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EES Graduate Students Awarded 2022 MSGC Fellowships

EES Graduate Students Jackson Barnes, Gabriel Nathan and Allison Pease have each been awarded a $5,000 Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Graduate Fellowship. MSGC’s Graduate Fellowship opportunity supports graduate students from affiliate institutions who are conducting research and public service projects relevant to NASA’s strategic interests, specifically, research focused on aerospace, space science, and earth system science.

Michigan State University is home to the top three ranked Graduate Fellowship awardees in a field of 49 applicants. EES Chair Jeffrey Freymueller said "EES is very proud to see two of our graduate students (Gabriel Nathan and Allison Pease) among the top three Michigan Space Grant Consortium fellowship proposals. We have an outstanding group of graduate students, who have creative research ideas and solid plans to carry out their work."

Jackson Barnes
Jackson Barnes

Jackson Barnes, who works with Dr. Seth Jacobson, is enthusiastic about what this award makes possible. "My research is primarily focused on the formation of planetesimals which are small planets. There's a gap in the knowledge in how dust aggregates from pebbles into planetesimals. And so my goal is to bridge that gap, in a sense through a method known as gravitational collapse. This award will be useful for any computational resources or any travel for meetings, which are vitally important in smaller fields like this. My research is very computationally intensive, and getting resources has always been a thing in the back of my mind. This helps alleviates that issue"

Gabriel Nathan
Gabriel Nathan

Gabriel Nathan said he learned about the MSGC award through his advisor, Dr. Seth Jacobson. "He has been a tremendous help to me as I seek out potential opportunities in space science in Michigan. My proposed project is to determine the role that the process of core formation plays in setting the unique chemical and isotopic compositions observed in Solar System bodies. Specifically, I will conduct numerical simulations of coupled physics and chemistry to constrain the behavior of the Iron, Nickel and Vanadium isotopic systems during multiple stages of planetary core formation."

"It is wonderful to be recognized with this award - I feel energized and driven to produce research that will advance space science. Moreover, it is an honor to represent the state of Michigan with cutting-edge space science research."

Allison Pease
Allison Pease

Allison Pease said she was surprised and excited to learn about her award. "Earlier in 2021, my advisor (Dr. Susannah Dorfman) informed me of the fellowship, and we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to partially fund the research cost associated with my third dissertation project."

"Our project will investigate the solubility of Mg and Ca into davemaoite and bridgmanite at lower mantle conditions. We propose that when samples are recovered at the surface, the sample's composition can be used to infer the pressure-temperature conditions under which it formed. This project has a lot of room for growth, and in the future, we hope to expand it to a broader compositional range."

Space Grant is a national network of colleges and universities working to expand opportunities for Americans to understand and participate in NASA’s aeronautics and space projects by supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts. The Space Grant national network includes over 850 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies. These affiliates belong to one of 52 consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


Interim Department Chair:
Dr. Jeffrey Freymueller
  (517) 355-4626

Department Office:
 Natural Science Bldg
288 Farm Lane, Rm 207
East Lansing, MI 48824
  (517) 355-4626
  (517) 353-8787