mars covered glacial deposits middle latitudes


Patricia Dickerson


Jackson School of Geosciences

A grubby old field geologist, Patricia Dickerson's research has focused on rifting (Ph.D., UT-Austin, 1995) and on intraplate mountain-building. Her investigations of analogous planetary processes and features on Earth, Moon, and Mars began while working at Johnson Space Center, briefing NASA and ESA astronauts and RSA cosmonauts on geologic/tectonic targets for photo-documentation from Space Shuttle, Mir space station, and the International Space Station. Collaborating with Bill Muehlberger (JSG- Geological Sciences), in 1997 she began training astronaut candidates in field geological observations and in 1999 initiated a field geophysical exercise (gravity, magnetics), in preparation for eventual planetary surface exploration. NASA recognized those efforts with the Exceptional Public Service Medal; that work now continues with Mark Helper (JSG- Geological Sciences). She has participated in various Mars exploration committees/task forces. Beyond Earth, Moon and Mars, the Planetary Sciences Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council provides direction regarding the scientific goals, timelines, and costs of missions around and on the planets; Dickerson just completed a term with that subcommittee. At present she is a visiting research fellow in the Jackson School of Geosciences, employed by the American Geological Institute. Excellent idea! This symposium should generate lively dialogue and fruitful interdisciplinary research.