Awards and Accolades

The interdisciplinary work of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration brings together the brightest minds in astronomy and astrophysics, cosmology, geosciences, planetary sciences, exploration systems engineering and science education. Our award-winning faculty, post-docs, research scientists, graduate students, and undergraduate students are recognized internationally, nationally, and locally for their achievements. Learn about the latest academic award recipients and the awards our fabulous support staff have been honored with over the last few years by exploring the categories below. 

Undergraduate Students


Junehyoung Jeon

Spring 2021 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Medalist


Delondrae Carter

AAS Chambliss Student Poster Award for American Astronomical Society Honorable Mention


Sarah Braunisch

Fall 2020 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Medalist


Lily Whitler

2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship


Delondrae Carter

2020 Honorable Mention USRA Distinguished Undergraduate Award
2020 Goldwater Scholarship


Madeline Marquardt

2020 Nininger Student Travel Award

Graduate Students


Saira Hamid 

2021 National Science Foundation Graduate Student Research Fellowship

Morgan Chidester and Ebraheem Farag

AAS Chambliss Student Poster Award for American Astronomical Society Honorable Mentions


Santosh Harish and Mansi Padave

2020 Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Awards by the American Astronomical Society

Emilie Dunham

2020 51 Pegasi b Fellowship in Planetary Astronomy from the Heising-Simons Foundation


Paul Horton

2020 NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities fellowship


Jisoo Kim and Luisa Orci Fernandez

2020-21 ASU Graduate College Interdisciplinary Enrichment Fellowships

Gregory Vance and Emily Zawacki

2020-21 ASU Graduate College Completion Fellowships

Jessica Bersson, Saira Hamid, Marisol Juarez Rivera, and Tyler McCabe

2020-21 Graduate College Fellowships

Lindsay Berkhout, Christopher Dupuis, Jessica Bersson, Emma Blackwell, Logan “Wren” Raming and Qian Yuan

2020-21 School of Earth and Space Exploration Summer Exploration Graduate Fellowships

Grace Carlson, Tyler Richey-Yowell and Dan Sullivan

2020 NASA FINESST awards

Soumya Ray, Vishaal Singh, and Zachary Torrano

2020 Nininger Student Travel Awards

Kristen Whitney

2020 Babbitt Dissertation Fellowship from the Lincoln Land Policy Institute


Santosh Harish

2020 AAS Chambliss Astronomy Achievement award


Kyle Massingill

2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics


Mansi Padave

SESE Summer Exploration Fellowship

Stephanie Sparks

2019 American Geosciences Institute Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship


Tyler Cox

American Astronomical Society 2019 Chambliss Student Achievement Award

Sierra Ferguson, Nivedita Mahesh, Zachary Torrano, and Joseph Zalesky

Inaugural Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) Program


Soumya Ray 

Awarded the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship

Wren Raming and Eric Escoto

2018 National Science Foundation graduate fellowship

Daniel Dunlap

2018 Dwornik award at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference


Aleisha Johnson, Daniel Dunlap, Mostafa Khoshmanesh, and Travis Gabriel

2017 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships


Mary Schultz

2017 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship from the The American Geosciences Institute

Research Scientists and Postdocs


Chris Mead (lead author), Geoffrey Bruce, Wendy Taylor and Steven Semken

Lead author on the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Journal of Geoscience Education 2020 Outstanding Paper Award. Additional School of Earth and Space Exploration authors include Geoffrey Bruce, Wendy Taylor, Steven Semken and Ariel D. Anbar.

Carver Bierson 

AGU 2020 Study of Earth’s Deep Interior Section Award for Graduate Research



Melodie Kao

2018 NASA Hubble fellowship


Adam Beardsley

2017 National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship



Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert

Honored by the International Center for Deep Life Investigation with the 2020 SiYan Ocean Emerging Leader award


Mini Wadhwa

Honored with the title Geochemistry Fellow by the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry


Kelin Whipple

2021 ASU Graduate College Outstanding Faculty Mentor in the category of Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor


Mini Wadhwa

2021 National Academy of Sciences' J. Lawrence Smith Medal


Ramon Arrowsmith

2020 AGU Paul Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service (Geodesy, Seismology, and Tectonophysics)


Mark Robinson

2020 Michael J. Wargo Exploration Science Award by NASA SSERVI, for his significant contribution to the integration of exploration and planetary science throughout his career

Ariel Anbar

GSA 2020 Arthur L. Day medal in recognition of his outstanding research contributions, mentoring for generations of students, and vigorous promotion of science in the public sphere

Philip Christensen

Selected to co-chair the NAS 2023-2032 Decadal Survey on Planetary Science and Astrobiology


Sara Imari Walker

2020 Human Frontier Science Program award

National Institute of Health Challenge Prize for Innovation for the “Integrated Discovery Chemputer Towards Addiction-Free Opiates

Sumner Starrfield and Anne Cowley (Emerita)

Elected in 2020 to the first class of the American Astronomical Society Fellows

Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert

2020 L’Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science Rising Talent Award


Lindy Elkins-Tanton

National Academy of Sciences 2020 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship


Mini Wadhwa

Elected an American Geophysical Union Fellow

Christy Till

Awarded the 2019 Early Career Award from Geological Society of America


Peter Buseck

2019 Roebling Medal from the Mineralogical Society of America


Everett Shock

2019 Geochemistry Division Medal from the American Chemical Society


Ariel Anbar

2019 European Science Innovation Award from the European Association of Geochemistry


Evan Scannapieco

2019 Dr. Manual Servin Faculty Award from ASU


Kelin Whipple

2019 American Geophysical Union G.K. Gilbert Award


Phil Christensen

2018 Fred Whipple Award for outstanding contributions to planetary science


Lindy Elkins-Tanton

Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for her exceptional scholarship and leadership


Steve Reynolds

Awarded the rank of ASU President’s Professor, one of the university’s most prestigious faculty honors


Ariel Anbar

2018 Founders’ Day Faculty Achievement Award by the ASU Alumni Association


Christy Till

Elected Secretary of AGU’s Volcanology, Geochemistry and Petrology section


Dave Williams

Elected Secretary of AGU’s Planetary Sciences Section


Ariel Anbar

Inaugural 2017 Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Teaching Innovators” award



Sheri Klug Boonstra

AGU 2020 Excellence in Earth and Space Science Education award



Debbie Garcia

2019 College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Western Region HR Excellence Award

Current Exploration Fellows (2020-2021 academic year)

Since its inception in 2010, the Exploration Fellowship program has launched many Fellows to tenure-track or permanent research positions following their fellowships. Read about the research interests of current Fellows below.

Luiza Maria Aparecido (2020-2023)

Ph.D., Texas A&M

How much is shade worth? Mitigating the urban heat island through Earth observation and smarter green infrastructure

Alan Jackson (2019-2022)

Ph.D., University of Cambridge

Terrestrial Planet Formation at Home and Abroad

Anna Grau (2018-2021)

Ph.D., University of British Columbia

A First Detailed Characterization of the Glacial and Subglacial Environment of Early Mars

Former Exploration Fellows

Since its inception in 2010, the Exploration Fellowship program has launched many Fellows to tenure-track or permanent research positions following their fellowships. Read about the research interests of former Fellows below.

Joseph O'Rourke (2017-2020) Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

Implications of Core/Mantle Miscibility for the Accretion of Earth and the Evolution of Super-Earth Exoplanets
Charlene Estrada (2016-2019)
Faculty, South Mountain Community College
Characterization and Early Transformation of Microfossils at Mineral Surfaces through Deep Time

 Ajay Limaye (2018-2019)

Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Linking Meandering River Deposits to an Ancient Surface Environment on Mars
Cayman Unterborn (2016-2018)
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University
From Star to Stone: Building an Internally Self-Consistent and Open-Source Terrestrial Planet Builder for Exploring Extrasolar Habitability
Karen Pardos Olsen (2015-2018)
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Arizona
Interstellar Gas Conditions at High Redshift; Modeling [CII] and CO Line Emission
Sarah Cichy (2014-2016)
Senior Research Scientist, University of Potsdam
Towards an Eruption-Geospeedometer: Diffusive Lithium Isotope Fractionation During Degassing and Crystal Growth
Harmony Colella (2014-2016)
Moore Foundation Fellow, UC-Berkeley and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
Investigation of Complex Fault Interactions with a Physics-Based Earthquake Simulator & Qualitative Assessment of Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Monica Palta (2014-2016)
Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies and Science, Pace Universit
Linking Riverine-Wetland Hydrogeomorphic and Biogeochemical Modeling in Urban and Natural Reaches of the Salt River
Adam Forte (2013-2015)
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University
Bridging the Gap Between Geomorphology and Stratigraphy with Detrital Thermo- and Geochronology: The Influence of Surface Processes on the Detrital Zircon Record
Anand Thirumalai (2013-2015)
Assistant Professor, DigiPen Institute of Technology
Wolf-Rayet Stars - A Magneto-Dusty Demise
Anne Pommier (2012-2014)
Assistant Professor
Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Univ. California, San Diego
High Pressure Measurements of Silicate Melt Viscosity: Implications for Magma Ocean Dynamics and Time Evolution
Zhenya Zheng (2012-2014)
Research Professor
Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, CAS (China)
Co-evolution of Galaxies and Their Central Black Holes
Lauren Edgar (2012-2014)
Research Geologist
Astrogeology Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Evaluating the Magnitude of Erosive Processes at Gale Crater, Mars
Ed Nissen (2011-2012)
Associate Professor
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
University of Victoria
Rapid Collection of Topographic Data from UAVs: Applications for Earthquake Faulting and Earth Surface Processes
Jordan Okie (2011-2012)
Assistant Research Professor
School of Earth and Space Exploration

Arizona State University
Thermodynamic and Kinetic Constraints on Metabolic Diversity: Quantifying the Biogeochemical Niche Space of Life
Soma De (2010-2013)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Cosmology Research Group
Institute for Astronomy
ETH Zurich
SNe 1a Light Curves; Martian Atmosphere; Polarization spectra of cosmic microwave background
Briony Horgan (2010-2012)
Associate Professor
Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Purdue University
Non-Crystalline Weathering Products on Mars
Melissa Morris (2010-2011)
Associate Professor
Dept. of Physics
State University of New York (SUNY)
Evaporation Histories of Chondrules (nebula shocks)
Loÿc Vanderkluysen (2010-2013)
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
Drexel University
Fluids and Dynamics LUSI Mud Volcano
Hua Wang (2010-2011) In-Situ Measurement of Shear Stress and Chemical Species in Hotsprings