Mamo will head to San Antonio for PhD studies

April 26, 2020 |

Over the next few weeks, in a series of News Announcements, the Physics and Astronomy Department will highlight the accomplishments and future plans of some of our graduates in the Class of 2020 at the undergraduate or graduate level. In this first announcement, we highlight Graduate Student Bereket Mamo's plans for the future after graduation.  

Recently, Bereket was accepted to a number of Ph.D. programs in the US and he has selected UT-San Antonio to continue his studies in  planetary science.  There he will use observational data from space-based instruments to study different bodies of the Solar System. This includes working with data sets from current missions like Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), New Horizons, and Hubble. There is also the possibility of working on future missions like Europa Clipper and Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, as those missions are realized. Moreover, he plans to conduct lab-based UV spectroscopy work (potentially on lunar soil!).
At UTSA, Bereket will have the opportunity to complete his classes within the university and research through a joint affiliation with the  nearby space physics program at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), is an independent R&D organization. There his work with SwRI scientists will take place within the UV spectroscopy group, which conducts Far-UV reflectance studies to better interpret observations of, e.g., the LAMP instrument onboard the LRO and Lyman Alpha photolysis studies on solid methane to understand the origin of the reddish color on Charon's north pole (Pluto's most massive moon).

Bereket wanted specifically to acknowledge the support and supervision that Dr. Paul Eskridge provided during his time at MNSU saying:
"My advisor, Dr. Eskridge, has played a big role in helping me get to where I am. I majored in Biology as an undergrad, so I had not formed a well defined research focus in Physics/Astronomy when starting my masters studies at MSU. Dr. Eskridge has given me the opportunity to explore my research interests and narrow my focus. For instance, he has sent me to a workshop for planning solar system observations with the James Webb Space Telescope, where I got a chance to interact with planetary scientists and learn about the work being done in the field. He has also supported my research by funding associated costs, so I have been able to pursue my work without any limitations." 
Congratulations to all of our graduates this year.  In this time of COVID-19, it's difficult to say our goodbyes and well-wishes in the future.  We look forward to your return in the future to fill us in your ongoing research and experiences away from Mankato!

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