New Mars crater image honors ASU planetary geologist Ronald Greeley

Mars Express orbiter images a giant crater named for longtime ASU planetary geologist

October 26, 2018

The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter has used its High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) to make a mosaic image of Greeley Crater on Mars. The crater, 284 miles in diameter, is named for Ronald Greeley, a longtime planetary geologist at Arizona State University.

Greeley, who died in October 2011, began teaching at ASU in 1977. He was a member of the science teams of NASA's Viking mission to Mars and the Voyager mission to the outer planets. His specialty was terrestrial field geology and the photogeologic study of volcanic, impact and wind-related processes on Earth, Earth's moon, Mars, Venus and the moons of the outer planets.   A crater on Mars that is almost 300 miles wide honors ASU planetary geologist Ronald Greeley. It appears here in a new perspective mosaic image as a low, roughly circular plain surrounded by a rim broken in many places. Numerous smaller impact craters have pockmarked the big crater's floor. These changes result from the passage of a few billion years since the large crater-making impact occurred. Credit: ESA/DLR/FU-Berlin Download Full Image

He also had extensive experience making geologic maps from planetary images and led the team that creatied the eastern hemispheric geologic map of Mars from Viking data.

Along with ASU meteoriticist Carleton Moore, Greeley helped build a world-renowned planetary geology program at ASU in the 1980s and 1990s. That program helped form the centerpiece of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE), for which Greeley laid the groundwork.

Along the way, he brought to ASU one of NASA's Regional Planetary Image Facilities. Now named for him, it is currently under the directorship of geologist David Williams, associate research professor at SESE.

“Ron Greeley was a great mentor," Williams said. "He was always there for discussions of science, science policy, reviewing drafts of papers, and supporting colleagues, students and postdocs."

The mosaic image of Greeley Crater from the HRSC on Mars Express was assembled at the German Space Agency's Institute for Planetary Research in Berlin. The Planetary Science and Remote Sensing working group at the Freie Universität Berlin used the data to create the mosaic.

Greeley Crater lies in Noachis Terra in the southern highland of Mars and is between two large impact basins, Hellas Planitia and Argyre Planitia. While the crater is 284 miles (457 kilometers) in diameter, it is only about 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) deep. A person standing on Mars in the crater's center would probably be unaware of being inside an impact crater.

With an age of up to 4 billion years, Noachis Terra is among the oldest regions on Mars. Over billions of years, numerous impact craters of various sizes have formed, altered and eroded the terrain. During this degradation process, once-fresh impact craters turn into shallow, low-relief depressions by erosion through wind, water and ice over time.

The absence of visible ejecta, low or missing crater rims and the flat crater floor, as well as the many later impacts marking its surface, suggest a very ancient age for Greeley Crater.

"Ron’s colleagues at ASU are much honored with this HRSC mosaic of Greeley Crater on Mars," Williams said. "We have placed a rendition of the mosaic in our newly renovated Ronald Greeley Center for Planetary Studies, located in Bateman Physical Sciences F-Wing."

Robert Burnham

Science writer, School of Earth and Space Exploration


CPB awards $1 million for Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative to ASU's Cronkite School

October 26, 2018

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has awarded a grant of $1.1 million to Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to develop and manage the Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative.

The two-year initiative will provide training for 100 editors to strengthen their ability to lead public media’s growing newsrooms and collaborations while upholding the highest editorial standards. Cronkite School ASU's Cronkite School is establishing an initiative that will provide training for 100 editors to strengthen their ability to lead public media’s growing newsrooms and collaborations through a $1.1 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Download Full Image

“Skilled, effective editors are vital to the success of public media’s journalism as they oversee the development of content that informs our country’s civil discourse,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB’s senior vice president of journalism and radio. “This initiative will combine training on the principles of editorial integrity and leadership in today’s challenging media environment — where the news is more fast-paced than ever, delivered across more platforms than ever, and where the margin for error is smaller than ever.”

At the Cronkite School, the faculty and coaches will design a customized curriculum of onsite and virtual training, supported by ongoing mentoring and coaching. Topics will include editorial integrity, strategic partnerships, multiplatform editing, data reporting, audience-first engagement as well as metrics.

The Cronkite School will recruit and select applicants for the initiative, with the goal of identifying journalists from a wide range of backgrounds to participate. The program is being led by Julia Wallace, the Cronkite School’s Frank Russell Chair and former editor-in-chief of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Cronkite School is home to Arizona PBS, the largest media outlet operated by a journalism school in the world. With reporting bureaus in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Arizona PBS is one of the country’s only PBS stations to deliver a locally produced nightly newscast.

“Leadership and innovation are critical components for public media organizations to thrive,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School and CEO of Arizona PBS. “The CPB Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative will help newsrooms across the country take the next step in enhancing editorial integrity. We are excited to be a part of this important project.”

Applications for the Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative will open on Nov. 15.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services.