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Samantha Peel

After completing a dual B.A. in astronomy and geology at Mount Holyoke College, I moved to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to work on a Ph.D. in geology with Dr. Devon Burr. While a student at Mount Holyoke College, I became intrigued with the history of water on Mars and with impact crater formation and post-emplacement modification (what happens to craters after they have formed). With Dr. Burr, I am currently working at the intersection of these two topics, investigating the formation of central pits (a centrally located depression formed within some impact craters), which are often associated with liquid or frozen water in the target (area of the planet being impacted), and testing if lakes used to be present within select central pits and within craters that formed within the Medusae Fossae Formation on Mars. I use geomorphometric, spectroscopic (study of how light interacts with materials), and statistical analyses in these projects with data from Mars Global Surveyor, 2001 Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter instruments.

 

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