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Announcements of Opportunity

SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program.

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. Click here for more tips on finding a mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

New for 2021: Students applying for JPL projects should complete a SURF@JPL application instead of a "regular" SURF application.

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

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Project:  The Early Evolution of Terrestrial Planets
Disciplines:  Planetary Science, Geophysics
Mentor:  Yoshinori Miyazaki, Stanback Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate, (GPS), ymiya@caltech.edu
Mentor URL:  https://yoshinori-miyazaki.people.caltech.edu/  (opens in new window)
Background:  The first million years after their formation play a crucial role in creating a habitable surface environment on terrestrial planets. Yet, even for Earth, its early evolutionary path is controversial due to the scarcity of data from this period. Constructing a model based on fundamental physics, which also takes into account available geo/cosmochemical observations and experimental constraints, would be an effective way to picture this period. This approach would also contribute to discussing the origin of life and potentially to the search for extraterrestrial life.
Description:  There is an opportunity for one student to study the early evolution of terrestrial planets. In this project, the student would (build and) run thermochemical evolution models of terrestrial planets. The goal is to identify the key process that could diverge the evolutionary path of planets and to understand how the size and initial composition of planets may play a role in creating a difference in final surface environments. Under this topic, the specific focus of the project could range from planet formation, magma ocean, and the early atmosphere formation of terrestrial planets depending on the student's interest and background. The work will mainly be based on numerical modeling, but theoretical formulations and statistical analysis would also be necessary when building a model. The student could use a recently developed set of codes or write their own.
Student Requirements:  Applicants should have experience in programming, preferably in C++, Python, MATLAB, or Rust. Good knowledge of classical physics is required, and a background in geophysics or fluid dynamics would be helpful.
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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