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Hynek, Brian Michael Associate Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • My overarching research theme continues to be geological processes that have affected the terrestrial planets. I have continued studies of water on Mars through hydrologic, geologic, and geomorphic analyses of the valley networks and deltas. A second main area of research involves the geochemical history of Mars. Recent field campaigns to Central American volcanoes were completed to assess the geochemical pathways of chemical alteration and microbiology. We are also completing laboratory experiments and geochemical modeling that represent this natural system and similar environments on Mars. Planetary geologic mapping represents another area of research. I have expanded my research directions into microbiology of extremophiles and unmanned aerial surveys (UAS/drone) of Mars analog field sites, enabled by new grant awards from CU in 2018. I also co-led Mars analog fieldwork in Patagonia in Sept. 2018 and ended the year in Antarctica collecting meteorites for NASA.

keywords

  • Mars geology, planetary fluvial geomorphology, impact craters, planetary surface processes, volcanology, astrobiology

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • ASTR 2040 - The Search for Life in the Universe
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Introduces the scientific basis for the possible existence of life elsewhere in the universe. Includes origin and evolution of life on Earth and the search for evidence of life in our solar system, including Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa. Discusses the conditions necessary for life and whether they might arise on planets around other stars. Credit only for this course or ASTR 3300. Same as GEOL 2040.
  • ASTR 5800 - Planetary Surfaces and Interiors
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Examines processes operating on the surfaces of solid planets and in their interiors. Emphasizes spacecraft observations, their interpretation, the relationship to similar processes on Earth, the relationship between planetary surfaces and interiors and the integrated geologic histories of the terrestrial planets and satellites. Same as GEOL 5800.
  • ASTR 5835 - Seminar in Planetary Science
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Studies current research on a topic in planetary science. Students and faculty give presentations. Subjects may vary each semester. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours to meet candidacy requirements. Department enforced prerequisite: senior level undergraduate physics. Same as ATOC 5835 and GEOL 5835.
  • ATOC 5835 - Seminar in Planetary Science
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Studies current research on a topic in planetary science. Students and faculty give presentations. Subjects may vary each semester. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours to meet candidacy requirements. Same as ASTR 5835 and GEOL 5835.
  • GEOL 2040 - The Search for Life in the Universe
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Introduces the scientific basis for the possible existence of life elsewhere in the universe. Includes origin and evolution of life on Earth and the search for evidence of life in our solar system, including Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa. Discusses the conditions necessary for life and whether they might arise on planets around other stars. Same as ASTR 2040.
  • GEOL 3050 - GIS for Geologists
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019
    Provides an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques focused on geological applications. Covers GIS analyzing, mapping and GPS use. Basic computer skills are a plus before entering the class.
  • GEOL 5150 - Planetary Field Geology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Provides an overview of the geology, age and origins of the solid (rocky) planets, dwarf planets and moons of our solar system and the processes that form them from comparative studies from comparative geology. Includes modules on volcanism, rifting, aeolian processes, fluvial erosion, impacts, climate change and paleontology. Same as GEOL 4150.
  • GEOL 5800 - Planetary Surfaces and Interiors
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Examines processes operating on the surfaces of solid planets and in their interiors. Emphasizes spacecraft observations, their interpretation, the relationship to similar processes on Earth, the relationship between planetary surfaces and interiors and the integrated geologic histories of the terrestrial planets and satellites. Same as ASTR 5800.
  • GEOL 5835 - Seminar in Planetary Science
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Studies current research on a topic in planetary science. Students and faculty give presentations. Subjects may vary each semester. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours to meet candidacy requirements. Same as ASTR 5835 and ATOC 5835.

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