Jennifer Whitten is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies using radar data to study the surface geology of Venus, Mars, and the Moon. Her work on Venus focuses on understanding the distribution of impact ejecta using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data collected by the Magellan mission. Understanding the distribution of impact ejecta (and whether or not the material has contaminated certain geologic deposits/units) has important implications for landing site selection. On Mars, she uses SHAllow RADar sounder (SHARAD) data to investigate both the surface properties and subsurface structure of the planet. Jennifer continues to pursue the scientific interests she developed in graduate school through research of the radar properties of volcanic deposits on the Moon using data acquired by the Arecibo Observatory and Green Bank Telescope.
Jennifer received a PhD in Geology from Brown University in 2014. Her graduate studies focused on understanding the formation of secondary crusts (ancient volcanic deposits), such as mare basalts, and how those deposits have influenced the surface evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies. She specifically worked to address fundamental questions about volcanism during the earliest period of solar system history, including the onset of mare volcanism, how to identify ancient volcanic deposits, the relationship between basin formation and the emplacement of volcanic deposits, and the influence of impact cratering on ancient volcanic surfaces.