NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute takes great pride in the annual
student poster competition held each year at the NASA Exploration Science Forum.

The Student Poster Competition provides motivation, encouragement, and most of all, recognition to the most
promising scientists of the future. The contest is always very competitive with high-quality submissions.
Selection criteria include the originality of the research and its impact to science and exploration, the merit
of the experiment design and rigor of results, the visual quality and clarity of the poster layout—including
accessibility to the non-expert, and effectiveness in communicating the topic during the lightning talk. 1st,
2nd and 3rd place winners and honorable mention received a $1000 travel grant. Selections were made by votes of
a committee of scientists and SSERVI management.

The 2020 NASA Exploration Science Forum Student Poster Competition winners were:

  • First Place – Ryota Nakano for the poster “Mass Shedding Activities of Asteroid (3200) Phaethon Enhanced by
    its Rotation.”
  • Second Place – Marina Gemma for the poster ” Multi-Dimensional Characterization of Mineral Abundace in
    Ordinary Chondrite Meteorites.”
  • Third Place – Kristen Luchsinger Pushing the Boundaries of Lunar Ice: Vertical Volatile Transport in
    Seasonally Shadowed Regions.

Congratulations to these winners and to everyone who participated in the competition. We look
forward to seeing additional innovative student research in the next Student Poster Competition!

Past Winners


  • First place was awarded to Nevadida Mahesh for the poster “Modelling planar dipoles on lunar regolith
    for a radio array on the lunar farside.”
  • Second place was awarded to William Goode for the poster “Chemical composition of particles from
    Europa’s surface.”
  • Third place was awarded to Virginia Daar for the poster “Composition dependent simulated space
    weathering effects on hydroxyl interactions on silicon films.”
  • Honorable mention was awarded to Leslie Chambers for the poster “Grit: a plume surface interaction
    experiment in vacuum microgravity.”



  • First place was awarded to Macey Sandford for the poster “Standoff Time-Resolved Raman and
    Fluorescence Spectrometer for a Lunar Lander.”
  • Second place was awarded to Zach Ulibarri for the poster “On the generation and detectability of
    organic chemistry in hypervelocity impact ice spectra.”
  • Third place was awarded to Marina Gemma for the poster “Visible-Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy
    of Ordinary Chondrite Meteorites Under Simulated Asteroid Surface Conditions.”
  • Honorable mention was awarded to Mount Horeb High School for the poster “Volcanic Contribution of
    Water at Lunar Silicic Domes.”



  • First Place awarded to Erica Jawin for the poster “The Prinz-Harbinger Medium-Scale Shield Volcano: a
    Transition in Lunar Volcanic Eruption Style.”
  • Second Place awarded to Zachary Morse for the poster “Mapping and Analysis of Ejecta Deposits from
    Orientale Basin on the Moon.”
  • Third Place awarded to Zach Ulibarri for the poster “Laboratory Study of Hypervelocity Impact-Driven
    Chemical Reactions and Surface Evolution of Icy Targets.”
  • Honorable Mention awarded to Karen Abruzzo, Delina Levine, and Pragati Muthukumar for the poster
    “Mapping Possible Locations for Lunar Ice Mining Based on Topographic, Economic, and Elemental



  • First place awarded to Yasvanth Poondla for the poster “Modeling the LCROSS Impact
    Plume-Photodissociation and Sublimation of Water.”
  • Second Place awarded to Anastasia Newheart for the poster “Apollo ALSEP/SIDE Observations of Stairstep
    Flux Profiles in the Terrestrial Magnetotail.”
  • Third Place awarded to Commack High School ( Mike Delmonaco, Trevor Rosenlicht, Nicole LaReddola) for the
    poster “Resolving the Primary Mechanism Causing Floor-Fractured Craters Using GRAIL and LOLA
  • Honorable Mention awarded to Kickapoo High School (Mikala Garnier, Jonas Eschenfelder, Alysa Fintel) for the
    poster “Excavation Depths as Indications of Magnesium Spinel Formation via Impact Melting.”



  • First place awarded to Heidi Fuqua for the poster “Isolating Electromagnetic Induction from the Lunar
    Interior measured with ARTEMIS”
  • Second Place (Tie) awarded to Christopher Womack for the poster “Design and Development of the
    Telerobotic Simulation System for Teleoperated Rovers on the Moon”
  • Second Place (Tie) awarded to Nate Marx for the poster “Testing Remote Control for Teleoperated Rovers
    using Telerobotic Simulation System (TSS)”
  • Second Place (Tie) awarded to Ben Hockman for the poster “Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration
    of Small Solar System Bodies”
  • Third Place awarded to Bellaire High School for the poster “Hypothesizing the Existence of Zhuque
    Family in the 5:2 Kirkwood Gap”
  • Honorable Mention awarded to James T. Keane for the poster “Hidden in the Neutrons: Physical Evidence
    for Lunar True Polar Wander”



  • First place award to Jamie Molaro for the poster “Thermoelastic Grain-scale Stresses on Airless Bodies
    and Implications for Rock Breakdown”
  • Second place awarded to Jonas Simolka for the poster “Development of a Gas Impact Chamber for
    Laboratory Studies of Meteoric Ablation”
  • Third place (tie) award to Rachel Caston for the poster “Analyzing the Genotoxicity of Lunar
    Dust,” and to Melinda Rucks for the poster “Mid IR Optical Constants of Orthopyroxenes.”



  • First place winner was Colin Jackson (poster #36).
  • Second place winner was Upper Darby HS (Hossain poster #23).
  • Third place winner was Miles Crist (poster #3) and Chris Womack (poster #10) (tied).



  • First place awarded to Leah Cheek for the poster “Mg-Spinel anorthosite as seen by M3: Observations
    and compositional constraints”
  • Second place awarded to Kerri Donaldson Hanna for the poster “Simulated Lunar and Asteroid
    Environments for Spectral Measurements of Analogue Materials”
  • Third place awarded to Kickapoo H.S. for the poster “Stratified Ejecta Boulders as Indicators of
    Layered Plutons on the Lunar Nearside”
  • Special Mention awarded to Tanishq Mathew Abraham for the poster “Studying Lunar Topography Using
    Citizen Science On-line Programs”
  • Honorable Mention awarded to Mohammad Hossain for the poster “Analysis of Wrinkle Ridges to
    determine Distribution and Depth of Blind Thrust Faults in Mare Imbrium”
  • Honorable Mention awarded to Emily Foote for the poster “LRO Diviner and Laboratory Solar
    Reflectance Measurements of Apollo Soils”



  • First place went to Debra Hurwitz for her poster entitled “Timing of Lunar Sinuous Rille Formation:
    Implications for Lunar Volcanic Evolution.”
  • Second place was awarded to the Kickapoo High School Team for the poster “Using Boulder and Crater
    Diameter Ratios to Differentiate Primary from Secondary Craters on the Lunar Surface.” The award for
    second place was upped to $2000 so that each individual on the team could take home $500.
  • Third place went to Parvathy Prem for the poster “Cometary Delivery of Lunar Water: A Parametric


  • First place winners were Elise Rumpf from University of Hawaii and Paul Hayne from UCLA (tied). With some
    good fortune, they were both awarded the full prize purse!
  • Second place went to Matthew Siegler from UCLA.
  • Third place went to Laura Kruger from Coloradu University.








  • First place was awarded to Eduardo Nicolau’s “Bioelectrochemical Degradation of Urea at
    Platinized Boron Doped Diamond Electrodes for Bioregenerative Applications.”
  • Second place winner was Christopher Oravetz with a poster “an Estimation of Lunar Slopes.”
  • Third place winners (tied) were Aleksandr Aravkin’s poster “3D Map Construction and Global
    Localization Using Bundle Adjustment and Kalman Smoothing,” and Ayoposi Jejelowo’s
    “Optimizing the Design for more Efficient Amorphous Silicon Based Solar Cells.”

ELS 2023

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NESF 2023

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