Meet Our Amazing Students!


Astronomy Minors Angie Colella (L) and Sara Poppa (R) volunteering at a local rock and mineral show.

Students interested in astronomy have the option of Minoring in either Astronomy or Astrobiology at CCSU. While most students pair this with a major in Earth Sciences or Physics, there are other options available. On our sister blog, CCSUGeologyRocks, we are currently highlighting some of our awesome students. Please take the time to get to know some of the stellar students minoring in astronomy and astrobiology!


More eclipse adventures!

[Left: partial eclipse as viewed from CCSU; Right: 350 million year old crinoid fossils collected in Missouri]

Don’t forget to visit our sister blog,, to see more eclipse adventures, both at home and on the road!

Coming to this blog soon (after we recover!) a very personal reflection on her first eclipse experience by alumna Jessica Johnson, and a rather humorous overview of the eclipse expedition by Kristine Larsen.

Out of This World Research by CCSU Students, Faculty, and Alumni Highlighted at Recent Conferences


[Ian Murphy presenting his poster on Martian craters]

Students, faculty, and alumni of the CCSU Geological Science Department recently shared their planetary science research at two conferences. Ian Murphy and 15 other students attended the Northeast Regional Section of the Geological Society of America conference in Pittsburgh, where he presented his research on Martian craters. At the same time, his faculty advisor, Dr. Jen Piatek (seen below, enjoying some virtual quality time on Mars thanks to green screen technology), attended the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas, where she presented on the work she and Ian have been conducting.


Also presenting at LPSC were three alumni of the department. Jessica Johnson (below left), currently a Masters student at the University of New Mexico, presented on her  meteorite research, while Keenan Golder (below right), currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Tennessee, shared his research on the volcanoes of Mars. Dr. Mike Zanetti, now a postdoc at the University of Western Ontario, gave a talk on his work on lunar volcanism. Congratulations to all of our talented faculty and students (past and present) for their excellent work! You are truly superstars!


My Favorite Martian… Research Project!


[Dr. Jennifer Piatek presenting her research on Mars at a recent conference]

Did you know that students at CCSU can do real science research projects with faculty mentors? These projects can lead to presentations at professional conferences and/or publications in professional journals, making YOUR resume shine! For example, students working with Dr. Jennifer Piatek can study the surface of Mars and students working with Dr. Kristine Larsen can focus on variable stars, stars that change brightness over time. Visit the Geological Sciences Department on the 5th floor of Nicolaus Copernicus Hall and be sure to look over all the research posters hanging in the hallways. See yourself at CCSU doing real scientific research!