Introducing Jennifer Piatek

Jennifer Piatek is an associate professor at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches introductory courses in geology, astrobiology, and planetary astronomy as well as the occasional upper level course in planetary geology or remote sensing. Her research projects involve analysis of thermal infrared images of Mars with the goal of a better understanding the geologic processes that have affected the surface, as well as modeling of lab measurements of light scattering from analog materials. She also is active in projects that use advances in technology to help improve geoscience education through the use of high resolution panoramic images in the classroom and developing inclusive field experiences for students of differing abilities (with the benefit that both of these are great reasons to visit interesting geology, whether just down the road or a long plane flight away).
She was previously a postdoc at the University of Tennessee, and earned a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003, an M.S. from Arizona State University, and a B.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. When off campus (indeed there is such a place), she spends too much time consuming popular science fiction and fantasy, and not enough time outdoors.

Introducing Bhairavi Shankar

I am a planetary scientist living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Canada. My research focus throughout graduate school has been on characterizing impact craters on several planetary bodies (Earth, Moon, Venus). This includes characterizing the crater morphology and determining the compositional information of surfaces using data fusion techniques on remote sensing datasets. But my main passion has also been in being a spatial analyst – applying tools, techniques, and troubleshooting issues when it comes to properly projecting data of planetary surfaces for research. A close second passion has been to share all the cool awesome space science news and research with the general public.
I did my undergraduate degree in Planetary science at the University of Toronto, my Master’s in Geology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and PhD in Geology (Planetary Science) at Western University. I recently wrapped up a postdoc position in nearby London, ON (Western University) and the mixed experience (long long hours, burnout, occasional feeling of work isolation, lack of work/life balance) in that role has led me to explore options beyond pure academia. While completing much overdue publications and managing family commitments, I’m looking forward to rediscovering how to continue working as a Planetary Scientist.