Margaret Kivelson: pioneering planetary science

In February 2018, the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences honored the career of pioneering planetary scientist and EPSS professor Margaret Kivelson. She delivered a public lecture about a topic she is well known for: magnetic structures in the solar system. Watch the lecture below.

Kivelson’s many accolades include election to the National Academy of Sciences and receiving the Kuiper Prize from the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, which recognizes and honors outstanding contributors to planetary science.

Most recently, Kivelson was announced as the recipient of the European Geosciences Union’s 2019 Jean Dominique Cassini Medal, “bestowed to scientists who have achieved exceptional international standing in planetary and space sciences, defined in their widest senses, for their merit and their scientific achievements.”

Kivelson’s breakthrough research and discoveries were put in the spotlight by a recent profile in The New York Times entitled, “How Do You Find an Alien Ocean? Margaret Kivelson Figured It Out”. Click here to read the article on The New York Times website (which offers a limited number of free articles per month per reader).


Bert Bolin Global Environmental Change Award Lecture by David Neelin



David Neelin, professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, was selected as the 2017 Bert Bolin awardee and lecturer of the American Geophysical Union’s Global Environmental Change focus group. The award recognizes an Earth scientist for “groundbreaking research or/and leadership in global environmental change through cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research in the past 10 years.” Neelin’s lecture was recorded at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans.

The music and motion of molecular machines: A featured lecture at SACNAS 2017


As a featured speaker at the 2017 SACNAS Diversity in STEM Conference, Dean Miguel García-Garibay spoke to thousands of students, faculty, and researchers about his work with molecular machinery. With careful orchestration and collaboration, these molecules – like music – can turn noise into something beautiful.

Increasing access to science


Prof. Aradhna Tripati of the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences talks about why it is important to her to bring students in from local community colleges to give them access to UCLA’s world-class research facilities and scientists.

The calculus of comedy


For the writers of The Simpsons, Futurama, and The Big Bang Theory, mathematical formulas (along with classic equations and cutting-edge theorems) can sometimes be an integral part of those shows. In a lively and nerdy discussion, six of these writers (who have advanced degrees in math, physics, and computer science) will share their love of numbers and talent for producing laughter.

The Infinite Possibilities of Positive Energy and Human Potential


Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor Aradhna Tripati – who also directs UCLA’s Center for Diverse Leadership in science – was asked to participate in the #infiniteLA video series as part of the Broad Museum’s Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibition. In the video, Tripati focuses on the positive energy of human potential, which she believes is infinite in nature.

Living on Mars


Planetary Radio Live host Mat Kaplan conducted a fascinating conversation with Mars experts including UCLA planetary expert David Paige.

Math on The Colbert Report


Terence Tao – UCLA professor of mathematics, MacArthur Fellow, and Fields Medalist – discusses his lifelong fascination with mathematics and the mysteries of prime numbers.

Richard B. Kaner: 115th UCLA Faculty Research Lecture


Richard B. Kaner, distinguished professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, presents a talk entitled “A Quest for New Materials: Superhard Metals, Conducting Polymers and Graphene.”

How fast do black holes spin?


How big are black holes? Do they have a size, or could they be infinitely dense? Their characteristics are still so new to us, but there are a few things we do know – like how massive they are and how fast they’re spinning. Professor of astronomy Mark Morris has devoted much of his time to researching these mysteries.

Our beauty is in our differences: Paul Weiss speaks at TEDxOrangeCoast


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Paul Wise presented on his work with nanosystems and the lessons he has learned about appreciating differences.

Pritzker family’s $20M gift to UCLA targets environment and other societal challenges


The charitable foundation of Los Angeles philanthropists Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker has donated $20 million to UCLA to create several endowments, largely to support environmental and sustainability research aimed at helping Los Angeles and cities around the globe confront 21st-century challenges.

What’s behind the science of gravity


How does Hollywood magic compare to real science? Jean-Luc Margot – chair of UCLA’s Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences department — evaluates the science behind the Hollywood blockbuster “Gravity.”

The formation of Earth within space and time


Professor Abby Kavner runs the mineral physics program in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, where the goal is to understand how the properties of minerals help determine the behavior of the Earth and planets. The goal of the research group is to measure physical and chemical properties of materials in the laboratory, to further our understanding of the Earth and planets.

From past to present, how rare is Earth?


Professor Edward Young’s projects range from the origins of the solar system to identifying isotopic biosignatures here on Earth. His lab’s tools are mass spectrometers, ultraviolet and infrared lasers, ion exchange resins, telescopic observations of young stars, and presses for squeezing and heating rocks to immense pressures and temperatures.