Projects & Groups

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Research projects that change the way we see the world

Scientists at the School of Earth and Space Exploration are pursuing many areas of research. We’re studying the beginning of time. We’re embarking on robotic missions to the Moon and Mars. We’re looking at the dynamics of our own world — and exploring the possibility of life beyond it.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the exciting projects we’re working on.

Projects & Groups

Active Tectonics, Quantitative Structural Geology and Geomorphology

We are exploring the effects of tectonic and surface processes — particularly those that have occurred over a period of time longer than a human lifetime, but shorter than the deep time recorded by hard, consolidated rocks.

Area of Interest: Geodynamics
Project Scientist:

Ramón Arrowsmith

Engaging the Past, Present and Future of Life on Earth – and Beyond

Using chemical concepts and approaches — particularly the techniques of isotope geochemistry — we seek to understand the geological, chemical and biological processes that sustain life on Earth’s surface.

Area of Interest: Astrobiology
Project Scientist:

Group Exploring Organic Processes in Geochemistry (GEOPIG)

We are exploring the largely unknown territory at the intersection of geology, chemistry and biology. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, we strive to understand how geologic processes make Earth's biochemistry possible.

Area of Interest: Geoscience
Project Scientist:

Everett Shock

HERA: The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array

This program strives to answer the questions: What objects first lit up the Universe and reionized the neutral intergalactic medium? Over what redshift range did this occur? And how did this process lead to the large-scale galaxy structure we see today?

Area of Interest: Cosmology
Project Scientist:

Judd Bowman

Instruments on Space Missions

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC)

LROC captures high-resolution photos of the lunar surface, helping us determine the meteorite bombardment history of the Moon, the evolution of its crust and more.

Area of Interest: Planetary Science
Project Scientist:

Mark Robinson

OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES)

OTES is designed to map the surface mineralogy of the Earth-crossing asteroid Bennu to help NASA scientists decide where to collect a sample to return to Earth.

Area of Interest: Planetary Science
Project Scientist:

Philip Christensen

Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS)

THEMIS is a visual and infrared camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The goal of the project is to use infrared spectroscopy to explore the surface minerals, geology and atmosphere of Mars.

Area of Interest: Planetary Science
Project Scientist:

Philip Christensen