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- Surfaces of icy worlds, with a particular focus on the influence of Titan's atmosphere on its surface.
- Design, development, and implementation of planetary exploration missions.
Title 1: Exploring Titan's Hydrocarbon Lakes and Seas
Hidden under a thick atmosphere, Titanís surface remained a mystery throughout the 20th century. It was not until the Cassini-Huygens Mission arrived at Saturn nearly a decade ago and began investigating the Saturnian system, did we begin to appreciate the beauty and complexity of this world. Among the most captivating has been the discovery of an active hydrological cycle in which methane (and ethane) rains onto the surface, carving streams and rivers out of the icy bedrock, feeding hydrocarbon lakes and seas, and eventually, evaporating back into the atmosphere. Using Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) and Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) data, we are learning more about these lakes and seas and how they have influenced the evolution of Titanís surface.