Center for Meteorite Studies

Karen Rieck received her M.S. from Arizona State University in 2008.  As a Master’s student, she measured lithium isotopes in basaltic meteorites. Supervised by Dr. Richard Hervig, the goal of this research was to better understand the thermal histories of eucrites by measuring chemical heterogeneity within the minerals comprising these basaltic meteorites.

Karen smallDuring her Ph.D. in the School of Earth & Space Exploration, Karen conducted scientific research on Solar System materials under the advisement of her committee members (Richard Hervig, Thomas Sharp, Meenakshi Wadhwa, Peter Williams, Patrick Young, and Amy Jurewicz).

Her primary project centered on quantifying the abundances of sodium and potassium in the solar wind. To do this, she used secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to measure samples of solar wind returned by NASA's Genesis spacecraft. This information will help to constrain the baseline composition of the protoplanetary disk from which our Solar System formed.  Solar wind samples are a good surrogate for the solar nebula because (1) a preponderance of scientific evidence suggests that the outer layer of the Sun preserves the composition of the early solar nebula, and (2) spacecraft measurements suggest that, for most rock-forming elements, the process of solar wind ejection from the Sun does not appear to cause significant fractionation of elements.

As a secondary project, Karen investigated microtextural changes associated with olivine phase transformation as a function of water content, using optical microscopy, Raman, and scanning electron microscopy, in order to clarify and constrain phase transformation processes in Earth's mantle.

Karen RieckShe also utilized optical microscopy and image processing software to investigate ilmenite abundance & crystal size distribution in Apollo 17 Lunar Samples. The information gleaned from this research will enable better interpretation of remote sensing data from orbiting spacecraft.

Karen is the recipient of three NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships, awarded to outstanding students pursuing graduate degrees in basic and applied research in Earth and space sciences.

Taking an active interest in geology education and outreach, Karen has served as Secretary, Vice-President, and Outreach Coordinator for the ASU Geology Club.  She has also participated in numerous outreach events with the Center for Meteorite Studies, including the annual Earth & Space Exploration Day, and ASU’s Night of the Open Door.

Having successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in October, 2015, Karen has undertaken a post-doctoral scholarship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she will continue analyzing Genesis solar wind samples.


Comments are closed.

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

Sign Up for Center Updates!

Be the first to learn about CMS events and news; sign up for email updates here!


Postdoctoral Scholar Opportunities!

The Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University invites applications for 2 Postdoctoral Research Associates.  Click here for details!




Meteorite of the Month

Moss

July’s Meteorite of the Month is Moss, a CO3.6 carbonaceous chondrite that fell the morning of July 14, 2006, in Østfold, Norway. According to the Meteoritical Bulletin (MB 91): At …


Upcoming Events

July 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
June 25, 2017 June 26, 2017 June 27, 2017 June 28, 2017 June 29, 2017 June 30, 2017 July 1, 2017
July 2, 2017 July 3, 2017 July 4, 2017 July 5, 2017 July 6, 2017 July 7, 2017 July 8, 2017
July 9, 2017 July 10, 2017 July 11, 2017 July 12, 2017 July 13, 2017 July 14, 2017 July 15, 2017
July 16, 2017 July 17, 2017 July 18, 2017 July 19, 2017 July 20, 2017 July 21, 2017 July 22, 2017
July 23, 2017 July 24, 2017 July 25, 2017 July 26, 2017 July 27, 2017 July 28, 2017 July 29, 2017
July 30, 2017 July 31, 2017 August 1, 2017 August 2, 2017 August 3, 2017 August 4, 2017 August 5, 2017