Using Africa to study Mars

No, you’re not dreaming - we really do have a Martian geologist. While the majority of her work is done remotely via the Curiosity Rover (NASA’s rover currently on Mars), it is still incredibly important to maintain skills as a field geologist and to understand geologic processes that happen on EVERY planet - which took our resident Mars expert, Maddy, to Africa.

This summer, Maddy spent several weeks just outside of Noordoewer, Namibia, across the border near Vioolsdrif, South Africa, and within the Richtersveld World Heritage Site in South Africa. All of these places host rocks detailing an ancient ocean setting from over 500 million years ago in what was called the Cambrian Period, and helped Maddy to better understand her own Martian research. Keep it up, Maddy!