In the Spotlight: Aug. 22-26, 2022

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs 

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  • Robert Schehr, professor of criminology and criminal justice, recently completed a legal degree at Yale Law School, where he worked with some of the leading legal scholars in the United States on cutting-edge justice issues. Such continuing education allowed Schehr to improve his skills for his research and teaching.  
  • NAU School of Hotel and Restaurant Management is a platinum sponsor at the 37th annual Lodging Conference. This is an incredible networking opportunity for the School of HRM to be in the eyes of more than 2,000 executives from more than 1,150 companies registered for the conference. 
  • Sharon Moses, an associate professor of anthropology, discussed forensic archaeology and locating victims of “no-body” homicides on the Just Science podcast, a production of Research Triangle Institutional International. Moses discussed the relationship between forensic anthropology and archaeology, how to reconstruct human and animal behaviors and her experiences recovering human remains.
  • Associate professor of astronomy and planetary science (APS) Mark Loeffler, Michelle Thompson, APS professor Josh Emery and planetary scientist Driss Takir received funding for their SSW proposal titled “Determining the Role of Space Weathering on Hydrated Asteroids through Laboratory Studies.” This three-year, $601,926 award will allow the team to look at how space weathering affects hydrated minerals’ 3-micron region through a combination of reflectance spectroscopy, surface chemical analysis and electron microscopy. Much of the preliminary data for this award was done with support from NAU’s HURA and Space Grant programs; as for the work to follow, the majority of the experiments and analysis will be performed at NAU, while the electron microscopy will be performed at Purdue. 
  • NAU is listed on Gizmodo’s Degrees of the Future 2022: Environmental Science & Climate Change list. This list aims to provide guidance to students looking for a university program in this area and highlight universities who are excelling in the field.
  • David Trilling, chair and associate professor of the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, had a proposal funded by the National Science Foundation: “Rapid response asteroid science from ZTF and LSST data.” The three-year, $452,885 fund will allow this project to ingest data from an ongoing all-sky survey and continue to prepare software tools for a bigger upcoming survey. 
  • Trilling and recent APS Ph.D. graduate Colin Chandler are among a long list of authors on a new LSST paper. This paper discusses the motivating science use cases, identifies cross-cutting algorithms, software, and services, their high-level technical specifications, and the principles of inclusive collaborations needed to develop them. 
  • Christopher Edwards, associate professor in the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, had a NASA PDART proposal funded to improve thermal model capabilities for the planetary science community. This proposal includes support for postdoctoral scholar Christopher Haberle and involves individuals from JPL and the USGS. Funding will last three years, starting in December, for a total of $783,000.  
  • Lumberjack Volleyball tied for fifth with Sacramento State in the 2022 Big Sky Preseason  Coaches Poll. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the Big Sky Championship hosted by Weber State from Nov. 23-26. 
  • Anastasia Morgan, incoming doctoral student of astronomy, is the first author on a paper. “Detection Feasibility of H2 in Ultra-hot Jupiter Atmospheres” also is co-authored by faculty Cristina Thomas, Emery and adjunct faculty Will Grundy. 
  • A multi-institutional team led by graduate student Aaron Weintraub recently had a paper published examining the compositional and thermophysical variability of preserved bedforms across the surface of Mars. This work indicates there’s minimal water-rock interaction needed to preserve the full shape of the features. The paper, “Thermophysical and Compositional Properties of Paleobedforms on Mars” includes Edwards as a co-author.  
  • Astronomy doctoral student Oriel Humes is a co-author on a paper titledUltraviolet Spectroscopy of Lucy Mission Targets with the Hubble Space Telescope” with Thomas, Emery and Grundy as co-authors. The Lucy mission aims to understand the dynamical history of the Solar System by examining the Jupiter Trojans, a population of primitive asteroids co-orbital with Jupiter. 
  • Incoming Ph.D. student Alicia Allen is a co-author on a new article, “Spacecraft sample collection and subsurface excavation of asteroid (101955) Bennu” that was recently published in Science. The article describes the sample collection process and the team’s observations of the asteroid.
NAU Communications