The Department of Geosciences presents

Geology Open Night

Fall 2009

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The Mars Science Laboratory:
What, Why and Where?

Deanne Rogers

7:30 PM Friday September 25, 2009

Minerals in Deep Planetary Interiors:
Surprising Discoveries

Artem Oganov

7:30 PM October 23, 2009

Earth and Space Sciences Building 
Lecture Hall (Room 001)
SUNY Stony Brook Campus

There will be Refreshments and Demonstrations after the Geology Open Night Presentations.

Admission is Free!!

Link here to be placed on the mail or e-mail list to receive announcements.

How do I get to the Earth and Space Sciences Building at SUNY Stony Brook?

Geology Open night lectures are usually on topics in the geosciences related to the current research of the faculty, staff and students at SUNY Stony Brook. These presentations are intended for:

  • those interested in new developments in the sciences

  • earth science high school students and teachers

  • undergraduate and graduate students in geosciences

  • professional geologists

In-service Credit is available for teachers attending the Geology Open Night lectures.


The Mars Science Laboratory:
What, Why and Where?

Deanne Rogers
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Geosciences

7:30 PM Friday September 25, 2009
ESS 001

Planned for launch in 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a roving robotic spacecraft whose mission objectives are to locate and interpret evidence of the environmental history of a region of Mars, particularly with respect to characterizing past or present habitability. I will discuss how MSL fits into the context of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, including new science questions and technologies. I will provide an “insider’s view” on the landing site selection process, such as science, engineering, and even ethical factors that are now considered, and conclude with a status report on the top candidate sites and their potential for past habitability.

Deanne Rogers joined the Stony Brook Geosciences department in 2007. Her research focuses on using remote sensing techniques and infrared laboratory spectroscopy to investigate planetary surface processes. She was involved in mission operations for the Mars Exploration Rovers for over 5 years and is associated with the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey thermal infrared instrument teams. She is funded by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to provide MSL landing site assessments using thermal infrared data.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory--Mars Science Laboratory



Minerals in Deep Planetary Interiors:
Surprising Discoveries

Artem R. Oganov
Associate Professor
Department of Geosciences

7:30 PM October 23, 2009
ESS 001

Most of the matter in our Universe exists at conditions of very high pressures and temperatures. It is now well recognized that such conditions drastically alter the state of matter and new properties emerge. The interiors of the Earth and other planets keep bringing us new surprising discoveries, which were made possible by advances in experimental high-pressure techniques and, more recently, theoretical methodologies. Our journey will be not only to the center of planets (where indeed, exotic worlds exist), but also inside the structure of simple materials, where new ideas will be discovered. The emerging ideas, methods and concepts relate fields as diverse as physics, chemistry, planetary sciences, materials science, and even biology and anthropology.  

Through the prism of material’s structure I will view not only the structure and dynamics of the Earth and planets, but also the functionality of technological materials. We will see how the structure and properties can be predicted (making the basis for design of new materials), in particular using the concepts of evolution. I will show that at planetary conditions many of the fundamental concepts of chemistry dramatically change, creating a fascinating playground for scientists.

Artem R. Oganov joined the Stony Brook Geosciences department in 2008. His research is in the fields of mineral physics, computational materials science and materials design. His contributions include the development of a novel methodology for predicting crystal structures, discovery of several new minerals and novel forms of elements and compounds, development of methods for studying energy landscapes of chemical systems, development of accurate pressure scales, and extensive studies of structural stability and properties of minerals and compounds. Prof. Oganov is a founding member of the Mineralogical Crystallography group of the European Crystallographic Association, and a member of editorial boards of American Mineralogist and the Journal of Superhard Materials.

Prof. Oganov's website

You may also be interested in the following lectures:
Astronomy Open Night  usually the first Friday of the month,

The Worlds of Physics usually the second Friday of the month,
The Living World  the third Friday of the month and
Our Environment usually the second Sunday of the month.

In-service credit is also available for teachers for attending these lectures.

All of these lectures are in ESS 001 Lecture Hall

Web pages describing earlier Geology Open Night presentations

Spring 1998Fall 1998, Spring 1999, Fall 1999, Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Spring 2001,
Fall 2001, Spring 2002, Fall 2002, Spring 2003, Fall 2003Spring 2004, Fall 2004,
Spring 2005, Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2008,
Fall 2008, Spring 2009



In-service credit available for teachers and professional geologists

If your school requires that you have a sequence of educational opportunities in order to receive in-service credit, please advise them that during the Fall 2009 Semester we will be offering one-hour of in-service credit for each of the:

Two Geology Open Nights

Four Astronomy Open Nights

Four The Worlds of Physics -

Two The Living World -

Three Our Environment -


Geology Open Night, Astronomy Open Night, The Worlds of Physics and the Living World meet in ESS 001 at 7:30 p.m.

We will offer  in-service credit for the Conference on the Geology of Long Island and Metropolitan New York on Saturday March 28, 2009and  the Long Island Geologists field trip in Spring

Information for these two events will be available on the Long Island Geologists web site at:

There will be Refreshments and Demonstrations after the Presentations.

Admission is FREE!

Presentations are in Room 001 ESS Building SUNY Stony Brook

How do I get to the Earth and Space Sciences Building at SUNY Stony Brook?