About

Eric Ivan Petersen
Postdoctoral Research Associate I
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona

I am planetary scientist, glaciologist, and geophysicist. My research involves using radar sounding and other datasets to understand the internal structure of debris-covered glaciers on Mars and Earth. Much of my time is currently spent working on the Subsurface Water Ice Mapping (SWIM) on Mars. In this collaborative effort we are synthesizing evidence from many different remote sensing instruments and techniques to comprehensively map ice deposits in the Martian mid-latitudes. The data products we produce from this project are meant to be a reference for scientists and a resource for planning potential manned missions to Mars.

I use data from the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to analyze the interior of candidate debris-covered glaciers to quantify their ice content. This is an important value to constrain as we evaluate these features for their value as resources for future manned missions to Mars, as well as elucidate what they tell us about Martian climate history. I also combine this data with Digital Terrain Models produced from Stereo High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) data to analyze the properties of the glacial surface debris layer.

On Earth I’ve been on many field excursions and employed multiple geophysical methods to study the internal structure of ice-cored rock glaciers. These features are of high interest as a climate record, a key component in alpine and polar hydrological systems, and as analogs to debris-covered glaciers on Mars.

In addition to my academic research I am an avid photographer, back-country skier, backpacker, cyclist, runner, paddler, and dabbler on the guitar.

Some of my code work can be found on GitHub.

 

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