Rachel W. Obbard

Academic Appointments

Senior Lecturer/Adjunct Associate Professor
Senior Scientist, SETI Institute

I'm an engineer and a professor in Dartmouth’s Institute of Writing and Rhetoric, where I teach Writing 5 (Expository Writing), Writing 7 (First Year Seminar) and Writing 44 (Science and Technology Writing).

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My first year writing courses examine the intersection of sport, technology, and culture. The introduction of new technology and scientific understanding change sports, often threatening the ideals attributed to them—purity and the natural body, fairness or a level playing field, and success as the result of hard work. Students in The Machine in the Game examine how the resulting ethical dilemmas play out for athletes, regulatory bodies, the media, and fans.

My NSF and NASA funded research for the SETI Institute lies in the characterization of planetary ice and the development of instruments for the exploration of frozen environments. I have worked in both the Arctic and Antarctic, and am currently leading a team to develop a portable micro computed tomography system to be used on Mars’ north polar caps.

My experience in grant funded science and engineering informs my work with WRIT 44 students, who come from all scientific majors and work on communicating their science to funders, peers, and the public. I enjoy mentoring students and the opportunity to work with those at all stages of their college career.

I've always been interested in pedagogy and have taught secondary school mathematics as well as undergraduate and graduate engineering. My scholarly research in the area of writing and rhetoric is in student use of digital portfolios to develop and communicate a sense of the self in the academic sphere.

In my spare time I am working on a graphic novel set two hundred years in the future.

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60328 60328
37 Dewey Field Road, Room 213
HB 6250
Institute for Writing and Rhetoric
Ph.D. Engineering, Dartmouth College
M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of New Hampshire
B.S. Engineering Physics, Colorado School of Mines

Selected Publications

The Holy Grail: A Roadmap for Unlocking the Climate Record Stored within Mars' Polar Layered Deposits. I. Smith, K. Zacny, P. Hayne, P. Becerra, D. Lalich, J. Emmett, J. Hanley, R. Staehle, P. Buhler, T. Navarro, M. Perry, J. Stern, C. Hansen, J.W. Holt, M. Kahre, S. Parra, B. Ehlmann, S. Milkovich, M. Koutnik, B. Horgan, R. Obbard, M. Hecht, S. Byrne, C. Hvidberg, M. Landis, K. Herkenhoff, M. Skidmore, A. Kleinboehl, N. Putzig, M. Siegler, B. Henderson, D. Banfield, L. Edgar, S. Piqueux, N. Thomas, W. Calvin, D. Paige, L. Carter. Planetary and Space Science. Resubmitted

Towards the Integrated Marine Debris Observing System. N. Maximenko, P. Corradi, K. Lavender Law, E. Van Sebille, S. P. Garaba, R. S. Lampitt, F. Galgani, V. Martinez-Vicente, L. Goddijn-Murphy, J. M. Veiga, R. C. Thompson, C. Maes, D. Moller, C. Regina Löscher, A. M. Addamo, M. Lamson, L. R. Centurioni, N. Posth, R. Lumpkin, M. Vinci, A. M. Martins, C. D. Pieper, A. Isobe, G. Hanke, M. Edwards, I. P. Chubarenko, E. Rodriguez, S. Aliani, M. Arias, G. P. Asner, A. Brosich, J. T. Carlton, Y. Chao, A.-M. Cook, A. Cundy, T. S. Galloway, A. Giorgetti, G. J. Goni, Y. Guichoux, B. D. Hardesty, N. Holdsworth, L. Lebreton, H. A. Leslie, I. Macadam-Somer, T. Mace, M. Manuel, R. Marsh, E. Martinez, D. Mayor, M. Le Moigne, M. E. M. Jack, M. C. Mowlem, R. W. Obbard, Katsiaryna Pabortsava, Bill Robberson, A.-E. Rotaru, M. T. Spedicato, M. Thiel, A. Turra, C. Wilcox Frontiers in Marine Science. Front. Mar. Sci., 28 August 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00447

A Network Model for Characterizing Brine Channels in Sea Ice. R.M. Lieb-Lappen, D.D. Kumar, S.D. Pauls, R.W. Obbard. The Cryosphere. DOI:10.5194/tc-2017-169

Microplastics in Polar Regions: the role of long range transport. R. W. Obbard. Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health. Volume 1, February 2018, Pages 24–29 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coesh.2017.10.004 - INVITED

The first physical evidence of subglacial volcanism under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. N. Iverson, R. Lieb-Lappen, N. W. Dunbar, R. Obbard, E. Kim, E. Golden. Scientific Reports 7: 11457 (2017) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11515-3

Synchrotron X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy of Salts in Natural Sea Ice. R.W. Obbard, R. Lieb-Lappen, K. V. Nordick, E. J. Golden, J. R. Leonard, A. Lanzirotti, M. G. Newville. Earth and Space Science. 11/30/16 DOI:10.1002/2016EA000172

X-ray computed microtomography of sea ice. R. Obbard (2015) Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 15, 13167-13171. http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/15/13167/2015/acpd-15-13167-2015....

Global warming releases microplastic legacy frozen in Arctic Sea Ice. R. Obbard, S. Sadri, Y.-Q. Wong, A. A. Khitun, I. Baker and R. C. Thompson (2014) Earth’s Future, 2 (6), 315-320. doi: 10.1002/2014EF000240

Speaking engagements

In Situ Studies of Tidelines on Paper. R. Obbard. Topics in Preservation Lecture. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. December 4, 2017

Ice Sampling and In Situ Analysis. R. Obbard. Unlocking the Climate Record Stored within Mars' Polar Layered Deposits Workshop. Keck Institute for Space Studies. California Institute of Technology. August 10, 2017.

The Material World. R. Obbard. Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH. February 16, 2016