Research

The Ehlmann lab specializes in planetary geology and surface remote sensing. Our interdisciplinary projects involve spectroscopy, image analysis, 3-D data visualization, mineralogy, petrology, biogeochemistry, astrobiology, and environmental change. We work on all planets with solid surfaces with orbiters, rovers, landers and traditional field geology.

We are also involved in missions, including MRO, MSL, Mars2020, EMIT, Lunar Trailblazer, and for Ocean Worlds and Venus landers.

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Remote Sensing & Infrared Spectroscopy
Minerals, ices, and organics record the evolutionary history of planets. We develop approaches to determine what planets are made of and monitor changing environments. Our specialties are in imaging spectroscopy, stereo imaging, and multiple dataset integration whether from orbit, from UAVs, on the ground with rovers and landers, or in the lab.
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Exploring Mars
We examine the biggest questions in Mars history. Why did a once-watery world become a cold desert? What processes control the evolution of past and present surface climate? Did Mars, like Earth, develop life and does that life still exist on Mars today?
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Volatiles & Ocean Worlds
Ice-rich, organic-rich, and with a surprising amount of recent geologic activity, Ceres has shown some asteroids are geologically active worlds and may even support subsurface water brines today. Upcoming and proposed missions to Europa, Enceladus, and icy bodies provide exciting opportunities to understand these worlds.
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Earth System Change with Remote & Field Data
Earth's climate is changing, and remote sensing provides a way to assess how vegetation and Earth's dynamic systems are responding. We use are involved with missions and use new technologies for these investigations.
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Future Missions & Instruments
Guided by science questions about the evolution of the solar system and monitoring Earth, Professor Ehlmann also works with colleagues across the world to develop new instruments and missions of exploration.
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Thanks to NASA, NSF, National Geographic, the Rose Hills Foundation, Foster and Coco Stanback, and Caltech and JPL internal funds for support of our work.