Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Welcome to the Lab!

 A group photo of our laboratory in the Petrie Building, York University Keele Campus.

Hello and welcome to the blog of the Planetary Volatiles Laboratory (PVL) at York University!

We are a group of students from Undergraduates to PhD candidates who conduct research on the robotic exploration of our solar system and beyond, focusing on those elements of a planet that can evaporate and re-condense (in Planetary Science Terms: 'Volatile' as opposed to 'Refractory'). We've also got a couple of postdoctoral fellows helping to lead the way along with Professor John E Moores. The lab is based out of the Lassonde School of Engineering, though we also have students who take part in the Faculty of Science's Physics and Astronomy Program.

In this space, you will see weekly postings about what we're up to and items of significance for our work, such as conferences and papers of significance (including our own). The authors will change week to week, hence why we will sign our posts (as I have done below).

The goal of all this? There are two aims:

Publicity for the lab is part of it. Certainly it would be helpful for future students to get a better idea of what we do. It is also a handy place for us to break-down our own papers to bring them to a larger audience.

But, in my estimation, the more important side effect of this space will be to improve the writing skills of our existing students. Furthermore, by writing for a broader audience they will think about their knowledge base in a new way, providing synthesis and thereby helping each member to understand their field even better. Last, but not least, we hope to instill in each other the idea of service: our work is publicly funded and part of the job is sharing the results of that work and our excitement for the field with you!

I will be cheering on each and every one of them, and I hope you will be as well.

-John M.

P.S. I would love to take credit for this idea, but I owe the suggestion to Professor Catherine Neish of the University of Western Ontario. As they say, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!" (C.C. Colton)

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