Guest: Dr. Essam Heggy

We were honored to have a special guest speaker, Dr. Essam Heggy, visit our campus and give a presentation on Monday, February 13, 2012 as a part of the WMU Department of Geosciences lecture series.

Dr. Heggy is a Research Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) – California Institute of Technology and a Visiting Associate in Geology at the Geological and Planetary Science Department at Cal Tech. Dr. Heggy obtained a Bachelor degree from the astronomy department at Cairo University, Egypt, with distinguished honor in 1997 and then received both a Master and Ph.D. in astronomy and planetary science in 1999 and 2002, respectively, also with distinguished honors from the Paris VI University in France. His main interest in planetary geophysics covers Mars, the Moon, icy satellites and Near Earth Objects. His research at JPL involves probing structural hydrological and volcanic elements in terrestrial and planetary environments using different types of radar imaging and sounding techniques as well as measuring the electromagnetic properties of rocks in the radar frequency range.

Dr. Heggy gave a talk entitled “Exploring Mars and Earth Subsurfaces Using Low Frequency Sounding Radars: Deserts Unseen Geology.”
Synopsis: Over the past decades, radar sounding and imaging techniques have provided new insights into the understanding of surface and subsurface physical properties of the Earth, Moon, Venus, Mercury, and Mars – as well as numerous smaller solar system bodies. This seminar focuses on the Martian and earth arid region cases in terms of exploring the potential presence of shallow and deep aquifers. New results obtained from the low frequency radar subsurface sounding experiment MARSIS on board the Mars Express mission will be presented revealing geomorphological features that can be used to understand the Martian paleo-environment. Results from recent radar sounding experiments, both ground and airborne, carried through different terrestrial Mars analog environments will be discussed to assess the potential of mapping fossil aquifers on large scales.