• About Me

    I am a planetary scientist trying to understand the stories that lead to the diversity of worlds in the solar system. Currently, I am doing a postdoc at Arizona State University studing the astroid Psyche for the upcoming NASA Psyche mission. My research focuses on a wide range of problems concerning how planets evolve through time and how their solid body and atmosphere are linked. I am also passionate about science outreach, teaching pedagogy, and sharing my enthusiam for the solar system.

Contact Information
  • Email: CBierson (at) asu (dot) edu
Research Interests

Image credit:NASA/JPL

Formation of the Galilean satellites

The four large moons of Jupiter have a variety of compositions from the rocky Io to the icy Ganymede and Callisto. I have propose a new mechanism that may have lead to this diversity. I also model what measurements can be made by upcoming missions to test different hypotheses.

Image credit:NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

New horizons and ground based telescopes are returning vast amouts of data on Pluto and its planetary neighbors. I work to combine all these sources to better understand the structre and history of Kuiper Belt objects.

Pioneer Venus UV image

Venus Atmospheric Chemistry

On Venus, sulfur has many forms including forming sulfuric acid clouds. How sulfur moves through the atmosphere and the timescales for change are not well understood. I use modeling to try to understand the newest observational data of how sulfur species vary in both space and time.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

Mars South Polar Cap

The south polar cap of Mars contains enough mass to double the atmospheric pressure. I explore how these deposits formed using a collection of tools including models, observational images, and spaceborne radar.

Image credit:NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Tidal Dissipation on Io

Io is the most volcanically active world in the solar system. The energy souce for this volcanism seems to be tidal dissipation; however, the volcanoes are not where tidal dissipation models predict. My work looks to understand why this discrepancy exists and how future spacecraft observations might help solve this mystery.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Lunar Crater Gravity

NASA's GRAIL mission has measured the gravity field of the moon to such high resolution that craters down to 30 km can be studied in detail. I use statistical tests and forward modeling to better understand how impacts modify the lunar crust and what that tells us about the structure of the lunar crust.