Student Research is Out of This World
Aug 24, 2012Even from worlds away, Mitchell Campion ’14, Marshall, Minn., can explore the surface of Mars. He has been studying iron oxide and Mars magnetization with Dr. Thelma Berquó, visiting assistant professor of physics.
Berquó and Campion have been trying to produce a particular iron oxide that might exist on the surface of Mars.
“This certain iron phase might be useful for magnetic media storage – like hard drives,” he says. “It would also fill in the holes in certain archeological material and on the surface of Mars.”
Berquó and Campion aren’t the only ones interested in life on the Red Planet. Physics professor Dr. Heidi Manning is currently working with a NASA team that is studying data sent by the Curiosity rover.
Before starting research, Campion knew very little about the compound he would be studying. He threw himself into textbooks at the beginning of summer to familiarize himself.
Working directly with Berquó also helped him learn quickly. He also worked with other professors at Concordia and visited the Institute for Rock Magnetism at the University of Minnesota to increase his knowledge.
While they haven’t yet produced the results they had hoped for, Campion recently posted excellent results at the Sanford Health 2012 Science Festival in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Campion won third place in the poster session, landing him a cash prize. He didn’t expect to win anything, but the greater reward was educating the public on his research.
“People need to know what you’re doing, especially those outside the scientific community,” he says.