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Ask the Expert: Q & A with Marisa

How are Arctic landscapes changing? And what can Earth’s changing landscape tell us about Mars millions—or billions—of years ago? Meet Dr. Marisa Palucis, who investigates the effects of water and a changing climate on landscapes.

From Marisa:

“My research group investigates the evolution of landscapes and sedimentary deposits under a changing climate. Our work has implications for constraining the rates and histories of aqueous processes on paleo-landscapes and other planetary surfaces (like Mars!) and hazard prediction and mitigation during extreme events. The former is a prerequisite for understanding where and when life could have evolved within our solar system. My group integrates sedimentological, topographic, and climatic datasets from the field with physical experiments and modeling, as geologically significant flow events are often difficult and/or impossible to observe. This combination allows us to bridge from the particle- to landscape-scale, which is necessary to test hypotheses for landscape evolution and paleoenvironment. Active research areas include: 1) what was the timing and duration of water flow on Mars; 2) how do Arctic landscapes respond to climate change?; 3) what controls channel morphology and sediment transport rates in steep streams; and 4) how and where do debris flow initiate?”