Emily is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies studying the ancient tectonic history of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Reconstructing Enceladus’s early tectonic history will provide insight into how Enceladus developed into one of the few currently geologically active bodies in the solar system. Emily’s research interests are in planetary surface processes and tectonic deformation of icy bodies of the outer solar system. Enceladus’s surface has been heavily modified by tectonic features including dilatational cracks, pit chains, strike-slip faults, and normal faults. Non-tectonic processes including impact cratering and mantling of the surface by plume material have also contributed to modifying Enceladus’s surface. Determining how the preserved deformation on an icy surface has evolved provides observational constrains for models to estimate what cannot be directly measured.
While obtaining her PhD, Emily investigated the recent tectonic history of Enceladus and what it could reveal about Enceladus’s global stress history and interior structure. Specifically, how the distribution geologically recent formation of features called pit chains suggest the presence of a subsurface liquid ocean. Emily received her BA in physics from Wheaton College (MA) in 2006, where she first began exploring the icy satellites. She subsequently obtained her MS form Northwestern University in earth and planetary science in 2009, and her PhD in geological sciences form the University of Idaho in 2014.