The Oberlin Review

Melissa Floyd, OC ’91

Melissa Floyd, OC ’91, NASA Astrobiologist

February 28, 2020

Melissa Floyd is currently a NASA research biologist who specializes in environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, microbial biogeochemistry, and astrobiology. After graduating from Oberlin with a Russian major in 1991, Floyd decided to pursue an M.S. in Environmental Science at George Mason University. Floyd will speak as a member of the “Transitioning to Globally Engaged Careers” panel at Norman C. Craig Lecture Hall Friday, March 6 at 12 p.m.  This interview has been edited for length and clarity. ...

Ishikawa Employs Dangerous Nuclear Narratives

Christo Hays, Production Editor

September 27, 2019

 For those who don’t keep up with the weekly jabs published in the Review’s Opinions section, here’s the short of the nuclear energy debate that has graced the past two editions: College third-year Leo Lasdun wrote a pro-nuclear energy article in which he cited a NASA study claiming that nuclear energy saved 1.8 million lives between 1971 and 2009; this was in support of his broader claim that “the future is nuclear” (“Nuclear Represents Best Option,” Sept. 13, 2019). The following week, College second-year Shogo Ishikawa penned a broadside in response, casting doubt on NASA’s analysis and aspersions on Lasdun (“Lasdun Overlooks Downsides of Nuclear,” Sept. 20, 2019). Not only are Ishikawa’s claims u...

Humanity’s Survival Dependent on Mars Exploration

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

November 4, 2016

Elon Musk — the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and private aerospace company SpaceX — conducted a question and answer session on Reddit Oct. 23 to discuss his plan to begin a permanent, self-sufficient colonization of Mars in as little as eight years. Using the largest rocket ever designed, Musk hopes to send up to one million people on a trip to the red planet through a series of 10,000 flights. With scouting missions to test the rockets beforehand and establish necessary infrastructure, such as refueling stations on Mars, a full trip for the volunteers could take as little as 80 days. With increasing environmental degradation here on Earth, expansion is increasingly necessary. The colonization of Mars is not m...

In Collaboration with NASA, Camera on Mudd Roof Gathers Astological Information, Triangulates Meteor Paths

Elizabeth Dobbins, Staff Writer

October 4, 2013

As part of a collaboration between Nasa and the College, a high-powered camera was installed on the roof of Mudd library this semester. The camera, whose lens is poised to record any nocturnal meteors, is part of a growing network of cameras placed in schools, science centers and planetariums throughout the nation. The cameras have intersecting fields of vision, which, in conjunction with location and time, are used to gather information on astronomical bodies and to triangulate the path of meteors. “The overall effect of this is to help NASA determine more about how much stuff is out there that’s coming in contact with us,” said Dave Lengyel, the Oberlin Observatory and Planetarium coordinator. The information...

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