NASA-Ames Astrobiology Academy (at Darthmouth College), now at Caltech
Last updated: October 2001
E-mail: emily [at] gps.caltech.edu
Brief Biographical Information:
At Darthmouth, I am a double major in physics and earth science and have had a wide variety of research experiences in both of these disciplines. This past fall, I completed an intensive ten-week geology field study in the Western United States and Mexico where I developed field methods, performed geomorphic and structural analyses, environmental monitoring and resource and earth hazard assessment.
On campus, I've been involved in analyzing hundreds of micrometeorites collected from the South Pole Water Well by Susan Taylor using a Scanning Electron Microscope. I've compiled these images and spectra and created a web-site that will be used as a database for researchers interested in comparing different types of micrometeorites. I'm also currently investigating with Professor Robert Fesen, the morphology and kinematics of several anomalous, Argon rich, filimentary knots in the Crab Nebula using Hubble Space Telescope data. I am a triple-gold level figure skater and have figure skated competitively since I was nine years old. I'm the president of the Dartmouth Figure Skating Team which placed 2nd at the National Collegiate Team Figure Skating Championships in April 2000. I also teach figure skating. In addition to skating, I enjoy volunteering at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth.
I became involved with the Leonid Multi-Instrument Aircraft
Campaign through the Ames Astrobiology Academy, during which I worked with Dr. Peter
Jenniskens on Leonid meteor spectroscopy, and with Dr. George Rossano on the analysis of mid-Infrared spectroscopic data.
Operating the ASTRO camera during the 2001 Leonid MAC mission.
Operating the ASTRO camera during the 2002 Leonid MAC mission.
Research on Leonid MAC:
High resolution optical spectroscopy of Leonids. I operated the "ASTRO" camera during the 2001 and 2002 Leonid MAC missions.
Mid-infrared imaging of meteors. With a new cooled mid-infrared imager, I hope to
get the first light curves of meteors in the mid-infrared in order to determine if
organic matter comes off preferentially at altitudes of ~ 117 km, as suggested in
earlier work with MIRIS (George Rossano).
Publications from this work:
- Meteors do not break exogenous organic molecules into high yields of diatomics
Jenniskens P, Schaller E.L., Laux C.O., Fonda M, Schmidt G, Rairden R., Astrobiology 4(1), 67-79, 2004.
- The Mass and Speed Dependence of Meteor air plasma temperatures: a multi-phase medium?
Jenniskens P. Laux, C.O., Wilson M, Schaller E.L., Astrobiology 4(1), 81-94, 2004.