Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Brief Bio


Dr. Patrick Whelley is a geologist who studies volcanic and aeolian processes and products on terrestrial planets. His work uses a combination of remote sensing and in-situ observations. He has a BS and MS from Arizona State University and a PhD from the University at Buffalo, SUNY and currently works a research scientist with the University of Maryland on a co-operative agreement at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In the field, he collects high-resolution topographic data using a terrestrial laser scanner. The data inform volcanic mapping and provide ground-truth for remote sensing measurements. Patrick uses remote sensing data to characterize explosive volcanic stratigraphy on Mars. His work has implications for volcano hazard mapping, on Earth, and for interpreting volcanic histories of the terrestrial planets.

Research Interests


Physical volcanology

Solar System: Volcanology

 Studying how volcanoes emplace lava and pyroclastic flows


LiDAR topography

Solar System: Remote Sensing

 Using Light Detection and Rainging to measure topography


Aeolian geology

Solar System: Planetary surfaces

Studying the wind and the landforms it produces

Current Projects


Arabia Terra Layered Deposit Stratigraphy and Distribution: Evidence for Early Martian Explosive Volcanism?

Volcanology

A Mars Data Analysis Program Funded Investigation of layered deposits in Arabia Terra. Our team is testing the hypothesis that supereruptions produced colossal blankets of ash on ancient Mars in Arabia Terra.


VIDEO (VolcanIc Deposit Evolution and Origins) GIFT Planetary Analog Field Expedition to Holuhraun, Iceland

Volcanology

A field investigation of lava flows, pyroclastic deposits and buried ice in the Icelandic Highlands


Modeling Volcanic Climate Disruptions with GEOS-5: Implications for Terrestrial Planet Habitability

Volcanology

A study of large volume igneous provinces on Earth and their sulfur emissions and the extremes of habitability.


Observing Signatures of Volcanism on Hot Rocky Worlds

Extrasolar planets

Understanding the constraints of volcanism on exoplanets.


Remote, In Situ, and Synchrotron Studies for Science and Exploration

Volcanology

Using pyroclastic deposits to understand explosive eruption dynamics.


Geophysical Exploration of the Dynamics and Evolution of the Solar System (GEODES)

Geophysics

Conducting field expeditions to perform geophysics in volcanic lunar analog sites.

Positions/Employment


Associate Research Scientist

University of Maryland - College Park - College Park Maryland

July 2022 - Present

Lead field expeditions, study volcanic eruptions and eruption products, geophysics


Assistant Research Scientist

University of Maryland, College Park - College Park Maryland

April 2019 - July 2022

Dr. Patrick Whelley studies volcanic deposit morphology with LiDAR remote sensing.


Visiting Assistant Research Scientist

University of Maryland, College Park - College Park Maryland

April 2017 - 2019

Dr. Patrick Whelley studies volcanic deposit morphology with LiDAR remote sensing.


Scientist

USRA - Goddard Space Flight Center

April 2016 - April 2017

Study volcanic deposits and ways to differenti them from eachother

Develop a LiDAR instrument for rovers and landers

Collaborate with planetery and earth scietests studying volcanoes of many kinds


NPP Research Fellow

Oak Ridge Associated Universities - Oak Ridge, TN

April 2014 - April 2016

 NASA Post-Doctoral Program Fellowship, Project: Lava Flow Morphology in the Solar System


Research Fellow

The Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University - Singapore

March 2012 - March 2014

 Volcanic hazards: remote sensing investigation of 300 volcanoes in Southeast Asia to assess potential hazards. Study on Likelihood of Prolonged Period of Volcanic Ash Coverage over Singapore and the Singapore Flight Information Region.

Teaching Experience


 Theory and Applications of LiDAR Topographic Mapping, (Fall-2011) University at Buffalo
• Team-taught with Drs. B. Csatho & T. Schenk
• Graduate level remote sensing course
• Lectured on LiDAR processing for geological applications
Geology Field Camp, (Summer 2008 -2011) University at Buffalo, American West (Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming)
• Head Teaching Assistant, Summer 2010 & 2011, Supervisor: Dr. M. Bursik
• Teaching Assistant, Summer 2009, Logistics Assistant Summer 2008
• Supervised graduate student teaching staff
• Daily field excursions, geologic mapping and field methods
Space Exploration Topics: Planetary Geology, (Fall 2009) University at Buffalo
• Team-taught with Drs. J. Crassidis & J. Zirnheld
• Lectures to engineering undergraduates regarding geological surfaces processes in the solar system
Structural Geology, (Fall 2008 & 2011) University at Buffalo
• Teaching Assistant, Supervisor: Dr. J. Cortes
• Weekly laboratory exercises focused on observing analyzing and interpreting structural features
Advanced Hydrogeology, (Spring 2008) University at Buffalo
• Teaching Assistant, Supervisor: Dr. J. Becker
• Weekly laboratory exercises on computer modeling of hydrologic systems
Environmental Geology Laboratory, (Fall 2007) University at Buffalo
• Teaching Assistant, Supervisor: Dr. J. Briner
• Weekly laboratory exercises on introductory geologic and environmental concepts
Geology Field Camp, (Summer 2007) Arizona State University, Tonto National Forest, Payson Arizona
• Teaching Assistant, Supervisor: Dr. T. Sharp
• Daily field excursions, geologic mapping and field methods

Education


Ph.D. Geology (2012), University at Buffalo, State University of New York; Buffalo New York
M.S. Geological Sciences (2007), Arizona State University; Tempe Arizona
B.S. Geological Sciences (2005), Arizona State University; Tempe Arizona

Professional Societies


International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior

2008 - Present


Geological Society of America

2007 - Present


American Geophysical Union

2003 - Present

Professional Service


Professional

Honors and Awards

2011 Pegrum Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Dept. of Geology, University at Buffalo

2008-11 NASA Graduate Student Research Program Fellowship

2008, 09 & 11 Pegrum Conference Travel Grant, Department of Geology, University at Buffalo

2008 “Best Poster”, Natural Disasters in Small Communities, How can we help? Buffalo, NY

2008-9 Pegrum Graduate Fellowship, University at Buffalo, Department of Geology

Service

2020 - Present, Board Member, Vermont River Conservancy

2020 - Washington Central Unified Union School District Superintendent of Schools Hiring Committee Member

2019 - Present, Past-President International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI)’s Commission on Statistics in Volcanology

2017- 2019, Group Leader: Planetary Geology, Geodesy & Geophysics; Planetary Environments Group, NASA Goddard Cooperative Agreement CRESST II

2015- 2019, President: International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI)’s Commission on Statistics in Volcanology

2014- present, NASA research proposal review panel member (multiple programs)

2014-15 Workshop coordinator IAVCEI Commission on Statistics in volcanology

2013 Presenter: VEI probabilities in South East Asia, 6th International Workshop On Volcanic Ash, World Meteorological Organization, Citeko, Bogor, Indonesia

2011 Student research judge: Lunar and Planetary Society Science Conference Dwornik Award

2011 President: Graduate Geology Student Association, University at Buffalo

2011 Reviewer: Mark Diamond Fund, Graduate Student Association, SUNY at Buffalo

2010 Graduate student rapporteur: National Academy’s Planetary Science Decadal Survey

2009-10 Graduate Liaison to the Faculty: University at Buffalo

2007-08 Vice President: Graduate Geology Student Association, University at Buffalo

Reviewing Activities for Journals

Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Journal of Arid Environments, Icarus, Journal of Applied Volcanology, Geosphere, International Space Science Reviews, Astrobiology, PLOS ONE

Editorships

2017 Pattern to Process: Remotely Sensed Observations of Volcanic Deposits and Their Implications for Surface Processes, Special Issue of: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research

Organizations

2008- present, International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior

2007- present, Geological Society of America

2003- present, American Geophysical Union

Teaching and Mentoring Experience

Graduate Advisory Committee

2017 A Quantitative Analysis of the Fretted Terrain Valleys, Arabia Terra, Mars, Kelsey Masson University of Texas El Paso Department of Geological Sciences, Masters Thesis

Intern Supervisor

2018 Graduate Intern, NASA STEM Academic Research Experience internship at GSFC, Ultra-High Resolution Topographic Studies of Kilbourne Hole Maar, New Mexico

2016 Graduate Interns (x2), NASA STEM Academic Research Experience internship at GSFC, Volcanic Morphology on Mars: Arabia Terra

2009-2010 Undergraduate intern, University at Buffalo, Volcanic Deposit Morphology Studies

2004-2007 Undergraduate interns (x6), Arizona State University, Mars Exploration Rover Data Analysis for Aeolian Features

Public Outreach

2016 Presenter: NASA’s Earth Day celebration at Union Station, Washington, DC

2015-2018 Volunteer: Planet Walk, Friends of the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail, DC area.

2014 & 2018 Volunteer: International Observe The Moon night, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

2011 Workshop organizer & presenter for Earth Science teachers: Plate Tectonics, Buffalo, NY

2010 Guest Geologist: BSA Cub Scout Geology Activity Badge: Ellicott City, MD

Invited Talks

2020 Explosive Volcanic Deposits on Earth and Mars: Locating Sources, Earth and Environmental Sciences Department Colloquium, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA

2019 Lava Tube Interiors and Exploration in the Solar System, Department of Geology Seminar, University of Vermont, Burlington VT

2018 Volcanoes of the Solar System, North Country High School, Glen Burnie MD

2018 Exploring Lava Tubes, The Museum Alliance, NASA Educator Professional Development Webinar series, Virtual Talk

2018 Explosive Volcanic Deposits: Earth and Mars, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Science and Exploration Director’s Seminar, Greenbelt, MD

2018 Hawaiian Eruption Update, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

2017 Using Roughness Patterns to Study Volcanic Deposit Textures in Remotely Sensed Topographic Data, IAVCEI General Assembly, Portland, OR, USA

2014 Volcanoes of the Solar System, Howard Community College, Howard County, MD

2013 Volcanic Ash: a Hazard for Aviation in Southeast Asia, AGU Fall Meeting, San Fran., CA

2013 Volcanic Deposit Mapping Using Surface Roughness Textures, IAVCEI General Assembly, Kagoshima, Japan

2013 Plate Tectonics: Near-Real-Time Monitoring of Plate Movements Using Regional GPS Networks, MATLAB & Simulink Day, Singapore

2011 Wind as a geologic process on Mars, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

2008 The Mars Exploration Rovers: Moultonborough Central School, Moultonborough, NH

2005 Exploration of the Solar System: Arizona State University, HST 412

 

Awards


Pegrum Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Dept. of Geology, University at Buffalo (2011)
NASA Graduate Student Research Program Fellowship (2008 - 2011).
Pegrum Conference Travel Grant, Department of Geology, University at Buffalo (2008, 09, &11)
“Best Poster”, Natural Disasters in Small Communities, How can we help? Buffalo, NY (2008)
Pegrum Graduate Fellowship, University at Buffalo, Department of Geology (2008 & 09)

Other Professional Information


My personal website can be found here

Publications


Refereed

Ostberg, C. M., S. D. Guzewich, S. R. Kane, et al. E. Kohler, L. D. Oman, T. J. Fauchez, R. K. Kopparapu, J. Richardson, and P. Whelley. 2023. The Prospect of Detecting Volcanic Signatures on an ExoEarth Using Direct Imaging The Astronomical Journal 166 (5): 199 [10.3847/1538-3881/acfe12]

Bell, E., N. Schmerr, K. Young, et al. S. Esmaeili, W. B. Garry, S. Jazayeri, S. Kruse, J. Richardson, and P. Whelley. 2022. Field Mapping and Modeling of Terrestrial Lava Tube Magnetic Anomalies as an Analog for Lunar Lava Tube Exploration and Prospecting Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 127 (6): [10.1029/2021je007140]

Guzewich, S. D., L. D. Oman, J. A. Richardson, et al. P. L. Whelley, S. T. Bastelberger, K. E. Young, J. E. Bleacher, T. J. Fauchez, and R. K. Kopparapu. 2022. Volcanic Climate Warming Through Radiative and Dynamical Feedbacks of SO <sub>2</sub> Emissions Geophysical Research Letters 49 (4): [10.1029/2021gl096612]

Bower, D. M., C. Yang, T. Hewagama, et al. C. A. Nixon, S. Aslam, P. L. Whelley, J. L. Eigenbrode, F. Jin, J. Rullifson, J. Kolasinski, and A. Samuels. 2021. Spectroscopic Characterization of Samples from Different Environments in a Volcano-Glacial Region in Iceland: Implications for in situ Planetary Exploration Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 263 [10.1016/j.saa.2021.120205]

Whelley, P., A. Matiella Novak, J. Richardson, et al. J. Bleacher, K. Mach, and R. N. Smith. 2021. Stratigraphic Evidence for Early Martian Explosive Volcanism in Arabia Terra Geophysical Research Letters 48 (15): [10.1029/2021gl094109]

Hamilton, C. W., S. P. Scheidt, M. M. Sori, et al. A. P. Wet, J. E. Bleacher, P. J. Mouginis‐Mark, S. Self, J. R. Zimbelman, W. B. Garry, P. L. Whelley, and L. S. Crumpler. 2020. Lava‐Rise Plateaus and Inflation Pits in the McCartys Lava Flow Field, New Mexico: An Analog for Pāhoehoe‐Like Lava Flows on Planetary Surfaces Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 125 (7): [10.1029/2019je005975]

Esmaeili, S., S. Kruse, S. Jazayeri, et al. P. Whelley, E. Bell, J. Richardson, W. B. Garry, and K. Young. 2020. Resolution of Lava Tubes with Ground Penetrating Radar: The TubeX project Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets [10.1029/2019je006138]

Young, K. E., J. E. Bleacher, A. D. Rogers, et al. H. H. Schmitt, A. C. McAdam, W. B. Garry, P. L. Whelley, S. P. Scheidt, G. Ito, C. A. Knudson, T. G. Graff, L. V. Bleacher, N. Whelley, C. A. Evans, J. M. Hurtado, and T. D. Glotch. 2018. The Incorporation of Field Portable Instrumentation Into Human Planetary Surface Exploration Earth and Space Science 5 24 [10.1029/2018ea000378]

Whelley, P. L., W. B. Garry, C. W. Hamilton, and J. E. Bleacher. 2017. LiDAR-derived surface roughness signatures of basaltic lava types at the Muliwai a Pele Lava Channel, Mauna Ulu, Hawai‘i Bulletin of Volcanology 79 (11): 75 [10.1007/s00445-017-1161-5]

Whelley, P. L., E. S. Calder, and L. Wooller. 2017. The emplacement dynamics of pumice lobes ascertained from morphology and granulometry: Examples from the 1993 deposits at Lascar Volcano, Chile Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 342 79-90 [10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.06.015]

Murphy, J., K. Steakley, M. Balme, et al. G. Deprez, F. Esposito, H. Kahanpää, M. Lemmon, R. Lorenz, N. Murdoch, L. Neakrase, M. Patel, and P. Whelley. 2016. Field Measurements of Terrestrial and Martian Dust Devils Space Science Reviews 203 (1-4): 39-87 [10.1007/s11214-016-0283-y]

Klose, M., B. C. Jemmett-Smith, H. Kahanpää, et al. M. Kahre, P. Knippertz, M. T. Lemmon, S. R. Lewis, R. D. Lorenz, L. D. Neakrase, C. Newman, M. R. Patel, D. Reiss, A. Spiga, and P. L. Whelley. 2016. Dust Devil Sediment Transport: From Lab to Field to Global Impact Space Sci Rev 203 (1-4): 377–426 [10.1007/s11214-016-0261-4]

Whelley, P. L., C. G. Newhall, and K. E. Bradley. 2015. The frequency of explosive volcanic eruptions in Southeast Asia Bulletin of Volcanology 77 (1): 1 [10.1007/s00445-014-0893-8]

Paris, R., A. D. Switzer, M. Belousova, et al. A. Belousov, B. Ontowirjo, P. L. Whelley, and M. Ulvrova. 2014. Volcanic tsunami: A review of source mechanisms, past events and hazards in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea) Natural Hazards 70 (1): 447--470 [10.1007/s11069-013-0822-8]

Whelley, P. L., L. S. Glaze, E. S. Calder, and D. J. Harding. 2014. LiDAR-derived surface roughness mapping: Applications to Mount St. Helens Pumice Plain deposit analysis IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 52 (1): 426-438 [10.1109/TGRS.2013.2241443]

Whelley, P. L., J. Jay, E. S. Calder, et al. M. E. Pritchard, N. J. Cassidy, S. Alcaraz, and A. Pavez. 2012. Post-depositional fracturing and subsidence of pumice flow deposits: Lascar Volcano, Chile Bulletin of Volcanology 74 (2): 511--531 [10.1007/s00445-011-0545-1]

Greeley, R., P. L. Whelley, L. D. Neakrase, et al. R. E. Arvidson, N. T. Bridges, N. A. Cabrol, P. R. Christensen, K. Di, D. J. Foley, M. P. Golombek, K. Herkenhoff, A. Knudson, R. O. Kuzmin, R. Li, T. Michaels, S. W. Squyres, R. Sullivan, and S. D. Thompson. 2008. Columbia Hills, Mars: Aeolian features seen from the ground and orbit Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets 113 (6): 1--17 [10.1029/2007JE002971]

Whelley, P. L., and R. Greeley. 2008. The distribution of dust devil activity on Mars Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets 113 (E07002): 12 [10.1029/2007JE002966]

Williams, D. A., J. E. Bleacher, V. A. Zabala Aliberto, et al. A. A. Aliberto, P. L. Whelley, S. R. Cave, and R. Greeley. 2007. Kissing the Mars rocks with the Rover's RATS: An educational exercise to understand drilling rocks on Mars The Earth Scientist 26 13-19

Whelley, P. L., and R. Greeley. 2006. Latitudinal dependency in dust devil activity on Mars Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets 111 (E10003):

Lemmon, M. T., M. J. Wolff, M. D. Smith, et al. R. T. Clancy, D. Banfield, G. A. Landis, A. Ghosh, P. H. Smith, N. Spanovich, B. Whitney, P. Whelley, R. Greeley, S. Thompson, J. F. Bell, and S. W. Squyres. 2004. Atmospheric Imaging Results from the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity Science 306 (5702): 1753-1756 [10.1126/science.1104474]

Greeley, R., S. W. Squyres, R. E. Arvidson, et al. P. Bartlett, J. F. Bell, D. Blaney, N. A. Cabrol, J. Farmer, B. Farrand, M. P. Golombek, S. D. Thompson, P. L. Whelley, and O. . 2004. Wind-Related Processes Detected by the Spirit Rover at Gusev Crater, Mars Science 305 (5685): 810 [10.1126/science.1100108]

Balme, M. R., P. L. Whelley, and R. Greeley. 2003. Mars: Dust devil track survey in Argyre Planitia and Hellas Basin Journal of Geophysical Research. E. Planets 108 (E8): 5086 [10.1029/2003JE002096]

Non-Refereed

Whelley, P., C. N. Achilles, A. M. Baldridge, et al. M. E. Banks, E. Bell, H. Bernhardt, J. Bishop, J. G. Blank, D. M. Bower, S. Byrne, J. Clark, D. A. Crown, L. S. Crumpler, S. Czarnecki, A. Davies, A. D. Wet, J. W. Dean, S. Dibb, C. Dong, L. A. Edgar, S. Fagents, T. D. Glotch, T. A. Goudge, A. H. Graettinger, T. G. Graff, A. L. Gullikson, C. W. Hamilton, C. I. Honniball, K. Hubbard, L. Kerber, L. Kestay, S. Kobs-Nawotniak, M. D. Lane, G. Lau, E. Law, E. Lev, A. Matiella-Novak, A. McAdam, J. E. Moersch, C. Neish, G. Osinski, R. Parekh, K. Paris, E. L. Patrick, E. Rampe, J. Richardson, R. Romo, M. E. Rumpf, K. Runyon, A. M. Rutledge, S. P. Scheidt, N. Schmerr, S. Semken, B. Shiro, E. L. Shock, J. R. Skok, S. S. Sutton, J. Swann, M. T. Thorpe, I. A. Ukstins, P. J. Susante, N. Whelley, D. A. Williams, R. A. Yingst, K. Young, J. Zaloumis, and J. R. Zimbelman. 2021. The Importance of Field Studies for Closing Key Knowledge Gaps in Planetary Science Vol. 53, Issue 4 (Planetary/Astrobiology Decadal Survey Whitepapers) 53 (4): [10.3847/25c2cfeb.0a087f9f]

Richardson, J. A., N. L. Whelley, P. L. Whelley, et al. M. Milazzo, C. A. Knudson, R. Romo, and S. Kobs Nawotniak. 2020. Building Safer and More Inclusive Field Experiences in Support of Planetary Science 2023–2032 NAS Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey

Henning, W., J. Renaud, P. Saxena, et al. P. Whelley, A. Mandell, S. Matsumura, L. Glaze, T. Hurford, T. Livengood, C. Hamilton, M. Efroimsky, V. Makarov, C. Berghea, S. Guzewich, K. Tsigaridis, G. Arney, D. Cremons, S. Kane, J. Bleacher, R. Kopparapu, E. Kohler, Y. Lee, A. Rushby, W. Kuang, R. Barnes, J. A. Richardson, P. Driscoll, N. Schmerr, A. Del Genio, A. Davies, L. Kaltenegger, L. Elkins-Tanton, Y. Fujii, L. Schaefer, S. Ranjan, E. Quintana, T. Barclay, K. Hamano, N. Petro, J. Kendall, E. Lopez, and D. Sasselov. 2018. Highly Volcanic Exoplanets, Lava Worlds, and Magma Ocean Worlds: An Emerging Class of Dynamic Exoplanets of Significant Scientific Priority ArXiv e-prints