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Tara Tomlinson, Thayer Engineering

Tara Tomlinson beside stone

My name is Tara Tomlinson and I’m a third year PhD student at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. I also have degrees in Astrophysics, Geology, and Linguistics. I’m currently studying planetary science, which means I study planets and moons in our solar system. Specifically, I study the ice on these bodies by recreating them in my lab and doing experiments on them. Ices on other planets are not always made from the same kinds of chemicals as ice on Earth! I want to know things like how strong the ice is, how much air and water might be trapped in it, or whether or not it has the right chemistry for bacteria to live inside. The answers to these questions help other NASA scientists to plan spacecraft missions and interpret observations. Outside of the lab, I love to play video games, go hiking, dance and listen to music, and hang out with my two cats.