Dr. Jack Holt employs geophysical techniques to study ice-covered regions of Earth and Mars. He has led or co-led seven field expeditions to Antarctica since 1998 to map the ice and features buried beneath the ice. Holt is also a Co-Investigator on the SHARAD instrument team of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In this role he and his students have been selecting new data acquisition targets and developing new techniques to analyze the data, leading to many new discoveries regarding ice on Mars.

In Antarctica, Holt is using a modernized, turbine-powered DC-3 aircraft outfitted with ice-penetrating radars, laser altimeters, airborne gravimeter and magnetometers to study internal properties of the ice sheet, characterize sub-ice geology and to develop radar analysis techniques for studying Mars. This work contributes to the effort to map and understand water (in all forms) on Mars, the highest priority for NASA and ESA missions. A current project is to deploy radar at multiple frequencies (60 MHz and 3 MHz, respectively) to acquire data over Antarctic targets including ice cores sites to correlate internal radar layering with ice dielectric properties. This should help us better understand radar data from MARS and plan for future missions. Related to these activities, Dr. Holt is pursuing the use of radar sounding for hydrology in temperate climates.

And not to leave anything out, Holt is the Director of the Paleomagnetism Laboratory of the University of Texas and has recently overseen a complete upgrade of the sample handling, demagnetization and data acquisition/analysis systems in the lab.

Areas of Expertise

Mars ice and paleoclimate, Alaskan glaciers, airborne and orbital geophysics, hydrogeophysics, paleomagnetism. See Jack's UTIG webpage: http://www.ig.utexas.edu/people/staff/jack/

Research Locations

Group Achievement Award for SHARAD - NASA (2011)

Outstanding Researcher - UT Institute for Geophysics (2010)

Director's Circle of Excellence - UT Institute for Geophysics (2010)

Outstanding Oral Presentation - SCAR Open Science Conference (2010)

Group Achievement Award for SHARAD - NASA (2009)

Outstanding Researcher - Jackson School of Geosciences (2008)

Post-Doctoral Scholar at JPL - Caltech (1997 - 1998)

Koons Field Research Fellowship - California Institute of Technology (1992)

Technical Achievement Award - NASA (1992)

Technical Achievement Award - NASA (1990)

President's Honor Roll - Rice University (1984 - 1988)

to be entered - National Merit Scholar (1984 - 1988)

to be entered, Antarctica's ice bottom exposed, BBC news article (2005)

to be entered, I'm a scientist, get me out of here, Guardian news article (2005)

to be entered, Press Conference, AAA, Washington, D.C. (2005)

Interview, Antarctic Sun Article (2004)

Teaching Exp., Taught science courses to undergraduate students, engaging them in field-based research projects and exposing them to major research facilities (Owens Valley radio Observatory, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech Paleomagnetics Laboratory), Deep Springs College (2003)

to be entered, Funded Education and Public Outreach Program, NASA (2003 - 2005)

Speaker, Classroom Visit and Talk, Martin Jr. High, Austin, TX (8th grade) (2002)

to be entered, Email dialogue from Antarctica with 8th grade class, Marting Jr. High (2001 - 2002)

Interview, Lake Vostok Survey, Australian National Public Radio (2001)

Project Manager, Managed the acquisition, reduction, and distribution of 97,000 line-km of airborne radar, laser altimetry, gravity, and magnetics data from Antarctica for 15 investegators at 10 institutions. , Support office for Aerogeophysical Research (SOAR), an NSF facility (1998 - 2002)

Member, American Geophysical Union

Member, Geological Society of America (GSA)

Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Member, International Airborne Geophysics Safety Association

Graduate Students

Stefano Nerozzi, Ph.D., expected 2019 (Supervisor)
Stefano is interested in the evolution of the Planum Boreum of Mars as a record of past global climate. Investigations are based on orbital radar profiles and high-resolution imagery. More specifically, his current research focuses on the distribution and paleo topography of water ice deposits and their stratigraphic relationship with aeolian siliciclastic deposits. Observations are compared to orbitally-forced water ice accumulation models and mesocale wind models specifically tuned for the north polar region of Mars.

Dan Lalich, Ph.D., expected 2017 (Supervisor)
Dan Lalich is a PhD student working on the Martian polar caps. He is interested in using remote sensing techniques to explore the internal structure and material properties of the planet's ice caps and how those properties might relate to Mars' climate. Dan uses the SHARAD orbital radar sounder in combination with radar reflection models to determine the composition of the polar ice, and then relates that information to relevant climate models.

Mackenzie D Day, Ph.D., expected 2017 (Supervisor)
Covering a broad range of topics under the thesis title [italic] Sedimentary Dynamics of Aeolian Systems on Earth and Mars [/italic], Mackenzie Day's research includes inter-planetary comparison of dunes, analysis of aeolian features on the surface of Mars, and the physics of aeolian bedform formation. Currently Mackenzie is in her fourth year of graduate school and plans to leave UT in May of 2017. She has been a member of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science team since landing in 2012, and continues to stay active in Curiosity's daily operations. Mackenzie's current research projects include a study of subaqueous dunes in Nebraska, work on aeolian bedform comparison along the MSL rover Curiosity traverse, a study of ancient dune dynamics on the Colorado Plateau, and an assessment of how boundary conditions affect bedform interactions.

Sarah C Brothers, Ph.D., expected 2016 (Co-supervisor)

Katherine Shover, M.S., expected 2016 (Supervisor)
Mars, planetary geology, geomorphology, sedimentary geology

Isaac B Smith, Ph.D., expected 2013 (Supervisor)

Thomas C Brothers, Ph.D., expected 2013 (Supervisor)
My research focuses on the interpretation of remotely sensed data to investigate the surface geomorphology and subsurface stratigraphic record of planetary bodies. I make extensive use of orbital radar soundings, high resolution satellite imagery, and digital elevation models. My research involves processing, interpreting and integrating observations from multiple types of remotely sensed data in collaboration with other researchers to deduce the evolution of planetary surfaces. Throughout my dissertation, my research has been focused on applying these approaches to the Mar's north pole.

2016Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2016Spring GEO 371C Planetary Geology & Geophysics
2016Spring GEO 391 Planetary Geology & Geophysics
2016Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Planetary Geophysics
2015Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2015Summer GEO s371C Field Methods Planetary Geol
2015Summer GEO s391 Field Methods Planetary Geol
2015Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Planetary Geophysics
2014Fall GEO 371T Introduction To The Crysophere
2014Fall GEO 391 Introduction To The Cryosphere
2014Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Planetary Geophysics
2014Spring GEO 171T Fundamentals Of Paleomagnetism
2014Spring GEO 191 Fundamentals Of Paleomagnetism
2014Spring GEO 391 Planetary Geology & Geophysics
2014Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Planetary Geophysics