Kathryn Steakley » AGSO

Kathryn Steakley

Graduate Student NMSUAstronomy
575.646.4834 Personal page

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Biographical Info


My research focuses on Martian climate and surface-atmosphere interactions on Mars. I am currently working with Dr. Jim Murphy in the planetary group to explore comet and asteroid impacts as a potential heating mechanism of Mars’ atmosphere 3.7 billion years ago.  I have also worked on a project to detect and characterize dust devils on Mars using meteorological data collected by the Curiosity rover.

I completed a B.S. degree in physics and astronomy in the fall of 2012 at the University of Washington. As an REU student intern at the SETI Institute (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), I worked with Dr. Peter Jenniskens on the Cameras for All-Sky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) project. This project involved determining light curves, altitudes, and latitudes and longitudes of large numbers of meteors caught by the network of video cameras. I identified a previously undocumented meteor stream, now added to the IAU Working List of Meteor Showers.



Field Measurements of Terrestrial and Martian Dust Devils
Murphy, J., Steakley, K., Balme, M., et al. 2016, Space Science Reviews, doi:10.1007/s11214-016-0283-y

A year of convective vortex activity at Gale Crater
Steakley, K., Murphy, J. 2016, Icarus, 278, p. 180–193, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.06.010

Discovery of the February epsilon Virginids (FEV, IAU #506)
Steakley, K., Jenniskens, P. 2013, WGN, Journal of the International Meteor Organization, 41, 109


Meetings Attended
Poster Post-impact climate conditions on early Mars: preliminary results from GCM simulations
Steakley, K., Murphy, J., Kahre, M. A., Haberle, R. M. 2016, AAS Division of Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts, 48, #220.29
Invited Talk Detections of Thermal Convective Vortices at Gale Crater, Mars with MSL
Steakley, K. E., Murphy, J. 2015, Workshop: Dust Devils on Earth and Mars, International Space Science Institute
Talk     Investigating Dust-less Devils at Gale Crater
Steakley, K. E., Murphy, J. R., 2014, AAS Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts, 46, 300.06
Poster     Convective Vortices and Seasonal Variations in the REMS Pressure Data
Steakley K. E., Murphy J. R., Kahanpaa H. 2014, Eighth International Conference on Mars, LPI Contribution No. 1791, p.1036
Poster     Discovery of the February Epsilon Virginids
Kathryn Steakley & P. M. Jenniskens 2013, AASMA, 221, 353.11
Poster     The LINEAR Photometric Database: Time Domain Information for SDSS Objects
M. Veyette et al. 2012, AASMA, 219, 348.19


Teaching Activities
Astr 105 – The Planets Spring 2015
Fall 2014
Spring 2014
Astr 305 – The Search for Life in the Universe Fall 2013


Outreach Activities

Nov 2015: Career Day at Alameda Elementary
Oct 2015: Sierra Middle School Visit Tombaugh Observatory
Sep 2015:
Challenger Learning Center Grand Opening
Jun 2015: PlutoPalooza Family Astronomy Day at Branigan Cultural Center
Jun 2015:
East Picacho Elementary Enrich the Kids Day
May 2015: Sky Safari at Tombaugh Observatory
May 2015: Monte Vista Elementary School Star Night
Apr 2015: Alameda Elementary Family Literacy, Math, and Science Night
Mar 2015: Highland Elementary Math and Science Night
Jan 2015: Solar Telescope Viewing at Farmer’s Market
Dec 2014: Sky Safari at Tombaugh Observatory
Nov 2014: Sierra Middle School Visit Tombaugh Observatory
Sep 2014: Sky Safari at Tombaugh Observatory
Aug 2014 – May 2015: Secretary, Astronomy Graduate Student Organization
Apr 2014: Columbia Elementary Math and Science Night
Feb 2014: Vista Middle School Math and Science Night
Jan 2014: North Valley Elementary Science Night
Jan 2014: New Mexico State University Astronomy Open House
Dec 2013: Sky Safari at Tombaugh Observatory
Sep 2013: Elementary School Visit to Tombaugh Observatory
Aug 2013 – Present: New Mexico State University Campus Observatory Events