S.P.D. Birch, Y. Tang, A.G. Hayes, R.L. Kirk, D. Bodewits, H. Campins, Y. Fernandez, R. de Freitas Bart, N.W. Kutsop, H. Sierks, J.M. Soderblom, S.W. Squyres, and J-B. Vincent. Geomorphology of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. MNRAS (2017).
Sam’s research is focused on understanding the evolution of the surfaces of planetary bodies.
If we can understand the morphologies, by describing and quantifying the topographic shapes of a planet’s surface, we can build process-based models that explain their evolution through time. Beginning with qualitative observations of a surface through geomorphological mapping, we then build numerical models that match those observations. This methodology can apply to just select regions on planets like Mars, to the hydrologically active poles of an icy moon like Titan, to sedimentary worlds like Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The surfaces of all these bodies are governed by the motions of individual particles, and so understanding the sediment transport pathways on these bodies helps us to understand the evolution of the landscape as a whole. When not exploring the solar system, Sam enjoys adventuring around the many outdoor environments of the Finger Lakes region.
Publications / Abstracts:
 S.P.D. Birch, Y. Tang, A.G. Hayes, R.L. Kirk, D. Bodewits, H. Campins, Y. Fernandez, R. de Freitas Bart, N.W. Kutsop, H. Sierks, J.M. Soderblom, S.W. Squyres, and J-B. Vincent. Geomorphology of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. MNRAS (2017).
 S.P.D. Birch, A.G. Hayes, W.E. Dietrich, A.D. Howard, C.S. Bristow, M.J. Malaska, J.M. Moore, M. Mastrogiuseppe, J.D. Hofgartner, D.A. Williams, O.L. White, J.M. Soderblom, J.W. Barnes, E.P. Turtle, J.I. Lunine, C.A. Wood, C.D. Neish, R.L. Kirk, E.R. Stofan, R.D. Lorenz, and R.M.C. Lopes. Geomorphologic Mapping of Titan’s polar terrains: Constraining Surface Processes and Landscape Evolution. Icarus 282, 214-236 (2017).
 S.P.D. Birch, A.G. Hayes, A.D. Howard J.M. Moore, and J. Radebaugh. Alluvial Fan Morphology, Distribution and Formation on Titan. Icarus 270, 238-247 (2016).
 S.P.D. Birch, M. Manga, B. Delbridge, and M. Chamberlain, Penetration of spherical projectiles into wet granular material, Phys. Rev. E 90, 032208 (2014).