Charissa Campbell


Primary Advisor: John Moores

Secondary Advisor: Kimberly Strong

Ms. Charissa Campbell completed her Bachelor of Science in Astronomy & Physics from Saint Mary’s University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Astronomy & Physics at York University under Dr. John Moores, where she is part of the MSL team analyzing the altitude of clouds on Mars. Her focus is on analyzing atmospheric movies to find the altitude of Martian clouds and has displayed her research progress at the 2017 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC).

At St. Mary’s University, she was academically successful in a strong astronomy program and had successfully conducted scientific computing research. She brought these qualities with her to her graduate work where she is combining together the output of a complex Mars atmospheric modeling code (provided by collaborators at NASA-Ames Research Center) with observations of clouds made from the Curiosity Rover MSL) at Mars. Charissa has obtained these observations herself, having successfully trained and qualified for an operational role on the MSL Science Team and having served as an Environmental Science Theme Lead and Keeper of the Plan (ESTLK) for the mission on several occasions. This role is responsible for representing all environmental science to be done on the rover on a daily basis, bringing forward all observations to the greater science team (~460 of the world’s top planetary scientists), arguing for the inclusion of those observations and speaking to how each observation affects the resource constraints and scientific objectives of that particular sol.

Relevance to TEPS

This research project will help develop techniques used to test fundamental models of atmospheric dynamics, such as MRAMS as these models are currently in use to describe planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres. This knowledge will help lead to better simulations of the atmospheres of bodies within our solar system and beyond.