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Dr. Julie Rathbun

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Senior Scientist

Currently resides in NY
rathbun [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Icy satellites, Io
Disciplines/Techniques: Education/Public Outreach (EPO), Ground-based observing, Numerical modeling, Remote sensing, Volcanism
Missions: Cassini, Europa Clipper

Research Interests

Dr. Rathbun’s research interests are concentrated on studying the surfaces of outer planet satellites. She uses uses ground-based telescopes in Hawaii to monitor active volcanoes on Io. From these data, she developed a model to explain how Loki, the most powerful volcano on Io, operates. She is currently using data returned from the New Horizons mission to determine which volcanoes on Io have been the most recently active.

Professional History

Professional Experience

Service & Outreach Activities

  • 2016-present Member, Professional Climate and Culture Subcommittee of the AAS Division of Planetary Science (2017-present, chair)
  • 2014-2018 Membmer, NASA Outer Planet Assessment Group Steering Committee
  • 2016-2017 Member, University of Redlands President's Council on Diversity and Inclusivity, chari of ad hoc committee on faculty searches/hiring
  • 2012-2016 Satellite Discipline Leader to the International Outer Planet Watch
  • 2016, Science Organizing committee for Io-Jupiter Interaction Workshop
  • 2016, 2009 Member, University of Redlands Physics Department Search Committee
  • 2012, 2010, 2008 DPS meeting Local Organizing committee member and webmaster
  • 2009-2012, Physics Department Chair
  • 2011 DPS meeting Science Organizing Committee member
  • 2007-2009 Member, Dean Search and retention Task Force (chair, 2008-2009)
  • 2004-2009 Member, Liberal Arts Foundation Assesment Task Force
  • 2004-2005, 2002-2003 Member, Faculty/Student Life Committee
  • 2002 Member, Chemistry Department Search Committee
  • 2000-2001 Participated in Lowell Observatory's Astronomy Outreach Program for Navajo and Hopi Schools
  • 2000 Helped write StarTales, published daily by Lowell Observatory
  • 1999 Articles written for Lowell Observer Nesletter
  • 1997-1998 Articles written for Sciencenter newsletter
  • 1997-1999 Organized guided guided tours of the Sciencenter's Sagan Memorial Planet Walk
  • 1997-1999 member, Sciencenter Exhibits Committee
  • 1996-1999 Coordinator for Astronomy program for Focus for Teens, a 4H program for high school students
  • 1995-1997 Coordinator for Astronomy activities for Expanding Your Horizons program for junior high school girls

Grants Awarded:

  • Diversity and Inclusion in the Planetary Science Workforce, NASA unsolicited; Julie Rathbun, PI
  • Europa-Thermal EmissionImaging System (E-THEMIS); Europa Instrument Investigation; Phil Christensen, PI
  • Studying Jupiter's magnetospheric response to Io's volcanic activity; NSF AST Program 2016-2022; Jeffrey Morgenthaler, PI
  • Active volcanoes on Io from ground-based observations of Jupiter and mutual satellite occultations; NASA Planetary Data Analysis, Restoration, and Tools Program 2016-2019; Julie Rathbun, PI
  • Dynamic Processes on the Galilean Satellites; NASA Solar System Observations Program 2016-2019; John Spencer, PI
  • Quantitative measurements of active Ionian volcanoes: Global distribution and temporal variability using Galileo NIMS, PPR, ground-based, and New Horizons data; NASA Outer Planets Research Program 2013-2016; Julie Rathbun, PI
  • The Ins and Outs of the Io Plasma Torus: A Comparison of Two Decades of Io Plasma Torus and Io Volcanic Data; NASA Outer Planets Research Program 2013-2016; Jeffrey Morgenthaler, PI
  • Io in the Near Infrared: observations from New Horizons and comparison to Galileo PPR and NIMS; NASA Jupiter Data Analysis Program 2009-2012; Julie Rathbun, PI
  • Studying the Galilean satellites with Galileo and ground-based data: Io's volcanoes from the ground and incorporating Galileo PPR data into ArcGIS; NASA Outer Planets Research program 2008-2010; Julie Rathbun, PI
  • Geologic Mapping of Io: GIS Database & Regional mapping; NASA Outer Planets Research program 2008-2011; David Williams, PI
  • Io Volcanism, and Galilean Satellite Surface Temperatures; NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program 2007-2010; John Spencer, PI
  • Modeling volcanism on Io using groundbased and Galileo data; NASA Outer Planets Research Program 2006-2009; Julie Rathbun, PI
  • Io Volcanism, and Galilean Satellite Surface Temperatures; NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program 2004-2007; John Spencer, PI
  • Mutual occultations between the Galilean satellites: Two-dimensional imaging of Ionian volcanoes, particularly Loki which may erupt predictably; NASA Planetary Astronomy Program 2002-2005; Julie Rathbun, PI

Invited talks:

  • October 2018 - Keck Institude for Space Studies Short Course on Tidal Heating, California Institute for Technology
  • April 2016 - Io-Jupiter Interaction Workshop, Sao Jose de Campos, Brazil
  • October 2015, 2017 - Joshua Tree National Park Night Sky Festival
  • January 2015 - Geology Department Colloquium, Bringham Young University
  • December 2014 - American Geophysical Union fall meeting, San Francisco
  • December 2014 - Physics & Astronomy Colloquium, Ithaca College
  • November 2014 - Physics & Astronomy Colloquium, West Virginia University
  • September 2014 - Acadia National Park Night Sky Festival
  • February 2014 - Physics & Astronomy Colloquium, University of Wyoming
  • January 2010 - President's Hight Table, University of Redlands
  • February 2009 - Planetology Seminar, University of California at Los Angeles
  • March 2007 - Guest lecture, San Bernardino County Museum
  • April 2006 - Women in Science and Mathematics lecture, Buffalo State College
  • November 2005 - Geology Department colloquium, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • December 2001 - American Geophysical Union fall meeting, San Francisco
  • June 2001 - Keynote speaker for 16th Annual Greater Verde Valley Astronomy Festival

Refereed Publications:

  • Rathbun, J.A., Lopes, R.M.C., Spencer, J.R., The global distribution of active Ionian volcanoes and implications for tidal heating models, AJ, 156, id.207, 2018.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Participation of women in spacecraft science teams, Nature Astronomy, 1, 0148, 2017.
  • dePater, I., Laver, C., Davies, A. G., deKleer, K., Williams, D. A., Howell, R. R., Rathbun, J. A., Spencer, J. R., Io: Eruptions at Pillan, and the time evolution of Pele and Pillan from 1996 to 2015, Icarus, 264, 198-212, 2016.
  • Conrad, A., deKleer, K., Leisenring, J., LaCamera, A., Arcidiacono, C., Bertero, M., Boccacci, P., Defrere, D., de Pater, I., Hinz, P., Hoffman, K.-H., Kurster, M., Rathbun, J., Schertl, D., Skemer, A., Skrutskie, M., Spencer, J., Veillet, C., Weigelt, G., Woodward, C. Spatially Resolved M-band Emission from Io's Loki Patera-Fizeau Imaging at the 22.8 m LBT, Astronomical Journal, 149, id. 175, 2015.
  • Tsang, C.C.C., Rathbun, J.A., Spencer, J.R., Hesman, B.E., Abramov, O. Io's hot spots in the near-infrared detected by LEISA during the New Horizons flyby, JGRE, 119, 2222-2238, 2014.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Spencer, J.R., Lopes, R.M., Howell, R.R. Io's active volcanoes during the New Horizons era: Insights from New Horizons imaging, Icarus, 231, 261-272, 2014.
  • Abramov, O., Rathbun, J.A., Schmidt, B.E., Spencer, J.R. Detectability of thermal signatures associated with active formation of 'chaos terrain' on Europa, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 384, 37-41, 2013.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Rodriguez, N.J., Spencer, J.R. Galileo PPR observations of Europa: Hotspot detection limits and surface thermal properties, Icarus, 210, 763-769, 2010.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Spencer, J.R. Ground-based observations of time-variability in multiple active volcanoes on Io, Icarus, 209, 625-630, 2010.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Spencer, J.R. Loki, Io: New groundbased observations and a model describing the change from periodic overturn. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L17201, doi:10.1029/2006GL026844, 2006.
  • Matson, D.L., Davies, A.G., Veeder, G.J., Rathbun, J.A., Johnson, T.V., Castillo, J.C. Io: Loki Patera as a Magma Sea, J. Geophys. Res. 111, E09002, doi:10.1029/2006JE002703, 2006.
  • Porco, C. C., Helfenstein, P., Thomas, P. C., Ingersoll, A. P., Wisdom, J., West, R., Neukum, G., Denk, T., Wagner, R., Roatsch, T., Kieffer, S., Turtle, E., McEwen, A., Johnson, T. V., Rathbun, J., Veverka, J., Wilson, D., Perry, J., Spitale, J., Brahic, A., Burns, J. A., DelGenio, A. D., Dones, L., Murray, C. D., Squyres, S. Cassini Observes the Active South Pole of EnceladusScience, 311, 1393-1401, 2006.
  • Milazzo, M.P., Keszthelyi, L.P., Radebaugh, J., Davies, A.G., Turtle, E.P., Geissler, P., Klaasen, K.P., Rathbun, J.A., and McEwen, A.S. Volcanic Activity at Tvashtar Catena, Io. Icarus, 179, 235-251, 2005.
  • Williams, D.A., Keszthelyi, L.P., Schenk, P.M., Milazzo, M.P., Lopes, R.M.C., Rathbun, J.A., and Greeley, R. The Zamama-Thor region of Io: Insights from a synthesis of mapping, topography,and Galileo spacecraft data. Icarus, 177, 69-88, 2005.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Spencer, J.R., Martin, T.Z., Barnard, L., and Travis, L.D. Mapping of Io's Thermal Radiation by the Galileo Photopolarimeter- Radiometer (PPR) Instrument. Icarus, 169, 127-139, 2004.
  • Rathbun, J.A. and Squyres, S.W. Hydrothermal systems associtated with Martian impact craters, Icarus, 157, 362-372, 2002.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Spencer, J. R., Davies, A.G., Howell, R. R., and Wilson, L. Loki, Io: A periodic volcano. Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(10), 10.1029/2002GL014747, 2002.
  • Figueredo, P., Chuang, F.C., Rathbun, J.A., Kirk, R.L., and Greeley, R. Geology and Origin of Europa's "Mitten" Feature.J. Geophys. Res., 107(E5), 10.1029/2001JE001591, 2002.
  • Howell, R.R., Spencer, J.R., Goguen, J.D., Marchis, F., Prange, R., Fusco, T., Blaney, D.L., Veeder, G.J., Rathbun, J.A., Orton, G.S., Grocholski, A.J., Stansberry, J.A., Kanner, G.S., and Hege, E.K. Ground-based observations of Volcanism on Io in 1999 and early 2000, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 33,129-33,140, 2001.
  • Spencer, J.R., Rathbun, J.A., Travis, L.D., Tamppari, L.K., Barnard, L., Martin, T.Z., McEwen, A.S., Io's thermal emission from the Galileo Photopolarimeter-RadiometerScience2881193-1198, 2000.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Janes D.M., and Squyres, S.W. Formation of Beta Regio, Venus: Results from measuring strain. J. Geophys. Res., 104, 1917-1927, 1999.
  • Rathbun, J.A., Musser, G.S. and Squyres, S.W., Ice diapirs on Europa: Implications for liquid water. Geophys. Res. Lett, 25, 4157-4160, 1998.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Rathbun did her graduate work with Steven W. Squyres at Cornell University. In addition to being a research scientist at PSI, she is also an associate professor of Physics at the University of Redlands. In addition to teaching the core physics courses, she has developed classes in amusement park physics, an interdisciplinary class in geology and art, and a travel course to study Hawaiian volcanoes.

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Division of Planetary Science
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • 2006 University of Redlands Faculty Award for Outstanding Research
  • 1999 Eleanor Norton York Prize in Astronomy, Cornell University
  • Z. Cartter Patten Graduate Fellowship in Astronomy and Space Sciences, Cornell University, Spring 1996, Fall 1998 and Spring 1999
  • Outstanding Student Paper Award for the Planetology Section of the 1998 Spring Meeting of the American Geophysical Union

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