Research

My main interests in geology lie in the field of structure and tectonics. Strained rocks are super cool, and they are even more interesting when you begin to understand the processes that cause deformation. I've also become interested in remote sensing (mainly through my Venus research) and methods for combining data sets to aid in visualization. I particularly enjoy working with geographic information systems to solve spatial problems and help with 3D visualization of spatial data.

MGIS project work

Working on my masters degree in GIS at Penn State provided many challenges through a variety of courses. Here is an example of a class project I completed.

Storm Tracks - A web mashup animating tropical storm tracks using Google Maps JavaScript API, MySQL, and PHP.

geology Masters Thesis Research

The thesis is finally complete! My thesis research investigated the formation of Artemis Corona, a large circular feature on the Venusian surface. The work focuses on interpreting radar imagery and other data collected by the NASA Magellan mission to understand the geologic history of the interior region and evaluate hypotheses for the formation of Artemis. Artemis is the largest circular structure on Venus, measuring a whopping 2600km across! That's roughly the distance from Duluth to the tip of Florida as the crow flies. Below are some documents I've created related to my research.

The thesis itself! Geologic analysis of deformation in the interior of Artemis (Venus, 34°S, 132°E) (Abstract and TOC, pdf, 20 kb, The text, pdf, ~6.6 mb, Plate 1 (the map), pdf, ~8.6 mb, The defense talk, ppt, ~6.7 mb)

Poster for the Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference XXXVII, 2006: Geologic analysis of deformation in the interior region of Artemis (Venus, 34°S 132°E) (Abstract, pdf, 812 kb, poster, pdf, 9.8 mb)

Talk for the GSA 2005 Annual Meeting: Analysis of deformation in the interior region of Artemis (Venus, 34°S 132°E): Preliminary results (Abstract, pdf, 12 kb , presentation as a powerpoint, 17.6 mb, or pdf, 8.6 mb, and notes, pdf, 22 kb)

Masters thesis proposal: Structural analysis of deformation in the interior of Artemis, Venus 34S 132E (pdf, 2.6 mb)

This is a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image of Artemis. The bright circular feature is Artemis Chasma. The image is in mercator projection.

I made a brief fly-over movie to introduce you to Artemis. Click on the image below to start the quicktime movie (~11mb). The movie was generated using an inverted SAR image which is why it looks different than the image above. Inverting radar images helps your eyes see lineaments because your eyes can see dark lines on a bright background much better than the other way around.

Thumbnail for Artemis fly-over movie

The following are simulated perspective views I have made of Artemis using ArcGlobe. The pictures have been optimized for the web so they are a little degraded, and once again the SAR images have been inverted. Vertical exaggeration is x10 in each image.

Artemis Chasma looking northeast Artemis on the horizon Lava flows showing digitate boundaries Localized lava flow

Senior Thesis Research

Normalized Fry Strain Analysis of the Binnewater Sandstone, Central Hudson Valley, New York (pdf, ~5 mb)

Poster for GSA NC 2004: USING JAVASCRIPT TO STANDARDIZE DIGITAL PHOTOMICROGRAPHS FOR FRY STRAIN ANALYSIS; BINNEWATER SANDSTONE, CENTRAL HUDSON VALLEY, NEW YORK (poster, pdf, ~1 mb; abstract, pdf, ~9 kb)

Here are some techniques I learned during my senior thesis research

Preparing Oriented Thin Sections
Standardizing Digital Photomicrographs
Preparing Oriented Cubes for AMS