GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Natalie Wolfenbarger began her geophysics doctoral degree at the Jackson School of Geosciences in Fall 2017. An aerospace engineering graduate, her research has evolved from characterizing spacecraft performance to examining how data acquired by spacecraft can be used to better understand Earth and other ocean worlds—particularly Jupiter’s ice-covered moon, Europa. As a member of UTIG’s Polar and Planetary research group, Natalie is currently an affiliate member of the Europa Clipper science team supporting verification and validation of the REASON instrument, an ice-penetrating radar designed to peer through Europa’s enigmatic ice shell. Her research aims to understand how we can use radar studies of Earth ice to help interpret future data collected by REASON to investigate Europa’s habitability. Her studies of analog environments for Europa has led her to both the Arctic and Antarctica, where she worked with a team of researchers to conduct aerogeophysical surveys of sites including Devon Ice Cap and Thwaites Glacier.
Ice-penetrating radar, dielectric properties of saline ice, ice shelves as terrestrial analogs for icy ocean worlds, planetary habitability.
Don Blankenship and Marc Hesse
MS, Aerospace Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
BS, Aerospace Engineering, California Polytechnic State University