Earth and Planetary Science
EPS Near-Surface Geochemistry and Geobiology

AGU OSPA Award

Friday, March 5, 2021

Ryu Akiba (top left) has been awarded an AGU OSPA Award for a project developed with EPS Professor Burkhard Militzer (bottom) and EPS Postdoctoral Researcher Anton Ermakov (top right).  Congratulations, Ryu!

The subsurface oceans within icy moons of the solar system, such as Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus, are exciting, potentially habitable environments. A major question that arises for the habitability of these ocean worlds is the persistence and stability of the liquid water ocean, which requires an understanding of the moon’s heat budget. As an ocean world orbits its parent planet, tidal forces cause a periodic deformation of the moon resulting in the production of heat. Characterization of the tidal heating is a major goal of the future space missions, such as NASA’s Europa Clipper mission. As a part of a summer project, Ryu explored the sensitivity of gravity and shape measurements to be collected by future missions to probe the structure of the icy shells of Europa and Enceladus and infer the mechanism of heat transport and the rate of tidal heating production.

Click here for Ryu's e-poster.

The Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPAs) are awarded by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to promote, recognize and reward undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students for quality research in the geophysical sciences. Each year, Sections recruit judges to assess and score student oral and poster presentations at meetings. Typically the top 2-5% of presenters in each Section are awarded an OSPA.  See here for all winners of an OSPA Award from the 2020 AGU Fall Meeting.