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October 5, 2022

NASA Workshop: Student Guide for Participation

In January 2023 Dawson College will be hosting a special NASA-sponsored workshop. The title of the workshop is "Ices in the solar system: a volatile journey from Mercury and the Moon to the Kuiper Belt and Beyond" and about 150 people are expected to attend, including some of the world’s leading experts in the field.

For students who will be participating, this is a project guide to outline what to expect at the workshop and how you will be prepare for and reflect on this unique learning experience.

About the workshop

The 1st Workshop on Ices in the Solar System: A Volatile-Excursion from Mercury and the Moon to the Kuiper Belt and Beyond is scheduled for January 9–11, 2023, at Dawson College in Montreal, Canada.

Ices, whether composed of frozen water or other frozen species, are ubiquitous in the solar system. They have been observed, deduced, and/or hypothesized on bodies large and small and at, near, or buried below surfaces. They are ephemeral, periodic, or relatively long-standing and stable. They can be at or near-thaw temperatures on some bodies and far away from thaw on others. Ice origins are as diverse as the species themselves and the locations where they are observed, deduced, or hypothesized. Some ices date back to the origin of the solar system; others do not and may be much more recent if not contemporary.

The workshop aims to fuse a diverse group of early-, mid-, and senior-career planetary scientists whose work focuses on ices and provide a dynamic platform for presenting and exchanging their most current observations, interpretations, hypotheses, and/or explanations. Discussion of mission-exploration plans and options, current and/or proposed, also would be welcomed.

Student Participation

The workshop is part of the regular meetings of the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). Significantly, the workshop convenors include Jim Garvin of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and a Dawson Geography Department faculty member who has published extensively in the field—Richard Soare.

The opportunity for Dawson students is to participate in the workshop as attendees, and/or volunteers, and in some cases in the form of a student poster presentation. Participation by non-expert students is part of a push to generate interest in the field and to encourage students to consider it as a career path.

All students who have been registered to the workshop and confirmed their participation will be guided through a learning experience that exposes them to multiple topics in planetary science and be responsible for:

  1. Summarizing one abstract of a topic of interest from the LPI database as part of a general preparation for the workshop;
  2. Attending all sessions of the workshop that do not conflict with volunteer (if applicable) duties;
  3. Completing a short reflection related to one or more conference topic;
  4. Taking part in a post-workshop group session to share experiences and explore additional opportunities for involvement with related topics.

Detailed information about each of these components will be circulated in stages, beginning with point 1. in the month of October.

The co-curricular participation, for attendance and completion of the above, will amount to 8 credits towards the SPACE certificate. Other opportunities to be explored include:

  • A capstone project for an independent study fulfilling certificate requirement and/or program requirement on a case-by-case basis.
  • Further investigation of planetary science topics will also be explored, with the understanding that students will not have already developed expertise.

Last update: Oct 31, 2022. Stay tuned for more information

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