Dr. Shoshanna Cole earned her PhD in planetary geology from the Cornell University Department of Astronomy in 2015. For her thesis, entitled Petrology, Stratigraphy, and Geologic History of Husband Hill, Gusev Crater, Mars, she described the 12 lithologies Spirit observed on Husband Hill; conducted a microtextural analysis of the 7 rock classes that had not previously been described; visually examined 7,000 Pancam and Navcam images, and analyzed 442 stereo image pairs, to measure outcrop bedding plane orientations and reconstruct the ancient topography of Husband Hill; correlated Watchtower Class material across a distance of ~200m; mapped the compositional and spectral variations of Husband Hill geologic targets; and synthesized data from the Pancam, Microscopic Imager, Mini-TES, RAT, APXS, and Mossbauer instruments to uncover ancient aqueous environmental conditions that varied dramatically and systematically across ~30m.
Shoshe was a Student Collaborator on the MER mission, but she joined the team years after Spirit had explored her field site. She knows how difficult it can be to find data from multiple instruments on an individual geologic target, even when you have access to the MER science and operations team members, internal team tools, and documentation necessary to reconstruct the mission narrative. Her goal with this project is to enable current and future researchers to easily find and use MER data.