Three faculty members of the UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences are being recognized by the American Geophysical Union this year. 

Mackenzie Day, an assistant professor, has received the 2022 Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Science. Day’s research focuses on wind-related geology, mostly related to dunes and deserts. Planetary scientists have found dunes on seven different planetary bodies: Venus, Earth, Mars, Titan, Io, Comet 67P and Pluto. Day uses dunes on Earth and remotely sensed dunes on other planets to understand how the atmosphere and landscape evolve together over time. She is currently studying immobilized dunes on Mars to help understand the constantly shifting dunes on Earth. Day also used what is known about dunes on Earth to interpret the wind direction, wind variability and wind strength that formed ancient fossilized dunes on Mars. 

Associate professor Seulgi Moon has received the 2022 Luna B. Leopold Early Career Award, which recognizes an honoree in the field of Earth and planetary surface processes. She has also been selected to give 2022 Robert Sharp Lecture, which is presented annually by the recipient of either the Luna B. Leopold Award or the G.K. Gilbert Award. Moon investigates how tectonic, climate, and geology interact and influence surface processes, such as rock weathering, erosion by rivers and landslides, and landscape evolution in natural landscapes. Her group uses interdisciplinary techniques to establish comprehensive analyses as well as quantitative modeling to reveal the factors behind surface processes and landscape evolution.

Professor Marco Velli will give the Eugene Parker Lecture at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in December. The Parker Lecture is presented two out of every three years to a space scientist who has made significant contributions to the fields of solar and heliospheric science. Velli is the principal investigator of heliospheric origins for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission to “touch” the Sun. He was also an integral member of the team that brought this mission to fruition. As an expert in the field of space plasma physics, he is dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of solar magnetic activity, and the effects of “space weather” on our society. 

Day, Moon and Velli will receive their awards at the annual meeting, held this year in Chicago.