Thesis: The Chemical Structure of Venus’s Atmosphere and Interior Evolution of Kuiper Belt Objects

I presented my thesis over youtube and the reccording can be seen here. A pdf of my thesis can be found here.


University of California Santa Cruz
Ph.D. in Earth Science, June 2020
Thesis: The chemical structure of Venus's atmosphere and interior evolution of Kuiper belt objects

Northern Arizona University
Bachlors of Science in Astronomy, May 2014

Red Rocks Community College
Associate of Arts, May 2010

Professional Experience

Arizona State University
Postoctoral Scientist, 2020-Present

Southwest Research Institute
Student Scientist, 2012-2014

Press Coverage

Hot Start Pluto:
UCSC, CNN, Bad Astronomy,,, How on Earth podcast, CBC, Cosmoquest Twitch broadcast, ScienceNews



Heat Flux Constraints from Variance Spectra of Pluto and Charon from Limb Profile Topography
J. W. Conrad, F. Nimmo, R. A. Beyer, C. J. Bierson, and P. M. Schenk (2021)
JGR:Planets, DOI:10.1029/2020JE006641 Contact me for reprint

Investigating the Influences of Crustal Thickness and Temperature on the Uplift of Mantle Materials Beneath Large Impact Craters on the Moon
M. Ding, J. M. Soderblom, C. J. Bierson and M. T. Zuber (2021)
JGR:Planets, DOI:10.1029/2020JE006533 Contact me for reprint


Explaining the Galilean Satellites’ Density Gradient by Hydrodynamic Escape
Carver J. Bierson and Francis Nimmo (2020)
The Astrophysical Journal Letters, DOI:10.3847/2041-8213/aba11a Contact me for reprint

Evidence for a hot start and early ocean formation on Pluto
Carver J. Bierson, Francis Nimmo, S. Alan Stern (2020)
Nature Geoscience, DOI:10.1038/s41561-020-0595-0 Contact me for reprint

Chemical cycling in the Venusian atmosphere: A full photochemical model from the surface to 110 km
Carver J. Bierson, Xi Zhang (2020)
JGR:Planets, DOI:10.1029/2019JE006159 Contact me for reprint

Revisiting the Sulfur-Water Chemical System in the Middle Atmosphere of Venus
Wencheng Shao, Xi Zhang, Carver J. Bierson, Therese Encrenaz (2020)
JGR:Planets, Preprint

HDO and SO2 thermal mapping on Venus. V. Evidence for a long-term anti-correlation
T. Encrenaz, T. K. Greathouse, E. Marcq, H. Sagawa, T. Widemann, B. Bezard, T. Fouchet, F. Lef`evre, S. Lebonnois, S. K. Atreya, Y. J. Lee, R. Giles, S. Watanabe, W. Shao, Xi Zhang, and C. J. Bierson (2020)
Astronomy and Astrophysics, DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/202037741

Pluto's Far Side
S. A. Stern, O. L. White, P. J. McGovern, J. T. Keane, J. W. Conrad, C. J. Bierson , C. B. Olkin, P. M. Schenk, J. M. Moore, K. D. Runyon, H. A. Weaver, L. A. Young, K. Ennico, The New Horizons Team (2020)
Icarus, Preprint


Initial results from the New Horizons exploration of 2014 MU69, a small Kuiper Belt object
Stern, S.A. et al. (2019)
Science, DOI:10.1126/science.aaw9771 Contact me for reprint

Using the density of Kuiper Belt Objects to constrain their composition and formation history
Carver J. Bierson, Francis Nimmo (2019)
Icarus, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2019.01.027 Contact me for reprint

The Formation and Stability of Buried Polar CO2 Deposits on Mars
Curtis V.Manning, Bierson, C. J., Nathaniel E.Putzig, Christopher P. McKay (2019)
Icarus, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.07.021 Contact me for reprint


Constraints on Lunar Crustal Porosity from the Gravitational Signature of Impact Craters
Min Ding, Jason M. Soderblom, Carver J. Bierson, Francis Nimmo, Colleen Milbury, Maria T. Zuber (2018)
JGR:Planets, DOI:10.1029/2018JE005654 Contact me for reprint

Implications of the observed Pluto–Charon density contrast
Bierson, C. J. Nimmo, F. McKinnon, W. B. (2018)
Icarus, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.03.007 Reprint

Basins, fractures and volcanoes: Global cartography and topography of Pluto from New Horizons
Paul M. Schenk, Ross A. Beyer, William B. McKinnon, Jeffrey M. Moore, John R. Spencer, Oliver L. White, Kelsi Singer, Francis Nimmo, Carver Thomason Tod R.Lauer, Stuart Robbins, Orkan M. Umurhan, William M. Grundy, S. Alan Stern, Harold A.Weaver, Leslie A. Young, K. Ennico Smith, Cathy Olkin, and the New Horizons Geology and Geophysics Investigation Team (2018)
Icarus, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.06.008 Contact me for reprint


GRAIL gravity observations of the transition from complex crater to peak-ring basin on the Moon: Implications for crustal structure and impact basin formation
David MH Baker, James W Head, Roger J Phillips, Gregory A Neumann, Carver J Bierson, David E Smith, Maria T Zuber (2017)
Icarus, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.03.02 Reprint

Origin of the Pluto–Charon system: Constraints from the New Horizons flyby
William B McKinnon, SA Stern, HA Weaver, F Nimmo, CJ Bierson, WM Grundy, JC Cook, DP Cruikshank, AH Parker, JM Moore, JR Spencer, LA Young, CB Olkin, K Ennico Smith (2017)
Icarus, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.11.019 Reprint

Mean radius and shape of Pluto and Charon from New Horizons images
Francis Nimmo, Orkan Umurhan, Carey M Lisse, Carver J Bierson, Tod R Lauer, Marc W Buie, Henry B Throop, Josh A Kammer, James H Roberts, William B McKinnon, Amanda M Zangari, Jeffrey M Moore, S Alan Stern, Leslie A Young, Harold A Weaver, Cathy B Olkin, Kim Ennico (2017)
Icarus, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.06.027 Reprint


Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto
F Nimmo, DP Hamilton, WB McKinnon, PM Schenk, RP Binzel, CJ Bierson, RA Beyer, JM Moore, SA Stern, HA Weaver, CB Olkin, LA Young, KE Smith, JR Spencer, R Beyer, M Buie, B Buratti, A Cheng, D Cruikshank, C Dalle Ore, A Earle, R Gladstone, W Grundy, AD Howard, T Lauer, I Linscott, J Parker, S Porter, H Reitsema, D Reuter, JH Roberts, S Robbins, M Showalter, K Singer, D Strobel, M Summers, L Tyler, OL White, OM Umurhan, M Banks, O Barnouin, V Bray, B Carcich, A Chaikin, C Chavez, C Conrad, C Howett, J Hofgartner, J Kammer, C Lisse, A Marcotte, A Parker, K Retherford, M Saina, K Runyon, E Schindhelm, J Stansberry, A Steffl, T Stryk, H Throop, C Tsang, A Verbiscer, H Winters, A Zangari (2016)
Nature, DOI:10.1038/nature20148 Contact me for reprint

Interactions between complex craters and the lunar crust: Analysis using GRAIL data
CJ Bierson, Roger J Phillips, Francis Nimmo, Jonathan Besserer, Colleen Milbury, James T Keane, Jason M Soderblom, Maria T Zuber (2016)
JGR:Planets, DOI:10.1002/2016JE005090 Contact me for reprint

A test for Io's magma ocean: Modeling tidal dissipation with a partially molten mantle
CJ Bierson, F Nimmo (2016)
Icarus, DOI:10.1002/2016JE005005 Contact me for reprint

Stratigraphy and evolution of the buried CO2 deposit in the Martian south polar cap
CJ Bierson, RJ Phillips, IB Smith, SE Wood, NE Putzig, D Nunes, S Byrne (2016)
Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1002/2016GL068457 Contact me for reprint


The fractured Moon: Production and saturation of porosity in the lunar highlands from impact cratering
Jason M Soderblom, Alexander J Evans, Brandon C Johnson, H Jay Melosh, Katarina Miljković, Roger J Phillips, Jeffrey C Andrews‐Hanna, Carver J Bierson, James W Head, Colleen Milbury, Gregory A Neumann, Francis Nimmo, David E Smith, Sean C Solomon, Michael M Sori, Mark A Wieczorek, Maria T Zuber (2015)
Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1002/2015GL065022 Contact me for reprint