Robert Jacobsen is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His dissertation research in geology is in the subdiscipline of geomorphology, the shapes and processes operating on landscapes. He focuses his studies on deserts both on Earth and Mars.
Jacobsen’s Martian research involves a set of ancient fossil river deposits and inferring their implications for the history of water and climate change on that hyperarid planet. His discoveries provided critical foundation and input for a recently selected 4-year, $470k award from the NASA Mars Data Analysis Program to his advisor Devon Burr.
Jacobsen’s terrestrial studies involve old river deposits in the hyperarid Atacama desert, for which he will be supported through a second recently funded NASA grant to his advisor. In addition to pursuing his own research, Jacobsen is active in teaching lab sections for a variety of classes and in mentoring undergraduate students doing research in his department. He has previously received travel funds to present his Mars work at the preeminent conferences in his field.