilling Research Group here for the past four years, successfully defended his PhD on October 13. Felicidades and congratulations to DOCTOR Samuel!
Cristina Thomas is giving a talk at Caltech for their Latinx Heritage Month STEMinar series: Accordion Closed
Cristina Thomas is quoted in a WIRED article Accordion Closed
DAPS grad students and faculty donated to Kinlani Mutual Aid Accordion Closed
a car load (full trunk not pictured) of tents, sleeping bags, warm clothing, and health essentials. Thank you to everyone who contributed and huge thanks to Schuyler for organizing and picking up everybody’s donations. To learn more or make a monetary contribution, see Kinlani/Flagstaff Mutual Aid
David Trilling gave an invited talk Accordion Closed
at the virtual LSSTC enabling science 2020 broker workshop.
PhD Student, Colin Chandler, was part of a press conference at the annual Division for Planetary Science meeting. Accordion Closed
Held virtually, of course.
NAU astronomers discover activity on distant planetary object (NAU News)
Astronomers discover activity on distant planetary object (Phys.org)
NAU at DPS Accordion Closed
Audrey Martin put together this tremendous list of NAU people
who presented at DPS — thanks, Audrey!
– Maggie McAdam and co-author Annika Gustafsson (Abstract #101.01)
– co-author Josh Emery (Abstract #101.03 and #106.05)
– Cristina Thomas and co-author David Trilling (Abstract #101.05)
– Patrick Tribbett and co-author Mark Loeffler (Abstract #108.04)
– Ryder Strauss (Abstract #203.05)
– Maggie McAdams (Session 202 Chair)
– David Trilling and Samuel Navarro-Meza (Daily Science Chats
– Will Oldroyd and co-author Chad Trujillo (Abstract #304.04)
– co-author Josh Emery (Abstract #307.05)
– co-author Cristina Thomas (Abstract #320.22)
– Will Oldroyd and Audrey Martin (Daily Science Chats Facilitator/Moderator)
– co-author Josh Emery (Abstract #400.04 and #400.06)
– Audrey Martin and co-authors Josh Emery and Mark Loeffler (Abstract #401.05)
– Colin Chandler and co-authors Chad Trijillo, David Trilling, and
Will Oldroyd (Abstract #404.02)
– Anna Engle and co-authors Jennifer Hanley, Will Grundy, and Stephen
Tegler (Abstract #408.02)
– Jeniffer Hanley and co-authors Anna Engle, Will Grundy, and Stephen
Tegler (Abstract #408.06)
– Annika Gustafsson and co-author Nick Moscovitz (Abstract #409.01)
– Samuel Navarro-Meza and co-authors David Trilling, and Michael
Mommert (Abstract #409.05)
– Samuel Navarro-Meza and co-author David Trilling (Abstract #410.01)
– Andy Lopez-Oquendo and co-authors David Trilling, Annika Gustafsson,
and Colin Chandler (Abstract #415.01)
– Jay Kueny with co-authors Colin Chandler, Maxime Devogele, Nick
Moskovitz (Abstract #415.02)
– Audrey Martin (Session 401 chair)
– Cristina Thomas (Session 402 chair)
– Mark Loeffler (Session 415 chair)
– Cristina Thomas and Audrey Martin (Daily Science Chats Facilitator/Moderator)
– co-author Cristina Thomas (Abstract #502.01 and #502.06)
– Lauren McGraw with co-authors Josh Emery, and Cristina Thomas
– Mark Loeffler and co-author Beau Prince (Abstract #509.04)
– Beau Prince with co-author Mark Loeffler (Abstract #509.05)
Ty Robinson was featured on the cover of the ABOR August 21, 2020, daily news circular Accordion Closed
for his work in mentoring our grad students in their fellowship proposal writing. This story continues in a recent NAU News Article: Three NAU graduate students awarded NASA’s prestigious FINESST grants.
Mark Loeffler awarded funding from NASA’s SSW program. Accordion Closed
Mark Loeffler is a Co-I on a proposal recently funded by NASA Solar System Workings Program titled: Investigating the Role of Sulfides and Fe-Oxide Minerals in the Space Weathering of Asteroidal Regoliths. This work will be done in collaboration with Purdue University
Chad Trujillo and Colin Chandler receive an SSO Grant Accordion Closed
of about $350k for “Census of Active Minor Planets”. This is to extract and make public all of the known asteroids in the DECam dataset and to assess their activity using Citizen Science. This will basically fund a grad student to continue PhD student, Colin Chandler’s work. Their grant proposal was one of 11 funded from 47 proposals submitted.
PhD student Aaron Weintraub, Assistant Professor Christopher Edwards, and NAU/REU alumna Mohini Jodhpurkar are on a new paper: Accordion Closed
PhD students, Colin Chandler and Will Oldroyd, and David Trilling co-authored two white papers for the Planetary Science Decadal Survey Accordion Closed
Chad Trujillo has been named to the panel on small solar system bodies Accordion Closed
Josh Emery is co-author on 4 papers discussing the discovery by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission of particles being ejected from the surface of the near-Earth asteroid (and potentially hazardous asteroid) Bennu. Accordion Closed
A special collection of papers just came out in JGR discussing the discovery by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission of particles being ejected from the surface of the near-Earth asteroid (and potentially hazardous asteroid) Bennu. APS Assoc. Prof. Josh Emery is co-author on 4 of the papers in the collection: Rozitis, Emery, et al. discussing the temperatures on the surface of Bennu and analyzing the possibility of volatile sublimation for driving the activity; Scheeres et al. discussing the effects of particle ejection on Bennu’s rotation and orbit, Chesley et al. discussing the trajectories of ejected particles, and McMahon et al. discussing the dynamical evolution of particles in Bennu’s micro-gravity field.
All papers are open access and available at: Special Issue: Exploration of the Activity of Asteroid (101955) Bennu
Former REU, and current UC Boulder PhD student Patrick Behr; PhD student, Patrick Tribbett; and professors Tyler Robinson and Mark Loeffler publish in Astrophysical Journal Accordion Closed
The paper shows that energetic electrons can collapse the pores in amorphous H2O ice found in the interstellar medium, suggesting that earlier estimates for this process need to be adjusted by about an order of magnitude. This implies that microporosity in many interstellar environments may be relatively rare, which could have a strong effect on the chemical evolution of interstellar ice mantles in general.
APS senior Brittany Harvison has been selected as the CEFNS Distinguished Senior for this fall’s commencement! Accordion Closed
Congratulations to Brittany and to her mentor, Cristina Thomas.
The September issue of The Investigator (OVPR newsletter) highlighted a recent NAU News article about Cristina Thomas. Accordion Closed
PhD student, Annika Gustafsson is a co-author on a paper Accordion Closed
entitled “Spin-rates of V-type asteroids” (Oszkiewicz et al. 2020) which was just accepted in A&A. It
should hopefully be up on arXiv soon.
Postdoc Jennifer Buz participated in the 2020 JPL planetary science summer school. Accordion Closed
PhD student Will Oldroyd Accordion Closed
presented his research on Constraining the Outer Solar System Perihelion Gap at the AAS DDA (Division on Dynamical Astronomy)
Virtual Conference. He had lots of enthusiastic comments and feedback on his work.
PhD student Will Oldroyd also Accordion Closed
taught a 3 day course last month on Solar System Exploration for the TRiO Upward Bound Summer Residential program where at-risk high
school students from diverse backgrounds come to NAU for a taste of what college here will be like (although it was all virtual this year). “They liked my class so much that they asked me to come back and teach for them again next year and for additional related Upward Bound programs.”
Well done, Will!
Lecturer Lisa Chien is now officially ACUE-credentialed. Accordion Closed
having completed the The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Course in Effective Teaching Practices.
Research professor Allie Rutledge has been awarded funding from NASA’s SSW (Solar System Workings) program to study Eskers Accordion Closed
(glacial landforms) in Iceland and compare them to similar features on Mars. Christopher Edwards is a Co-I, and we are partnering with colleagues at USGS Astrogeology and NASA Johnson Space Center. They’ll be doing remote sensing, drone mapping, mineralogy, geochemistry, and sedimentology at our field site. The grant includes graduate and undergraduate student funding as well. “We’re really excited about this work! It’s a three year grant, with a total budget of $980K ($444K for NAU).”
David Trilling notes Accordion Closed
APS has more than 1100 students enrolled in classes this semester, which strikes me as a very high number, given our relatively small number of
faculty. Thanks to all who have taken on big classes this semester, and congratulations to everyone for learning new teaching skills and meeting the challenges of new ways of teaching.
Josh Emery, PhD student, Audrey Martin, and Mark Loeffler, have been awarded funding from NASA’s SSW program Accordion Closed
for a project entitled “What are Trojan asteroids made of? Constraints from laboratory spectroscopy and mid-infrared observations”. The grant will fund Audrey Martin’s PhD project to investigate the effects of porosity and grain size on mid-infrared (5-25 micron) spectra of olivine, pyroxene, and serpentine. The results from the lab will be used to analyze Spitzer Space Telescope spectra of Trojan asteroids. Josh notes “Audrey led all aspects of the proposal effort; having a successful full NASA proposal while a PhD student a is a big accomplishment! We are all really excited about this work. This is a three year award.”
Adjunct faculty member, Jennifer Hanley, who is on the faculty at Lowell Observatory had her SSW proposal funded Accordion Closed
In this project she and her team will continue to work on the compositions of Titan’s lakes and seas, and this new award would have funded PhD student Anna Engle .. if Anna hadn’t just won herself a NASA fellowship. A great problem to have! Gerrick Lindberg (affiliate faculty in our department), Will Grundy (adjunct in our department), and Steve Tegler are also on this proposal.
Congratulations to the the SSW proposal selections! Accordion Closed
In total, only 43 SSW proposals were selected in this round, and three of them (7% of all awards in this NASA program) would have funded NAU people (counting the Jennifer/Anna award in this list).
Several of our students on this recent list of NAU fellowship winners: Accordion Closed
Cristina Thomas’ NASA Early Career Fellowship proposal was selected. Accordion Closed
This is a $100,000 award for Cristina to keep doing the excellent work she is already doing!
Beau Prince, on the list of Big Sky Conference All-Academic Honorees Accordion Closed
Beau in an undergraduate student, and researcher in the Loeffler lab. Beau also, this year, won a Goldwater Scholarship.
Josh Emery is on a new paper Accordion Closed
Laurie (Urban) Chu (BS 2010) successfully defended her PhD in astronomy from the University of Hawai`i Accordion Closed
Her dissertation included work on comets, CO and CH3OH in molecular clouds, and some preparatory work for JWST. Laurie was David Trilling’s very first ever research student at NAU!
Graduate student Patrick Tribbett and Mark Loeffler are lead authors in a new paper Accordion Closed
A possible explanation for the presence of crystalline H2O-ice on Kuiper Belt objects, published in Icarus.
Here they performed a detailed study on the amorphization of crystalline H2O-ice and show that although under the conditions of KBOs, energetic electrons can amorphize H2O-ice, the time needed to do this is on the order of the age of the solar system, suggesting that the presence of H2O-ice on KBOs should expected after all.
The Emirates Mars Mission Accordion Closed
After many years of hard work and lots of blood, toil, tears, and sweat, the Emirates Mars Mission is scheduled. Christopher Edwards is the Instrument Scientist for EMIRS, the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer.
NAU and ASU have press releases out:
Devon Burr is on a new white paper: Accordion Closed
Undergraduate student Tabitha Trigler has been working this summer as an intern at SpaceX. Accordion Closed
“I work at the hangar at Pad 39A with the Final Integrations/Pre-Launch team. I have a couple of projects I work on; one where I am working with an actual engine to test how easily contamination can occur, and one where I am building (from scratch!) an electrical component that will connect to the rocket and be incorporated into our pre-flight
checkouts. I’ve gotten to work hands on with a bunch of the rockets that we’ve launched and I’ll be working on Crew-1 here starting in the next month, which is super exciting!”
Second-year doctoral student Ari Koeppel Accordion Closed
was a co-author on the conference report titled Mars Extant Life: What’s Next? published in Astrobiology. The report summarizes the conference, which brought together a community of publishing experts to discuss habitability and astrobiology related to Mars. Topics included indigenous microbial life, martian extant life and identifying and exploring refugia.
Undergrad, Beau Prince, and recent graduate, Mitch Magnuson, are first authors on a paper: Accordion Closed
Space Weathering of FeS Induced via Pulsed Laser Irradiation along with Mark Loeffler.
Cristina Thomas organized the (virtual) Didymos Observers Workshop, Accordion Closed
in support of the upcoming NASA DART mission: Didymos Observers Workshop 2020
Steve Tegler and Anna Engle, Accordion Closed
together with some folks we know well from Lowell and several REU alumni, have a new paper out: Stratification Dynamics of Titan’s Lakes via Methane Evaporation
Colin Chandler and Will Oldroyd were the “local” organizing committee Accordion Closed
for the recent LSST Solar System Science Collaboration Readiness Sprint #3
Patrick Tribbett and Ty Robinson have a new paper out: Accordion Closed
Congratulations to Ryleigh Fitzpatrick Accordion Closed
Ryleigh successfully defended her master’s thesis (in Applied Physics) titled “Low Energy Electron Sputtering of Water Ice”, under the supervision of Mark Loeffler. She will be continuing her education this fall at California Institute of Technology, where she will be pursuing a PhD in planetary science with Mike Brown.
Congratulations to Mitchell Magnuson Accordion Closed
Mitch was recently awarded the Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Kansas, where he will be pursing a PhD beginning this fall. This is a highly competitive 5-year award that only a handful students across campus receive. He is planning on pursing research in high energy physics, which involves him performing field work in Antarctica for part of his PhD.
Congratulations to Mark Loeffler Accordion Closed
In case you haven’t been keeping track, it’s been quite a year for students in Mark Loeffler’s lab. Ryleigh and Mitch are above;
as previously reported, Beau Prince won a Goldwater Scholarship and Patrick Tribbett got Honorable Mention for his NSF GRFP.
Congratulations to Hannah Zigo Accordion Closed
Here’s a message from the CEFNS’ Dean’s Office:
“Congratulations, Hannah! It is with great pleasure that the College of the Environment, Forestry and Natural Sciences has awarded your 2020 University Virtual Symposium poster, “Investigating Potential Ancient Inverted Valley Networks on Mars”, the First Place Award for the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science.”
Trilling, Gustafsson, McNeill and some other familiar names Accordion Closed
— including alumna of our department Cassandra Lejoly — are on two recent papers with Michael Mommert:
Josh Emery is co-author on a new paper Accordion Closed
Josh Emery was elected to the Faculty Senate! Accordion Closed
Josh, congratulations, and thank you for taking this on.
Alumnus Ryan Blackman (BS 2014) has a new paper out, Accordion Closed
presenting some of his EXPRES work: Performance Verification of the EXtreme PREcision Spectrograph. EXPRES is an instrument on the LDT (Lowell Discovery Telescope.
Mark Loeffler is co-author on an article published in Icarus Accordion Closed
investigating space weathering effects on the Murchison meteorite. The Murchison meteorite is thought to be a reasonable analog for asteroid 101955 Bennu, which is the asteroid currently being investigated by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission: The effect of progressive space weathering on the organic and inorganic components of a carbonaceous chondrite.
50th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Accordion Closed
would have been held in March, and we would have had a long list of presentes: Faculty: Nadine Barlow, Mark Salvatore; Postdocs: Jennifer Buz, Cong Pan, Kathryn Powell; Grad students: Ari Koeppel, Tony Maue, Lori Pigue, Christian Tai Udovicic, Aaron Weintraub, Chris Wolfe, Michael Zeilnhofer; Undergrads: Mitch Magnuson, Tabatha Trigler.
Congratulations to fourth year PhD student Annika Gustafsson, Accordion Closed
who was just notified that she has been awarded the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship for 2020-2021. “The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. The US$10,000 Fellowship is awarded annually to up to 30 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences.” This is not just 30 women in the US — it’s an international award. Last year only a few of the recipients were US based.
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Zeilnhofer, Accordion Closed
who successfully defended his dissertation entitled, A Global Analysis of Impact Craters on Ceres, and became our department’s first ever PhD graduate! Congratulation also to his mentor, Nadine Barlow.
PhD Student, Oriel Humes presented at Planets2020 Accordion Closed
Planets2020: Ground and space observatories: a joint venture to planetary science meeting in Santiago, Chile.
PhD student James Windsor was selected to participate in the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) “Cloud Academy II”: Accordion Closed
an intensive week-long school in France to study clouds in planets in our Solar System and other planetary systems ( Cloud Academy II ).
Alas, the school/academy was canceled.
Current postdoc Maggie McAdam will become the Deputy Director of SOFIA, Accordion Closed
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, in April. She (and Mark, who currently works for Christopher Edwards, and Phee, who mostly chews on things and drools), will be moving to Mountain View in April. Best of luck to all of them in their next phase!
PhD student Will Oldroyd competed in the southwest regional 3MRP (Three Minute Research Presentation) competition in New Mexico. Accordion Closed
Nearly 30 people presented, and 60 attended, last week’s Flagstaff Astronomy Symposium Accordion Closed
at Lowell Observatory. Congratulations to all NAU undergraduates, grad students, postdocs, and faculty on giving terrific talks! The next symposium will be Wed., Sept. 2, 2020.
Colin Chandler, Jay Kueny, Chad Trujillo, David Trilling, and Will Oldroyd have a new paper out. Accordion Closed
Congratulations to Lisa Chien Accordion Closed
Dean Wilder has just announced that Lisa is this year’s CEFNS Distinguished Professor (aka, Teacher of the Year).
Congratulations Lisa–well deserved recognition! We will definitely do something to celebrate as a group when we can all be together again. Also, many thanks to all who helped to put her nomination packet together.
Two Winners and an Honorable Mention for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Accordion Closed
Congratulations to Schuyler Borges (second year PhD student) and Jay Kueny (post-bac researcher) both won! And also to second
year PhD student Patrick Tribbett, who won an honorable mention!
Rising senior Beau Prince was named a Goldwater Scholar, Accordion Closed
one of the top national fellowships for undergrads in STEM!
Assistant Professor Chad Trujillo was promoted to Associate Professor (with tenure), Accordion Closed
effective August, 2020!
Admitted PhD student Natalie Jones was on the front page of the Arizona Daily Sun Accordion Closed
Adjunct faculty member Will Grundy is on three recent science articles about New Horizons’ flyby target (486958) Arrokoth Accordion Closed
Grundy is first author of the last of these; David Trilling is near the end of the author list on the first of these.
Postdoc Jennifer Buz presented at the ASU “Desert Attunement” symposium last week: Accordion Closed
PhD students Lauren McGraw and Audrey Martin Accordion Closed
led a workshop on how to prepare proposals for the James Webb Space Telescope. Lauren and Audrey are part of the “JWST Master Class,” which takes a “train the trainers” approach to helping people develop the skills and experience to write proposals.
David Trilling presented last week at the Spitzer Legacy conference at Caltech. Accordion Closed
This conference celebrated the end of the Spitzer mission after 17 years. Trilling reported on observations of 2000+ near Earth asteroids, taken with 3000+ hours of observing time over 12 years (2008-2020).
Several members of the Department were involved in events associated with the 90th anniversary of the discovery of Pluto at Lowell Observatory. Accordion Closed
- Feb. 15: Nadine Barlow, Mark Loeffler, Jennifer Buz, and Will Grundy gave a tour of the Department and PEAXS, Astrophysical Ice, and Mars Rover Operations labs to 55 visitors as part of the VIP Pluto Experience of the I Heart Pluto Festival.
- Feb 15: Nadine Barlow gave the NAU welcome at the Pluto’s 90th Anniversary Celebration event at the Cline Library Assembly Hall.
- Feb. 18: Steve Tegler spoke about the Ice Lab activities at the Pluto Discovery Day event at the Orpheum Theater.
Samuel Navarro-Meza, Andrew McNeill, and David Trilling have a new paper out: Accordion Closed
A cross-disciplinary group from SICCS and our department have a new paper out. Accordion Closed
Authors include James Windsor, Tyler Robinson, and David Trilling: Distinguishing multicellular life on exoplanets by testing Earth as an exoplanet.
Congratulations to Professor Emerita Kathy Eastwood who was named an American Astronomical Society (AAS) Legacy Fellow! Accordion Closed
The AAS Fellows program was established in 2019 to confer recognition upon AAS members for achievement and extraordinary service to the field of astronomy and the American Astronomical Society. AAS Fellows are recognized for their contributions toward the AAS mission of enhancing and sharing humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.
Mark Loeffler is co-author on a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal: Accordion Closed
NAU’s REU in Astronomy funding was renewed Accordion Closed
David Trilling’s NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) proposal was funded, renewing this project for another three years. This project began at NAU in 1991, so this renewal runs through the 31st year of the program, which I think makes it the longest continually operational REU program in astronomy (and perhaps any field?). Kathy Eastwood ran this program at NAU for many many years and David says these are really big shoes to fill. We’ll have ten summer undergraduate interns on campus for each of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 summers.
Maggie McAdam’s proposal to observe asteroid Psyche Accordion Closed
with the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) was approved. SOFIA is a 747 with a hole in the side of it.
January Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Hawai`i Accordion Closed
- Cristina Thomas had two undergraduates (Brittany Harvison and Jacob Hyden) present posters on the Agnia and Massalia asteroid families.
- Within Ty Robinson’s HABLab, Amber Young presented a poster on her ongoing work related to the available atmospheric Gibbs free energy as a biosignature. Will Oldroyd had an oral presentation on his work to design a technique to efficiently schedule observations for the astrometric determination of orbits for directly imaged exoplanets. Ty Robinson had three talks: two presentations on HabEx and one on ongoing work (in general) within the HABLab.
- Phd students Erin Aadland and Catherine Clark and undergraduate student Cody Huls all gave presentations at the meeting.
Tyler Robinson was selected as a Scialog Fellow Accordion Closed
under a call focused on signatures of life in the Universe. This selection comes with travel support to attend Scialog events where interdisciplinary research teams are assembled and can compete for special funding from the Heising-Simons Foundation and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Scialog is here.
PhD student,Oriel Humes’ SOFIA proposal Accordion Closed
was accepted. She will observe main belt P and D type asteroids. SOFIA is a 747 with a hole in the side of it.
David Trilling and Cristina Thomas each had proposals selected in the 2019 NASA Solar System Observations program. Accordion Closed
There were only 9 proposals selected this year, and two of them were from NAU! Together the proposals total more than $1M, and each project will run for three years.