MELBOURNE, FLA. — Patricia Gavin, a Florida Tech senior majoring in space sciences, was selected to make an oral presentation on her Mars research at an
upcoming American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (AAS/DPS) meeting. It will be held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando,
Her adviser for her work on the chemical transformation of Martian soil was Vince Chevrier, Ph.D., of the University of Arkansas. Niescja Turner, Ph.D.,
assistant professor of physics and space sciences, is her academic adviser at Florida Tech.
Gavin’s presentation will be part of a session called “Altering Mars Physically and Chemically.” Among the Mars experts also speaking in that session will
be Steve Squyers, a leading scientist on the Mars Pathfinder, Spirit and Opportunity rover projects; and Francois Poulet, a renowned researcher of the
OMEGA/Mars Express team, a French-based Mars orbiter project.
“This is a huge honor for an undergraduate,” said Terry Oswalt, Ph.D., head of the Florida Tech Department of Physics and Space Sciences. “She will be in
the company of the most accomplished and noted scientists who conduct Mars research.”
In 2006, Gavin was chosen for a prestigious Research Experience for Undergraduates internship at the University of Arkansas’ Center for Space and Planetary
Sciences to research Martian soil. She accepted an invitation from her Arkansas adviser to return during Summer 2007 and continue her work. After
graduating from Florida Tech in spring 2008, Gavin intends to pursue graduate studies in planetary sciences. Her hometown is Nobleton, Fla., about 60 miles
north of Tampa.
Florida Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in space sciences and the bachelor’s degree in astronomy/astrophysics.