Rock on: Mount Holyoke College “Space Rock” Professor Wins Major Award

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Darby Dyar, chair of the astronomy department, talked about winning the G. K. Gilbert Award for her research on space rocks.

Dyar in her office

Dyar in her office

In the end, the ultimate question is, what makes a planet habitable—and are we alone?

The G. K. Gilbert Award, a rarified award from the Geological Society of America, was bestowed on Mount Holyoke College chair of astronomy Darby Dyar in recognition of her contributions to the field of planetary geology.

Dyar, who studies “space rocks” using spectroscopy and has taught at Mount Holyoke College since 1998, has mentored hundreds of students over her career, both within and outside of her department.

In a recent interview, Dyar discusses her work, the award, and her vision going forward while in her office, surrounded by photographs and mementos from students past and present.

She is currently waiting on word from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on three submitted proposals for missions to Venus.

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Keely Savoie
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