October 14, 2016

Advancing stellar research

Mount Holyoke College

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Mount Holyoke College chair of astronomy Darby Dyars mission? Include her students in exploring Mars and planetary science. Offer experiences—as undergrads—that prepare them to further their scientific studies. And give them the confidence to launch exciting careers.

Dyar is part of a team examining and analyzing data gathered from Mars probe Curiosity’s ChemCam. In her Mount Holyoke lab, she and her students create fake rocks using spectroscopy to learn how the minerals respond to different conditions. This initiative will “benefit the field of planetary science for years to come,” says Dyar.

Dyar, who has taught at Mount Holyoke College since 1998, has mentored hundreds of students over her career, both within and outside of her department. She recently won the G. K. Gilbert Award, a rarified award from the Geological Society of America, in recognition of her contributions to the field of planetary geology.

Watch this clip to see one of Mount Holyokes many rock stars—in action.


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Mount Holyoke is a women's college that is gender diverse: We welcome applications from female, transgender and nonbinary students. Mount Holyoke is a magnet for ambitious, independent students from around the world who embrace complexity, cultivate curiosity and resolve to become agents of change. Our tight-knit community is academically rigorous, intellectually adventurous and socially conscious. As one of the most diverse research liberal arts colleges in the United States, Mount Holyoke prepares students for leadership and cultural awareness on a global scale. Mount Holyoke graduates thrive in all fields, on all continents and in a vast array of languages.
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