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TCFR Board Member Bio

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Emeritus Faculty at the University of Arizona, 

Ph.D., 1971, Carnegie Mellon

Years with LPL: 1977 to present

AstrobiologyCosmochemistryLunar StudiesSmall Bodies, Geochemistry

Phone: (520) 621-6941

William Boynton

Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona

Dr. Boynton's current research is centered on understanding the role of volatile materials, chiefly water, carbon dioxide and argon, as probes for planetary processes. Data from instruments on NASA missions, Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray spectrometer (GRS), Phoenix Thermal and Evolved-Gas analyzer (TEGA), and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) are used to map out the location of these volatiles, and in the case of Mars, to study their changes with season.

The GRS data are used to determine the changes of Ar in the atmosphere and of CO2 ice in the polar regions as probes of global atmospheric circulation. Data from this instrument, combined with those from TEGA, are also used to determine the extent and nature of subsurface ice on Mars. The data from LEND are used to determine the amount and location of hydrogen, presumably in some form of H2O or OH, in the lunar polar regions. This information is used to constrain processes for migration of water, perhaps delivered by cometary impact, or the formation of OH by reaction with H in the solar wind.

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