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Our Research Team Remote In Situ And Synchrotron

Our research team, Remote, In Situ and Synchrotron Studies for Science and Exploration (RIS4E,, involves geologists at SUNY Stony Brook University and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Johnson Space Center. We’ve been working together in the rift zones of Kilauea Volcano, HI, since 2008 studying the geochemistry of rocks and how they are altered when exposed to volcanic gases that are being released from the summit and along fumaroles. As we conduct this research we are evaluating the use of portable and handheld instruments in helping to make sure that we can conduct the best science possible with limited field time. This effort provides NASA with an understanding about how to build and operate instruments for use by astronauts as we prepare for humans exploring the Moon, Mars and beyond. For more information on RIS4E, check out our online report produced by Stony Brook’s School of Journalism ( Here we are in our most recent field campaign working in the shadow of Kilauea’s plume with our portable XRF, XRD, spectral imager, hyperspectral camera and LiDAR.

- Jacob Bleacher