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UIC at Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

The UIC EAES Department was well represented at this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference! LPSC celebrated its 49th year and was held in The Woodlands, Texas, from March 19–23, 2018. In LPSC tradition, abstracts in the form of haikus have been included. As a reminder haikus are short poems that consists of 17 syllables in a 5-7-5 pattern.


Undergraduate students present at the poster session

Recent graduate Sheri Tremblay presented her work on developing a methodology to apply the lacunarity statistical analysis to global scales with example applications to the Moon and Venus.
Lacunarity: / Doing it on a whole sphere / Shows global patterns.

Senior John Castillo presented his work using crater counting to establish the ages of the two largest impact craters on the dwarf planet Ceres.
Ceres’ big craters: / Old but not overly so / Constraints for models.

Current graduate students had a chance to present their research during the week-long conference

Alister Cunje, starting his first year of his PhD, presented a poster on his master's thesis research characterizing the dielectric properties of a variety of Martian analog materials, consisting of regolith analogs and smectite clays, to better understand the capability of the Mars 2020 ground penetrating radar under varying temperature and moisture conditions.

PhD candidate Sean O'Hara presented his research on dwarf planet Pluto. He suggests that Pluto’s chaotic mountain blocks (surrounding the famous heart shape) may have moved to their current location via downhill sliding due to the presence of partial buoyancy, and does not need convection.
Pluto’s mountains slid / Not as graceful as floating / But a lot faster!

PhD candidate Lauren Schurmeier presented her research on possible evidence for intrusive cryovolcanism on Saturn's moon Titan. Her modeling and scaling relationships for intrusive cryovolcanism and mountain support suggest that Titan's crust must be composed predominately of water ice, not methane clathrate.
Methane clathrate can’t / Hold radial labyrinths / Ice lithosphere can

Recent PhDs, Jon Kay and Saman Karimi were also able to present their latest research

Jon Kay presented his work looking at the distribution of the youngest tectonic features on Jupiter's moon Europa.
Youthful Europa / Ignore craters and chaos / Look for long fractures.

Jon also gave a talk on his modeling of the potential support mechanisms for a megadome on Jupiter's moon Ganymede.

Saman Karimi presented his comparative crater relaxation modeling study, which aims to find a response to the following question — “Why does the lunar crust host the majority of mascon basins?”.

And last, but not least... Prof. Andrew Dombard

Along with all of the students and former students, Prof. Andrew Dombard was also able to give a talk on how gravity anomaly magnitudes can reveal the existence of volcanism on the rock-water interface of Europa, which would enhance the potential of the ocean as a habitat.