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Jeffrey Moersch will discuss the use of drones in studying Mars-like landscapes on Earth Friday, February 24

Jeffrey Moersch, professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will present “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Studies of Mars-like Landscapes on Earth” Friday, February 24.

Terrestrial analogs are places on Earth that share one or more important geologic or astrobiologic characteristics with features found on other planets. In-depth studies of such relatively-accessible locations are useful because they provide a better understanding of the processes that may have been active on other planets and help to refine exploration strategies for future planetary missions. Professor Moersch has worked on terrestrial analog studies related to Mars for the past 20 years using traditional geologic field techniques. He recently added the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) to his approach. During his presentation, Moersch will discuss the added value that UAVs bring to this type of work and share examples from terrestrial analog sites in the high Arctic, the Atacama Desert and Altiplano of Chile, the Mojave Desert, and Iceland.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 24 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.