Hartwick to Host Planetary Geology Speakers

January 25, 2010

Hartwick College's Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences will welcome two speakers for a series on planetary geology during J Term.

The first, Dr. Steven Squyres, Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, will speak on Thursday, January 28 on "Year 6: What the Rovers Have Taught Us About Mars" from 2-3 p.m. Dr. Darby Dyar of the Mount Holyoke Department of Astronomy will address "Water, Water Everywhere … On the Moon?" from 2-3 p.m. on Monday, February 1. Both talks will be held in Room 202 of Johnstone Science Center.

Squyres' research focuses on the robotic exploration of planetary surfaces, the history of water on Mars, geophysics and tectonics of icy satellites, tectonics of Venus, planetary gamma-ray and x-ray spectroscopy. Research for which he is best known includes study of the history and distribution of water on Mars and of the possible existence and habitability of a liquid water ocean on Europa.

Squyres has participated in a number of planetary spaceflight missions. From 1978 to 1981 he was an associate of the Voyager imaging science team, participating in analysis of imaging data from the encounters with Jupiter and Saturn, among many others.

The primary goal of Dyar's research is to understand how hydrogen and oxygen are distributed throughout our solar system, particularly in terrestrial bodies such as Earth, the Moon, Mars, and the parent bodies of meteorites. Dyar uses several different types of spectroscopy to study rocks that originated from 90- to 0-km depth in the Earth, as well as lunar rocks and Martian meteorite samples collected from Antarctica.

Dyar is a frequent contributor to scientific journals and has been awarded numerous grants from the American Chemical Society, the National Science Foundation, and NASA, among other institutions. She has ongoing funding from NASA's Mars Fundamental Research program to conduct research for the space agency's rovers.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030