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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2018 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Evolution of the Moon's surface
Disciplines:  Planetary Science, Earth Science
Mentor:  Catherine Elder, (JPL), Catherine.Elder@jpl.nasa.gov, Phone: (818) 354-9381
Background:  Most geologic activity on the moon ceased a billion years ago, but it is continually bombarded by everything from small grains of dust to large boulders. Over the years, this bombardment has broken down the lunar surface into a layer of fine grained rock fragments known as regolith. However, large impacts can punch through this regolith layer and excavate rocks from the bedrock below. The regolith layer is expected to vary in thickness across the lunar surface, so larger impacts are required to excavate rocks in areas where the regolith layer is thicker.
Description:  Use images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) to count boulders at young impact craters. Analyze differences in the boulder populations between craters to constrain variations in the thickness of the regolith layer.
References:  regolith thickness: Fa and Wieczorek (2012) Regolith thickness over the lunar nearside: Results from Earth-based 70-cm Arecibo radar observations. Icarus 218, 771-787.
abundance of ejecta boulders: Basilevsky, Head, Horz (2013) Survival times of meter-sized boulders on the surface of the Moon. Planetary and Space Sciences 89, 118-126.
Watkins, Jolliff, Lawrence, Hayne, Ghent (2017) Boulder Distributions at Legacy Landing Sites: Assessing Regolith Production Rates and Landing Site Hazards. Lunar and Planetary Science XLVIII, abstract #1245.
Student Requirements:  No required skills beyond basic computer skills and an ability to conduct detail-oriented work. Suggested skills include: ArcGIS mapping, MATLAB. Suggested backgrounds include: geology, planetary science, astronomy.
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: No.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.


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