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Linda Elkins-Tanton

School Dir & Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6004
School Dir & Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6004
Biography

Lindy Elkins-Tanton is the director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, co-chair of the Interplanetary Initiative, and she is the Principal Investigator of the Psyche mission, selected in 2017 as the 14th in NASA’s Discovery program.

Her research includes theory, observation, and experiments concerning terrestrial planetary formation, magma oceans, and subsequent planetary evolution including magmatism and interactions between rocky planets and their atmospheres. She also promotes and participates in education initiatives, in particular, inquiry and exploration teaching methodologies, and leadership and team-building for scientists and engineers.

She has lead four field expeditions in Siberia, as well as participated in fieldwork in the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

Elkins-Tanton received her B.S. and M.S. from MIT in 1987, and then spent eight years working in business, with five years spent writing business plans for young high-tech ventures. She then returned to MIT for a Ph.D. Elkins-Tanton spent five years as a researcher at Brown University, followed by five years on MIT faculty, before accepting the directorship of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science. In 2014 she moved to the directorship at Arizona State University. 

She serves on the Standing Review Board for the Europa mission, and served on the Mars panel of the Planetary Decadal Survey and on the Mars 2020 Rover Science Definition Team.

Elkins-Tanton is a two-time National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow and served on the National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey Mars panel. In 2008 she was awarded a five-year National Science Foundation CAREER award, and in 2009 was named Outstanding MIT Faculty Undergraduate Research Mentor. In 2010 she was awarded the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas prize. The second edition of her six-book series The Solar System, a reference series for libraries, was published in 2010 and the book Earth, co-authored with Jeffrey Cohen, was published in 2017. Asteroid (8252) Elkins-Tanton was named for her. In 2013 she was named the Astor Fellow at Oxford University, and in 2016 she was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Education

              Ph.D., Geology and Geophysics, MIT, 2002, Timothy L. Grove and Bradford H. Hager

              M.S., Geochemistry, MIT, 1987, Timothy L. Grove

              B.S., Geology, MIT, 1987

Videos
Change Begins With a Question: A TEDx talk on our new learning initiative.
Research Interests

Planetary formation, and events of the first 100 Myr of the solar system

Planetary evolution: what makes a habitable rocky planet?

Large volcanic provinces and their relationship with life on Earth

Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 394Special Topics
AST 592Research
GLG 592Research
GLG 599Thesis
GLG 692Research
SES 692Research
AST 692Research
SES 792Research
GLG 792Research
AST 792Research
GLG 795Continuing Registration
SES 795Continuing Registration
SES 799Dissertation
AST 799Dissertation
GLG 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
CHM 494Special Topics
SES 494Special Topics
SES 591Seminar
GLG 592Research
GLG 595Continuing Registration
CHM 598Special Topics
GLG 599Thesis
SES 692Research
GLG 692Research
AST 692Research
AST 792Research
GLG 792Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
AST 799Dissertation
GLG 799Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 592Research
GLG 599Thesis
SES 692Research
AST 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
GLG 799Dissertation
AST 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 394Special Topics
AST 592Research
GLG 592Research
GLG 599Thesis
AST 692Research
GLG 692Research
GLG 792Research
AST 792Research
GLG 795Continuing Registration
AST 799Dissertation
GLG 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 494Special Topics
SES 591Seminar
GLG 592Research
GLG 595Continuing Registration
GLG 599Thesis
AST 692Research
GLG 692Research
AST 792Research
GLG 792Research
GLG 795Continuing Registration
GLG 799Dissertation
AST 799Dissertation
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 592Research
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
AST 592Research
GLG 592Research
GLG 599Thesis
GLG 692Research
AST 692Research
GLG 792Research
AST 792Research
GLG 799Dissertation
AST 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 592Research
GLG 595Continuing Registration
GLG 795Continuing Registration