EAS Seminar: Dr. Neesha Schnepf '13 (Colorado)


Snee Hall 2146


Electromagnetic Oceans: from Earth to Europa

More than 70% of Earth’s surface is ocean covered. In the past, this was seen as a challenge for geophysicists dependent on on-land observatories. But now, largely thanks to an enduring era of reliable low Earth orbit satellite magnetometer data, this challenge has become a boon: 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by a moving, electrically conductive fluid that creates detectable electromagnetic signals which can then be used to study the solid Earth, the oceans themselves, and natural hazards such as tsunamis.

Thanks to NASA missions such as Galileo and Cassini, we now know that Earth is not the only planetary body in our solar system to harbor oceans. Much evidence suggests icy moons such as Europa (a moon of Jupiter) and Enceladus (a moon of Saturn) have global oceans.

In this presentation I’ll provide an overview of marine electromagnetism and how we can harness electromagnetic fields to investigate both our home planet and far away moons.

Dr. Neesha Schnepf '13 is a research scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Dr. Schnepf pursues research questions related to planetary magnetic fields and habitability. As a biracial & queer woman in geo/space-physics, she also cares about initiatives in diversity, equity & inclusion, as well as mentoring. Trying to ">work hard and be nice" goes a long way.

Dr. Schnepf received her B.S. from Cornell, where she was a member of the cross country and track and field teams,  in 2013, M.S. from MIT in 2015 and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2019.