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  • Leah Sacks

Research, Personal, and Photo Update

So, I was midway through my pasta post, as it were, when I was suddenly notified that the page couldn't be saved, and everything was deleted. Rather than recreating the post, which as you might be able to imagine, I didn't really have the patience for in the moment, I decided to just do an update on myself and on my most recent photo adventures. So this post will go over a basic research update, a basic personal update, and a photo update!


As a research update, there are several things going on. As with all research, literature review and learning the basic knowledge that is the foundation of your work is very important. For me, I have to really understand the possible pieces and components of a system, and then I can freely manipulate them to solve problems, including geologic problems. Thus, over the past several months, I've been making my way through a textbook on surface processes, and in particular the parts on strain, stress, tectonics, and the crust and structure of planets. It's taking longer than I would like, but I like learning and refreshing some of that knowledge.


In the area of literature review, I've been working on searching for and reading published journal articles on anything related to icy moons. Primarily, I'm focusing on understanding the connections between surface features and stresses and forces. While I also read everything related to my focus bodies, I'm trying to work on expanding and figuring out what other works will be important to my study. Recent work for the DPS Conference, discussed below, has helped me to expand into reading on the mechanics of how certain surface features form and how I can tell which forces contributed to the formation of those features.


In a more tangible context, I have been working on mapping the features on the focus body. This has involved a lot of going through images, processing images, projecting images, and georeferencing them. I've also put together a presentation recently for the DPS (Division of Planetary Science) Conference which is coming up in early October. Needing to complete the presentation spurred me to think more deeply about the specific science questions I was going to be answering and what kinds of analyses I was going to do to do that. If you are someone who is going to the conference, come check out my talk!


From a more personal standpoint, I recently visited home in August. It was really nice to see my parents and my sister. I don't have any family in Canada and live with only my roommate, so every time I have the opportunity to see my family in the states, I try to take as much advantage of that as I can. My last post covered my interesting journey, so I won't speak on that too much.


I have been thinking a lot recently, as actually shown in some of my earlier posts, about how I spend my time outside of research. When I decided to complete my PhD at Western, I decided that I really wanted to take advantage of my time in Canada and of my time in school. I want to be spending my weekends seeing new things and meeting new people. Now, new people is harder right now with COVID, but that doesn't stop me from seeing things. This past weekend, I rented a car and visited a nearby conservation area to go hiking and spend some more time in nature. This is where the photo update comes in. See some of them below! Including a tasty meal at one of my stops.




Finally, I want to end this post giving an acknowledgement to recent dates. 20 years ago, on the day that I took my day trip to the conservation area, were the 9/11 terrorist attacks. While I still remember where I was during those moments, I can't speak as one of the people who truly experienced them. But I took some time, while I sat on the bank of the river, to think about and commemorate the lives of the people who died that day.


I was only 6 at the time of 9/11, but I continued to grow up hearing about the attacks and their ramifications. But this year, I watched the Netflix docuseries Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror. I wanted to make sure that I was an informed and educated person regarding the context for 9/11, and not just the events of the day and some of what came after. I would recommend the series if you want a good overview of the lead up to the war on terror, the events of 9/11, and the following actions by the US and other countries and groups.


I know this has been kind of a scattered post, but I wanted to cover a number of things. In any case, see you all in my next post!


Sneak Peak: Pasta Post Redux?....Data Visualization?....Work tools?......Who knows?

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