2013 Workshop

Posted by admin on August 5, 2013

Evolution of small icy-silicate bodies 2013

The 6th annual workshop on small icy bodies took place July 29-August 2, 2013 at the Bear Fight Institute. This workshop focused on the active Saturn satellite Enceladus and the internal processes responsible for the geyser activity. Deposits of CO2 frost on the surface were studied as evidence of CO2 activating the geysers.

A workshop to train US Rosetta VIRTIS team members on the instrument performance and data analysis tools was held August 2-4, 2013. BFI's Dr. Jean-Philippe Combe conducted the training program for the four US VIRTIS co-investigators, Drs. Carlson, Fink, Combe, and McCord.

Dr. Thomas B McCord

Posted by admin on July 17, 2013

NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal

Dr. Thomas B. McCord received NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal in a ceremony, July 17, 2013, at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The medal is NASA's highest form of recognition awarded to any non-government individual whose distinguished service, ability, or vision has personally contributed to NASA's advancement of the United States' interests. Previous recipients include Carl Sagan, Charles Draper, Frank Press, Gerald Wasserburg, Norman Augustine, Lyman Spitzer, Harrison Schmidt and Robert Heinlein.

Dr. McCord received the medal "for exceptional and sustained scientific achievements in understanding the origin and evolution of planetary bodies including the Moon, Mars, Vesta, Ceres, Titan and Europa" and for "making outstanding contributions to the NASA mission."



NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, left, and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden present Thomas McCord with the agency's Distinguished Public Service Medal at a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Jackson Lake Lodge

Posted by admin on July 8, 2013

Dr. McCord was invited to a gathering of people of notable accomplishment in order to present some of the latest findings from the current NASA missions. Meeting was held at the Jackson lake Lodge, Wyoming, July 3-7, 2013, and included high USA government officials, and leaders from many segments of USA and international society.

2012 Workshop

Posted by admin on August 13, 2012

Evolution of Small Ice-Silicate Bodies 2012

The 5th annual workshop on small, icy bodies took place August 8-10, 2012 at the Bear Fight Institute. The topic was the Origin, Evolution and Present Status of Small ice-silicate bodies in our Solar System. The special focus was to review and perhaps advance what is known about the small planet-like objects such as Ceres, Themis and Vesta and their fragments. A second focus was on the latest findings from the Dawn Mission, then orbiting Vesta and afterwards headed for Ceres.

2011 Workshop

Posted by admin on August 15, 2011

Evolution of small icy-silicate bodies 2011

Aug 2011 BFI WS 1c.jpg

Another in the series of workshops on the general topic of the origin and evolution of ice-silicate bodies was held August 15-17, 2011 at the Bear Fight Institute. The specific topic was: The Themis Asteroid Family: Are they part of a disrupted Ceres-like object?

The workshop reviewed the available observational information on this family and what thermodynamic models tell us about their behavior and how water and silicates in mixes behaves in this environment. An exciting discussion on what the Dawn mission is finding was led by the Dawn deputy PI, Dr. Carol Raymond, of the JPL, which led to a discussion of what questions a spacecraft mission to the Themis family might address.

Attendees included experts on many of the major topics of discussion, including: J. Emery, J. C.Castillo, A. Rivkin, T. V. Johnson, D. L. Matson, C. Raymond, A. Davies, P. Hayne, B. Schmidt, in addition to BFI scientests Paul Hayne, T. B. McCord and J-Ph. Combe.


NASA-ESA Mission Planning

Posted by admin on May 31, 2011

Tom McCord recently completed a several-year service on the Science Definition Team for the joint NASA-ESA Europa-Jupiter and Ganymede-Jupiter Science Mission planning effort, led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

2010 Workshop

Posted by admin on August 6, 2010

Evolution of small ice-silicate bodies in the Solar System 2010

The 3rd annual "Evolution of small silicate-ice bodies in the Solar System" workshop was held at the Bear Fight Institute August 6-8, 2010. The general topic was the evolution of small ice-silicate bodies. This workshop was focused on Ceres and developing a surface composition model to aid the Dawn mission in planning observation.

Such a model was developed, under the leadership of Tom Prettyman, with 14 attendees involved. Short presentations were made and long discussions were held on several related topics, including the original materials forming Ceres, where Ceres formed in the Solar System, how and when differentiation occurred, and what materials might have reached the surfaces.

This is one of the Bear Fight Institute’s small, informal, invitation-only workshops that encourage discussion among "experts" in a special, timely research topic.


2010 Events

Posted by admin on July 1, 2010

  • Georgiana Kramer attended the Lunar Science Institute annual workshop at Ames Research Center, July 2010.
  • In June 2010 the Moon Minerology Mapper, Chandrayaan-1 group met with Tom McCord, Jean-Philippe Combe and Georgiana Kramer attending.
  • Jean-Philippe Combe and Tom McCord attended the Dawn mission science team meeting near Rome Italy April 2010 and spent time working with the Italian group leading the spectrometer effort for Dawn at their institute near Rome.
  • Georgiana Kramer, Jean-Philippe Combe and Tom McCord participated in the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston TX, March 2010, and attending satellite meetings and workshops.


2009 Workshop

Posted by admin on September 1, 2009

Evolution of small icy-silicate bodies 2009

A workshop was held at the Bear Fight Institute 1-3 September 2009: "Evolution of small silicate-ice bodies in the Solar System." Protoplanet Ceres was the major topic. Explaining the formation, thermal evolution and present state of such objects involves very interesting chemistry and physics. There is also interest in planning space missions to these objects. Other similar objects in the solar system were discussed as well. This study is timely because of the recent modeling and observational work suggesting that Ceres is differentiated and may currently contain liquid water.

In addition, the Dawn spacecraft is in flight heading for first Vesta and then Ceres to orbit them and observe their various characteristics. Preparation is needed to interpret the returned measurements. The Bear Fight Institute is a member of the Dawn science team.

Scientists Attending:
From the Jet Propulsion Laboratory- Drs. Julie Castillo, Torrence Johnson, and Dennis Matson. Dr. Andy Rivkin from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. Drs. Britney Schmidt and Bill Moore from UCLA. Dr. Misha Zolotov from Arizona State U. From the Bear Fight Institute- Drs. Georgiana Kramer, Jean-Philippe Combe, Tom McCord, as well as Paul Hayne, who divides his time between UCLA and BFI.


2009 Events

Posted by admin on January 1, 2009

Dr. W. Farrand and Paul Hayne (UCLA) will be visiting the Bear Fight Institute 29-31 July 2009 to collaborate with Drs. McCord and Combe on NASA Mars Express Color Analysis of the MER Sites (part of MDAP).

17-19 June 2009, Dr. Jean-Philippe Combe of the Bear Fight Institute hosted a workshop on VIRTIS data analysis. Visiting scientists Drs. U. Fink and R. Carlson collaborated with the institute’s science team.

The Bear Fight Institute congratulates former student intern Garrett Heitman on his high school graduation in June 2009! We wish Garrett the best of luck working in Alaska this summer and his future plans to attend Montana State University to study engineering.

27-28 May 2009, Dr. Georgiana Kramer of the Bear Fight Institute hosted two students from the Pateros High School. Dr. Kramer discussed careers in space science research with the students and gave them hands-on training in data analysis techniques.

2008 Workshop

Posted by admin on February 18, 2008

Evolution of small icy-silicate bodies 2008

A workshop on the theme "Icy Satellite and Small Body Evolution" was hosted at the Bear Fight Center, 18-20 February 2008. Bear Fight Center scientists were joined by scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UCLA. The workshop focussed on not only analysis and modelling of data from the Cassini spacecraft, currently orbiting Saturn, but also looked forward to data that the NASA DAWN mission will return from the asteroids Ceres and Vesta. A wide range of topics were covered, including: the role played by both short and long-lived radionuclides in icy satellite and asteroid evolution; the evolving chemistry of satellite oceans; projects deemed necessary to aid interpretation of DAWN data; the interaction of water and hot silicates in planetary mantles; and the modelling of cryovolcanic processes.