Lassonde students receive NASA award for Mars Rover work

Lassonde PhD Student Casey Moore (left), MSc student Jacob Kloos (middle) and
advisor Prof. John E. Moores (right) show off their NASA Group Achievement Awards in
front of the Bergeron Center on September 1st, 2015. Photo Credit: Brittney Cooper

Casey Moore and Jacob Kloos, two graduate students in the Lassonde School of
Engineering’s Earth and Space Science (ESS) Program have been awarded the NASA
Group Achievement Award for their contributions to the Curiosity Rover mission.
Moore and Kloos are members of the Curiosity’s Science and Operations teams and
are part of the team that decides and plans what the rover will do on the Martian
surface each day.

“This is a significant honour in space exploration where contributing as a team is the
key to success” said Moore and Kloos’ advisor, Prof. John E. Moores. “It is fantastic
that our students have the opportunity to become directly involved in running a
space mission by operating a robot on another world.”

For MSc student Kloos, working on a space mission is an opportunity “to see how
things really work in the background. You always hear about results from Mars, but
it is cool to understand the complex mechanics of doing science on another planet
and to be a part of that.” PhD student Moore has been a part of the mission for
nearly two years and notes that “not many people can say they go to work on Mars.
It’s exciting working on such a large project with top researchers from all around
the world. I don’t think many people have an appreciation for just how much work is
put in my hundreds of dedicated people on a daily basis to keep the rover healthy
and productive.”

In specific, the award cites the student’s contributions to “exceptional innovations in
rover surface operations leading to significantly improved Mars Science Laboratory
prime mission performance and science return.” It is the 11th NASA Award for
members of Prof. Moores’ Planetary Volatiles Laboratory in the last six years.

Professor Izaak de Rijcke Receives Grant for Textbook


Izaak de Rijcke, OLS, LL.M.

The Foundation for Legal Research has awarded a grant to adjunct professor Izaak de Rijcke to assist in the preparation of a manuscript for a textbook to be titled, Principles of Boundary Law in Canada. The textbook will address the doctrinal principles of boundary law in common law Canada and will be the product of research, synthesizing emerging trends in boundary cases in Canada and be used in the teaching of undergraduate courses in boundary surveying. It is intended as a resource for the deeper understanding of this important element of property law. The mandate of the Foundation is to help enable the creation of top-quality legal writing—one of the key tools that Canadian lawyers and judges need in their everyday work.

The book will be published by Four Point Learning and will be available for purchase from its site:

Advance orders are being accepted now.

Real – Time MADAM : Pan Am and ParaPan Am Forecast

ESSE Post Doc (Zhan Li) and 4th year undergraduate student (Zheng Qi Wang) are working with the The Weather Network on a joint project with ESSE (Principle Investigator, Professor Yongsheng Chen) to run real time weather forecasts for southern Ontario during the Pan Am and ParaPan Am games (July 10-26 and Aug 7-15). The forecast model is WRF, adapted to assimilate radar and radar wind profiler (The York-Western OQ-Net) data in real time. The model is run every hour to generate hourly forecasts out to 12 hours. A display of simulated radar forecasts indicating rainfall rates and locations is available at:

This pilot study is the first ESSE/TWN attempt to run an independent weather forecast model in real time. Earlier tests indicated benefits from assimilating data from our OQ-Net wind profilers.

Lassonde Student Wins Research Conference Prize

Brittney Cooper, the undergraduate student of Professor John Moores has been awarded the Best Student Poster Presentation Prize for her work presented at the American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly in Montreal taking place in early May. The prize comes from the Geological Association of Canada’s Planetary Sciences Division. This is a significant honour for an undergraduate student, especially at such a large conference (several thousand attendees).

The title of her poster and the brief description which will appear in the upcoming edition of Planetary Matters is:
“Constraints on Lower Atmosphere Clouds on Titan from Perturbation Images Using the Huygens’ Probe Descent Imager and Spectral Radiometer (DISR)”

Her complete abstract can be found here:

Page 362 of the pdf (361 of the program) abstract 34462.

Izaak de Rijcke’s talk in Whitehorse attracts large turnout


On June 10th 2015, Izaak de Rijcke contract lecturer at Lassonde School of Engineering and practicing real estate law in Ontario gave a lecture at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse. The lecture had a large turnout of over 200 people. The title of the lecture was “Rethinking Land Titles and Boundaries: Integrating Aboriginal Interests with Fee Simple” and it was well received. The CBC had reported on professor de Rijcke’s presentation in thier article “Reconciliation is inseparable from recognition of aboriginal land title”.

The full CBC article can be found at the following link: