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Megan Russell

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Research Associate

Currently resides in CO
mrussell [at] psi.edu
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Mars, Venus
Disciplines/Techniques: Mapping, Planetary Interiors, Radar, Remote sensing, Tectonics, Volcanism
Missions: MRO

Research Interests

I’m currently a science team member of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Shallow Radar (SHARAD) experiment, serving as system analyst with the Colorado Shallow Radar Processing System (CO-SHARPS) team.

My experience has mainly involved delving into the world of volcanism on the planet Venus via geophysical investigations. I used observations collected from orbit during the Magellan mission (1990-1994) to help determine characteristics about the surface and subsurface, and tie this into the planet's evolution. To accomplish this, I used radar surface images, radar altimetry and high-resolution elevation maps created from stereo radar photos. Unsolved questions include: Is Venus volcanically active today? Earth and Venus formed in the same solar system neighbourhood, but why did they end up so different? Is the surface composed of regular basaltic lava such as we see near Hawaii, or is it something more exotic ... how can we use the morphology of volcanic features in images to test theories?

I’m also interested in public outreach opportunities.

Professional History

After completing my BSc in Space Science at York University, I moved to Vancouver to work at PhotoSat, an Earth remote sensing company, as a Project Manager/Satellite and GIS Data Consultant. I then completed my MSc in Geophysics/Planetary Science at UBC with Dr. Catherine L. Johnson and worked as a teaching assistant and research associate in the department.

More information:

https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/quarantine-conversation-megan-russell-planetary-scientist/id1562034229?i=1000516197895

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