2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


ROARK Jr, James H.1, MITCHELL, Darius2, BITER, Ethan3, KELLER, Nicholas3, POLIT, Anjani T.4, CHASE, Zizwe5, RIEDEL-BASH, Shauna6, SARID, Alyssa7, WEILER, Allison8 and HANSON, Diana9, (1)Geodynamics, Code 921, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771, (2)Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267, (3)U S Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21412, (4)Geology, Pomona College, Claremont, CA 91711, (5)Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA 30314, (6)Franklin and Marshal College, Lancaster, PA 17604, (7)Univ of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85730, (8)The Key School, Annapolis, MD 21403, (9)Glen Burnie High School, Glen Burnie, MD 21060, roark@core2.gsfc.nasa.gov

The Geodynamics Branch at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has been involving undergraduate and high school students in various geologic research projects for over a decade. The undergraduates apply for internships, both with individual scientists and with established intern programs, and come from various colleges and universities including community, 4-year, large universities, and minority institutions. Most of the high school interns are part of the National Space Club Scholars Program. Our goal is to combine highly motivated, creative students with data, the tools to analyze the data and some guidance and instruction to produce an environment conducive to scientific discovery. The internship program has been very successful with most of the students authoring abstracts, presenting their research at national and international meetings and co-authoring journal articles.

The majority of the recent research studies by undergraduates in the Geodynamics Branch have been focused on Mars topography and geology. We have an outstanding new Mars topography data set provided by MOLA (Mars Orbital Laser Altimeter). The fine detail and precision of the data has given Mars planetary scientists a detailed view of the red planet allowing precise measurement and studies of geologic and geomorphic features that were previously unobtainable.

In addition to having access to excellent data, having well suited analysis tools has helped make this program a success. The Geodynamics Branch has created an analysis tool called “GRIDVIEW” which students can use to easily view, measure and make graphics of gridded data. GRIDVIEW was written in IDL and provides a user-friendly, interactive menu driven point and click interface to various display and measurement options. The program is very mature and has been successfully used for more than 3 years, but is still under development as we add new features for data analysis and visualization. GRIDVIEW is available for download at http://denali.gsfc.nasa.gov/mola_pub/gridview.

In this poster we will show some of the current research being conducted by students using GRIDVIEW and MOLA data to study Mars.