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Michael Wyatt

Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences:
Geological Sciences
Phone: +1 401 863 1118
Michael_Wyatt@brown.edu

My research interests span Mars geology and volatile history, the origin and evolution of igneous rocks, the identification and classification of surface compositions, and chemical and physical weathering effects from surface-water/ice interactions.

Biography

I received my Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2002. I completed a Postdoc at Arizona State University and then joined the Brown University Geological Sciences faculty in 2006. I am with the Planetary Geosciences group and my research focuses on Mars geology and volatile history.

Interests

Text taken from Brown Media Relations Press Release:
Mike Wyatt has been studying Mars for close to a decade. He's been thinking about space and rocks ever since he was a kid. "I was always interested in space," he says, "I guess I never grew out of it."

He applied to be an astronaut but had to settle for working with NASA on the Mars Global Surveyor and the MERS (Mars Exploration Rovers) "Spirit" and "Opportunity," still wheeling their way around the red planet's surface. He was a NASA Graduate Student Researcher Fellow from 2000 to 2002 and received a NASA Group Achievement Award for 2001 Odyssey THEMIS in 2003 and a NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rovers in 2004.

Wyatt's research interests span Mars geology and volatile history, the origin and evolution of igneous rocks, the identification and classification of surface compositions, and chemical and physical weathering effects from surface-water/ice interactions.

He also uses remote sensing (thermal-infrared, near-infrared, visible) to study terrestrial and other planetary surfaces and laboratory and field ground-truth studies of terrestrial materials as mineral and chemical analogs for Mars.

And while he hasn't been to space, his analog studies have taken him far and wide across the earth's surface – from Antarctica to the Atacama, a desert in Chile. "Both [those] places on earth are extremely dry," he says. "If we can understand these on earth, we can better understand Mars."

He's lived in tents in extreme hot and extreme cold; on earth time – and, for 90 days at the Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena – on Mars. Now he's excited to settle down in the geology department, working with new colleagues including Carle Pieters and Jack Mustard, whose CRISM is set to hit mapping orbit in October and start sending back data.

-- Molly de Ramel

Awards

2006 NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rovers

2005 NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rovers

2004: NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rovers

2003: NASA Group Achievement Award for 2001 Odyssey THEMIS

2000–2002: NASA Graduate Student Researcher Program Fellow

1998: Mayo Foundation Educational Scholarship for Earth Sciences

1997: United States Geological Survey Research Scholarship

1996: National Association of Geology Teachers Research Scholarship

Affiliations

NSF Petrology and Geochemistry Program External Reviewer

NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program Review Panel

NASA Mars Data Analysis Program Review Panel

NASA Mars Fundamental Research Program External Reviewer

1997– Present: Numerous education and public outreach presentations

Teaching

GEOL 0050: Mars, the Moon and Earth
GEOL 1710: Introduction to Remote Sensing
GEOL 1950: Planetary Materials
GEOL 2800: The Chemistry and Mineralogy of Mars
GEOL 2810: Planetary Science Seminar
GEOL 2870: Planetary Evolution: The Moon

ADVISING:
Current Graduate Students:
Kerri Donaldson-Hanna
Ulyana Horodyskyj
Mark Salvatore (co-advisor)

Funded Research

Some Recent Funding:
I am very pleased with the quality and range of projects in my research group and I am the Principal Investigator on three grants to fund my research program in the coming years (2008-2011: 2 NASA and 1 NSF).

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