Email: dedecker at live.unc.edu
Office: Mitchell Hall 224
B.S., Geology, North Carolina State University, 2012
M.S., Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, current
I am a M.S. student working with Allen Glazner on correlations between petrological/petrographic characteristics of igneous rocks and lava tube morphology. Specifically how composition and crystallinity of lavas control the formation and morphology of lava tubes. I am interested in studying lava tubes and other sub-surface terrestrial features as analogs to features on the Moon and Mars. Upon completion of my graduate degree I intend to apply to the Astronaut Corps as an astrogeologist.
I have worked on the USGS, NASA, and SETI sponsored Earth-Mars Cave Detection Project on the cartography and sensor deployment teams for the 2008 Atacama Desert expedition, and the 2010 Mojave Desert expedition. This project has successfully located caves on Mars using thermal imaging. The field component seeks to understand the thermal behavior of caves in order to determine the best methodology for extraterrestrial cave detection.
I am currently a teaching assistant for GEOL 101L: Introduction to Physical Geology Laboratory, and a lecture assistant for GEOL 101: Introduction to Physical Geology.
In my free time I like to travel, hike, and paint landscapes of the places I go. I am an amateur astronomer and have several telescopes I use to do visual and photographic astronomy. I have been involved with astronomy educational outreach for over 10 years, primarily with Lowell Observatory and the Charlottesville Astronomical Society.