Saira is currently a PhD candidate in geological sciences at the School of Earth and Space Exploration working primarily with Dr. Amanda Clarke and Dr. Phil Christensen. She earned her B.S. degree in geosciences from Georgia State University where she also received her Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate. Shortly after graduating, she interned at both NASA Ames Research Center and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center where she researched topics on the geomorphology of fluvial landscapes on Mars in addition to invesitgating the volcanic history of the Tharsis region on Mars. To date, Saira has participated in field investigations of volcanic landscapes in Iceland, the Canary Islands, Yellowstone, Idaho, Mexico, Arizona, and New Mexico. Her current research interests are in the fields of planetary volcanology, planetary interiors, and large-scale atmospheric dynamics.
Saira is currently a participant of the JPL Visiting Student Research Program under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Kerber where she utilizes a global climate model to understand how volcanic eruptions can further impact the climate and surface ice budget on Mars. In addition to her volcanology work, Saira also works in collaboration with Dr. Joseph O'Rourke to simulate the combined effects a basal magma ocean and inner core convection on the lunar magnetic field.