Cryosphere Studies at UTIG
For two decades research scientists at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) have employed airborne, land-based, and marine geophysical methods to better understand ice sheet evolution, climate, and geologic processes in the polar regions. UTIG is involved in a number of nationally and internationally collaborative polar research projects.
A Distinctive Approach to Planetary Geophysics
UTIG has been a leading force in planetary geophysics since the Apollo program placed the first seismometers on the moon in 1969. By building on this legacy and taking a distinctively geophysical approach to studying planetary systems, UTIG scientists are building the scientific and technical foundations to lead the next generation of geophysical planetary missions, instruments, and discoveries. UTIG researchers study planetary systems via the tools of mission science related to radar sounding and seismology, terrestrial analog observations, and geophysical modeling to study planetary systems. With a focus on processes relating to planetary cryospheres and hydrospheres, deep interiors, and shallow subsurfaces, UTIG specialize on problems relating to Earth’s Moon, Mars, and icy bodies.
Graduate Education Opportunities
Every other summer, UTIG offers a Field Methods for Polar and Planetary Science field course designed to provide hands-on training in the collection and processing of geophysical and geomorphic data for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students. The class involves travel to a planetary analog landform (past sites have included debris-covered glaciers in Utah and Wyoming), opportunities to plan and execute an exploration field campaign, and collaborative data analysis opportunities after the fieldwork to synthesize results into abstracts that can be presented at US and international conferences. For more information, contact Jack Holt.
Planetary Geology and Geophysics: This course, taught by Jack Holt every other spring semester, examines the rocky planets and moons of our solar system with an emphasis on surface processes, remote sensing and geophysical techniques. Students read both seminal and cutting-edge papers, learn about missions, instruments, and data types, and conduct research projects. A field trip to study terrestrial analog sites provides hands-on experience geology and remote sensing data.