February 2018 Meeting

Monday, February 12, 2018
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Pellissippi State Technical Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville
J.L Goins Administration Building
Faculty/Staff Dining Room


Habitability of Lakes on Mars: A View from Curiosity


Dr. Linda C. Kah
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee


When we think about lacustrine environments on Earth, we typically envision them to be habitable environments for life. But with a second thought, we recognize that lakes on Earth are also represented by much more inhospitable, or extreme environments: permanently ice-covered lakes of Antarctica, acid lake systems of Western Australia, hypersaline lake systems of the high Andes, and alkaline lake systems of East Africa. For the last 1000 sols, the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Rover has been examining lacustrine sedimentation of the Murray formation, Gale crater, Mars. In this talk, we will examine depositional features of the Murray formation and explore how we interpret the habitability of lacustrine environments on Mars.


Ms. Kah and her students focus on integrating sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, and microbial ecology in understanding the evolution of the Earth's biosphere. In addition to Earth-based research projects, Ms. Kah is also investigating potential habitable environments as co-investigator on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover mission, and is continuing extraterrestrial work as a co-investigator on the Mars 2020 mission. Ms. Kah is an associate Professor, University of Tennessee from 2006 to present, received a Post-Doctoral Fellow from the University of Missouri in 1999, Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1997, Master of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990, and a Bachlors of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990.


Page updated May 26, 2018