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 Planetary Chemistry and Astrobiology (3225): People
Samuel  Howell's Picture
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Samuel Howell

Sam Howell is a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena, CA. He is currently researching the source of extensional features on Europa. Other research interests include planetary and terrestrial tectonics, convection, faulting, and numerical modeling.

He graduated with a PhD in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in December, 2016. His doctoral research has received national attention, including a Popular Mechanics 2016 Breakthrough Award.

In his spare time, he has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, completed triathlons and marathons, and serendipitously met his wife, Marissa, an expert in the tectonics of icy moons.


PhD Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Dec. 2017

M.S. Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Aug. 2013

B.S. Engineering Physics, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, May, 2010

Research Interests

Icy bodies, tectonics, convection, faulting, geodynamics, numerical modeling, statistical modeling, mid-ocean ridge processes.

Selected Awards

2016 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award for study on vertical motions of the San Andreas Fault System

2015 Graduate Achievement Award, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics / Office of Graduate Education

Selected Publications
  1. Howell, S., G. Ito, M. D. Behn, F. Martinez, J.-A. Olive, and J. Escartín (2016), Magmatic and tectonic extension at the Chile Ridge: Evidence for mantle controls on ridge segmentation, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., doi:10.1002/2016GC006380
  2. Howell, S., B. Smith-Konter, N. Frazier, X. Tong, D. Sandwell (2016), The vertical fingerprint of earthquake cycle loading in Southern California, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2741
  3. Olive, J.-A., M. D. Behn, G. Ito, W. R. Buck, J. Escartin, S. Howell (2015), Sensitivity of seafloor bathymetry to climate-driven fluctuations in mid-ocean ridge magma supply, Science, doi:10.1126/science.aad0715.
  4. S. Howell, G. Moore, University of Hawaii Geophysical Society (2014), A miniature research vessel: A small-scale ocean-exploration demonstration of geophysical methods, The Leading Edge, SEG, doi:10.1190/tle33121408.1
  5. Howell, S., G. Ito, A.J. Breivik, A. Rai, R. Mjelde, B. Hanan, K. Sayit, P. Vogt (2014), The origin of the asymmetry in the Iceland hotspot along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from continental breakup to present-day, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.02.020.

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