Courtney Dressing

Mars

During summer 2009 I participated in NASA's Undergraduate Student Research Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I worked with Eldar Noe Dobrea and Matthew Golombek to revise the atmospheric correction method for the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to incorporate (1) temporal and spatial variations in atmospheric water abundance, (2) shifts in the CRISM detector channels due to temperature fluctuations, and (3) multiple scattering by aerosols.

Courtney with Eldar Noe and Matt Golombek
With Eldar Noe Dobrea (left) and Matt Golombek in 2009.

In 2008, I participated in the Ames Academy for Space Exploration at Ames Research Center. Under the guidance of Nathalie Cabrol and Edmund Grin, I inspected images from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's Microscopic Imager to determine trends in particle abundance and morphology in Meridiani Planum. I also examined soil samples from an analog site in the Atacama Desert in Chile to contribute to the ongoing investiation of hematite spherule formation on Mars.

Courtney with Thomas Franklin and Nathalie Cabrol
With fellow NASA Academy RA Thomas Franklin and mentor Nathalie Cabrol in 2008.

During my senior year at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, I worked with James Zimbelman, Lee Ann Hennig, Jacqueline Andros, and Harry Kashdan to compare the abundance and morphology of transverse aeolian ripples at pressure extremes on Mars in order to constrain atmospheric conditions in the Martian past.