Linda Elkins-Tanton

School of Earth and Space Exploration
ISTB4 Bldg 75
781 E. Terrace Rd
Tempe
School Dir & Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
6004

Biography

Lindy Elkins-Tanton is the director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, co-chair of the Interplanetary Initiative, and she is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Psyche mission, selected in 2017 as the 14th in NASA’s Discovery program.

Her research includes theory, observation, and experiments concerning terrestrial planetary formation, magma oceans, and subsequent planetary evolution including magmatism and interactions between rocky planets and their atmospheres. She also promotes and participates in education initiatives, in particular, inquiry and exploration teaching methodologies, and leadership and team-building for scientists and engineers.

She has led four field expeditions in Siberia, as well as participated in fieldwork in the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

Professor Elkins-Tanton received her B.S. and M.S. from MIT in 1987, and then spent eight years working in business, with five years spent writing business plans for young high-tech ventures. She then returned to MIT for a Ph.D. She spent five years as a researcher at Brown University, followed by five years on MIT faculty, before accepting the directorship of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science. In 2014, she moved to the directorship at Arizona State University. 

She serves on the Standing Review Board for the Europa mission, and served on the Mars panel of the Planetary Decadal Survey and on the Mars 2020 Rover Science Definition Team.

Professor Elkins-Tanton is a two-time National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow and served on the National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey Mars panel. In 2008 she was awarded a five-year National Science Foundation CAREER award, and in 2009 was named Outstanding MIT Faculty Undergraduate Research Mentor. In 2010 she was awarded the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas prize. The second edition of her six-book series "The Solar System," a reference series for libraries, was published in 2010 and the book "Earth," co-authored with Jeffrey Cohen, was published in 2017. Asteroid (8252) Elkins-Tanton was named for her. In 2013 she was named the Astor Fellow at Oxford University, and in 2016 she was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Education

  • Ph.D. Geology and Geophysics, MIT 2002, Timothy L. Grove and Bradford H. Hager
  • M.S. Geochemistry, MIT, 1987, Timothy L. Grove
  • B.S. Geology, MIT, 1987

Research Interests

Planetary formation, and events of the first 100 Myr of the solar system

Planetary evolution: what makes a habitable rocky planet?

Large volcanic provinces and their relationship with life on Earth

Courses

Summer 2018
Course Number Course Title
SES 692 Research
SES 792 Research
SES 799 Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
SES 492 Honors Directed Study
GLG 492 Honors Directed Study
AST 493 Honors Thesis
SES 493 Honors Thesis
GLG 495 Undergraduate Thesis
SES 499 Individualized Instruction
AST 499 Individualized Instruction
GLG 499 Individualized Instruction
SES 592 Research
SES 599 Thesis
SES 692 Research
SES 792 Research
SES 795 Continuing Registration
SES 799 Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
GLG 492 Honors Directed Study
AST 492 Honors Directed Study
GLG 493 Honors Thesis
SES 494 Special Topics
CHM 494 Special Topics
GLG 495 Undergraduate Thesis
GLG 499 Individualized Instruction
SES 595 Continuing Registration
SES 598 Special Topics
CHM 598 Special Topics
SES 692 Research
SES 792 Research
SES 795 Continuing Registration
SES 799 Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course Number Course Title
SES 692 Research
SES 792 Research
SES 799 Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
SES 394 Special Topics
AST 592 Research
GLG 592 Research
GLG 599 Thesis
GLG 692 Research
SES 692 Research
AST 692 Research
SES 792 Research
GLG 792 Research
AST 792 Research
GLG 795 Continuing Registration
SES 795 Continuing Registration
SES 799 Dissertation
AST 799 Dissertation
GLG 799 Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
CHM 494 Special Topics
SES 494 Special Topics
SES 591 Seminar
GLG 592 Research
GLG 595 Continuing Registration
CHM 598 Special Topics
GLG 599 Thesis
SES 692 Research
GLG 692 Research
AST 692 Research
AST 792 Research
GLG 792 Research
SES 792 Research
SES 799 Dissertation
AST 799 Dissertation
GLG 799 Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course Number Course Title
GLG 592 Research
GLG 599 Thesis
SES 692 Research
AST 692 Research
SES 792 Research
SES 799 Dissertation
GLG 799 Dissertation
AST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
SES 394 Special Topics
AST 592 Research
GLG 592 Research
GLG 599 Thesis
AST 692 Research
GLG 692 Research
GLG 792 Research
AST 792 Research
GLG 795 Continuing Registration
AST 799 Dissertation
GLG 799 Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
SES 494 Special Topics
SES 591 Seminar
GLG 592 Research
GLG 595 Continuing Registration
GLG 599 Thesis
AST 692 Research
GLG 692 Research
AST 792 Research
GLG 792 Research
GLG 795 Continuing Registration
GLG 799 Dissertation
AST 799 Dissertation
Summer 2015
Course Number Course Title
GLG 592 Research
Spring 2015
Course Number Course Title
AST 592 Research
GLG 592 Research
GLG 599 Thesis
GLG 692 Research
AST 692 Research
GLG 792 Research
AST 792 Research
GLG 799 Dissertation
AST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course Number Course Title
GLG 592 Research
GLG 595 Continuing Registration
GLG 795 Continuing Registration