Topic: The Saga of the Lunar Ziggurat
Speaker: Dr. Stuart Robbins (http://about.sjrdesign.net)
Dr. Stuart Robbins (http://about.sjrdesign.net) is a postdoc at University of Colorado, Boulder (http://www.colorado.edu/) in Boulder, Colorado, and is the first recipient of the Baruch Blumberg Citizen Science postdoctoral fellowship through the NASA Lunar Science Institute. He received his Ph.D. in Geophysics through the Astrophysics department from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2011.
His current postdoctoral work is a split appointment. 50% of his time is spent working on applications of Mars global crater database at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at CU-Boulder.
The balance is spent being the Science co-Lead on the citizen science project "Moon Mappers (http://www.cosmoquest.org/mappers/moon)." This is a web portal that shows volunteers from around the world high-resolution imagery of the Moon and asks them identify features such as craters. His job is to manage the teams involved (science, programming, education, public outreach), interface with users, and to "do" science. He is situated at the Southwest Research Institute's Boulder location for this work.
One of his research philosophies is that if you're going to study something, do it all. To that end, his doctoral dissertation research was based around creating a vast, global database of craters on the planet Mars from which to extract various nuggets of information (more about that on his Mars crater research page (http://about.sjrdesign.net/research_mars.html)). His main current research focus is using craters as tracers of planetary surfaces, their differences, and understanding more about the basic cratering process. At the moment, he applies these to Moon (http://about.sjrdesign.net/research_moon.html) and Mars (http://about.sjrdesign.net/research_mars.html) with the goal to expand to a more cross-planetary research framework.
He is also interested and active in the education and public outreach (EPO) part of astronomy and consider it a fundamental part of what a research scientist should do. His focus in this area is more of a sub-class of normal EPO as he is most interested in combating the bad science that is out there as it relates to astronomy, geology, and/or physics. He has given many interviews, public lectures, and planetarium shows on these kinds of topics, and also writes a blog entitled, "Exposing PseudoAstronomy, (http://pseudoastro.wordpress.com/)" and runs the podcast by the same name (http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/).
Jin-oh Choi (http://meetup.launcestonskeptics.com/members/7341789/), President
Launceston Skeptics Inc.
info [at] launcestonskeptics [dot] com