Education & Research Experience
2013 - 2018: Brown University (Providence, RI): Ph.D. Geological Sciences.
2013 - 2015: Brown University (Providence, RI): M.Sc. in Geological Sciences.
Emphasis on: Planetary science, geophysics, numerical modeling
Thesis topic: Geophysical and numerical analysis of planetary geologic processes.
- Numerical modeling of compaction processes, heat flow, fluid flow, and porous media flow.
- Gravity modeling and impact basin structural analysis.
- Quantitative analysis of burial/diagenetic conditions and fluvial processes.
Current research focuses on the implementation of geophysical and numerical analyses to assess problems in planetary geoscience. Specific research projects include: (1) Modeling thermal and physical properties of ice sheets on early Mars. (2) Numerical modeling of lava-ice interactions to assess meltwater production. (3) Modeling cooling and crystallization of lunar impact melt deposits. (4) Structural analysis of lunar impact basins through forward gravity modeling. (5) Modeling sedimentary diagenetic conditions produced during ice sheet melting on Mars. (6) 3-D numerical modeling of permafrost evolution in the Antarctic Dry Valleys. (7) Modeling and assessing the formation of fluvial systems on Mars.
2009 - 2011: University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT): M.Sc. in Geology and Geophysics.
2005 - 2009: University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT): B.S. in Geology and Geophysics.
Emphasis on: Hydrogeology, geology, geophysics
Thesis topic: Assessment of spatial and temporal trends in the salinity of Connecticut’s groundwater.
- Regional scale GIS analysis of groundwater salinity supported by field scale sampling and monitoring.
Research activities focused on the investigation of the broad-scale impact of road salt application on the groundwater resources of the state of Connecticut. Water quality data spanning the last century were collected and analyzed to assess temporal and spatial trends in the distribution of salt within Connecticut's groundwater and correlations to known sources of salt contamination. This work was supported by field investigations of temporal and spatial trends of groundwater salinity in local water quality monitoring wells.
Geoscience Geophysical Short Course – ExxonMobil: February 2017
- Assessed a hydrocarbon reservoir through geophysical data interpretation and analysis exercises in the “Multi-Disciplinary Subsurface Integration in Exploration and Production: from Plates to Pores” short course offered by ExxonMobil.
Hydrogeologist - Leggette, Brashears, and Graham Inc.: June 2010 - April 2013
- Collected and documented critical data for water supply exploration and environmental remediation projects.
- Supervised drilling and installation of water supply, water quality monitoring, and remediation wells on numerous field sites using a wide array of drilling techniques.
- Conducted and supervised large-scale hydraulic tests of water supply sites and ensured adequate data collection for analyses and for the satisfaction of environmental regulations.
- Supervised and documented hazardous waste site remediation projects.
- Conducted data and sample analysis and prepared technical reports for clientele and regulatory agencies.
- Worked in a team-based environment maintaining close communications with colleagues and managers.
- Assisted in training and development of junior staff and managed the upkeep and repair of field equipment.
- Completed field tasks in a timely manner helping to keep projects under budget and maintained a consistently high percentage of billable time (>~90%).
Hydrogeology Research Assistant - University of Connecticut: September 2009 - May 2010
- Assisted in the oversight and installation of a groundwater monitoring and remediation system for manganese contamination at a local industrial facility.
- Managed collection, database storage, and analysis of groundwater monitoring data for the U. of Connecticut agricultural farm. Demonstrated minimal impact on water wells of surrounding community.
Geology Teaching Assistant - University of Connecticut: September 2009 - May 2010
- Taught introductory geology lab classes and provided supplementary instruction to students. Assisted in the development of lab exercises, prepared and delivered lectures, and assessed and recorded student grades.
IT Technician - Cassanelli Associates LLC.: August 2002 - June 2005
- Managed hardware upgrades, repair, general maintenance, and basic network administration of in-house servers and desktop computers.
Computational Experience and Relevant Skills
Language proficiencies: MATLAB, Python (more limited experience in C++, Fortran, Visual Basic, HTML/CSS, SQL).
Program proficiencies: ArcGIS, MS Office suite (including Access), ADOBE creative suite, Mathematica, ERDAS Imagine, ENVI, AQTESOLV, FaultKin, Surfer/Grapher, StereoNet.
- Experienced in scientific computing, numerical modeling, construction and application of geologic models.
- Skilled in utilization, visualization, and interpretation of geologic, geophysical, and remote sensing data sets (1-D/2-D/3-D).
- Significant experience in technical writing/communication including publication of several papers and delivery of presentations at >10 national/international science conferences.
- Practical and professional experience in: geochemical/geophysical well profiling, bore logging, subsurface lithology and poroperm characterization, soil/water sample collection, tracer studies, well planning and design.
- June 2016 Sedimentary cycle course field trip: Permian Basin, New Mexico and West Texas.
- July 2015 3rd Nordic-Hawaii NASA Astrobiology Institute Summer School: Iceland.
- August 2013 Brown University geology graduate summer field trip: Nova Scotia, Canada.
- June 2010-13 Hydrogeology consultant field experience.
- March 2008 Spring field trip course in structural geology, sedimentology, and geomicrobiology: Puerto Rico.
- October 2007 Field problems in Earth structure: New York and Vermont.
Academic Awards and Certifications
- 2017 Rocky Mountain Rendezvous (AAPG/SEG/UWYO) - 2nd Place Poster Award.
- 2017 Brown University Dissertation Fellowship recipient.
- 2013 Brown University First Year Fellowship recipient.
- 2012 OSHA 8 Hr. HAZWOPER Supervisor certified.
- 2010 OSHA 40Hr. HAZWOPER certified (last refreshed January, 2013).
- 2009 Environmental Professionals of Connecticut scholarship recipient in environmental sciences.
- 2009 University of Connecticut Dean’s List for academic performance.
- 2008 University of Connecticut Dean’s List for academic performance.
- 2008 New England Scholar for academic excellence.
Professional Affiliations and Service
- 2017 Elsevier Earth and Planetary Science book proposal reviewer.
- 2017-Present American Geophysical Union (AGU) – Student Member.
- 2017-Present American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) – Student Member.
- 2017-Present Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) – Student Member.
- 2017-Present Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) – Student Member.
- 2016-Present Brown University Geology Mentor Representative.
- 2015-2016 Brown University Geology Club President.
- 2007-2009 Geological Society of America – Student Member.
- 2017 What a Geologist Should Know about Petrophysics (AAPG/SEG/UWYO RMR).
- 2017 Permian Basin Geologic/Reservoir/Completion Models (AAPG).
- 2017 Basic Tools for Shale Exploration (AAPG).
- 2017 Geomodeling for Development and Production Geology (AAPG).
- 2017 Concepts and Applications in 3D Seismic Imaging (SEG).
- 2017 Geology and Geophysics in the Petroleum Industry (AAPG/IRIS Series).
To view citations and statistics for my peer-reviewed publications please refer to my Google Scholar profile.
(PDFs available upon request)
- Weiss, D.K., Head, J.W., Palumbo, A.M., and Cassanelli, J.P., (2017). Extensive Amazonian-Aged Fluvial Channels on Mars: Evaluating the Role of Lyot Crater in their Formation. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(11), 5336-5344, doi:10.1002/2017GL073821
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2016). Did the Orientale Impact Melt Sheet Undergo Large-scale Igneous Differentiation by Crystal Settling? Geophysical Research Letters, 43(21), 11156-11165, doi:10.1002/2016GL070425
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2016). Lava Heating and Loading of Ice Sheets on Early Mars: Predictions for Meltwater Generation, Groundwater Recharge, and Resulting Landforms. Icarus, 271, 237-264, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.02.004
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2015). Firn Densification in a Late Noachian "Icy Highlands" Mars: Implications for Ice Sheet Evolution and Thermal Response. Icarus, 253, 243-255, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.03.004
- Cassanelli, J.P., Head, J.W., and Fastook, J.L., (2015). Sources of Water for the Outflow Channels on Mars: Implications of the Late Noachian "Icy Highlands" Model for Melting and Groundwater Recharge on the Tharsis Rise. Planetary and Space Science, 108, 54-65, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2015.01.002
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Robbins, G.A., (2013). Effects of Road Salt on Connecticut's Groundwater: A Statewide Centennial Perspective. Journal of Environmental Quality, 42(3), 737-748, doi:10.2134/jeq2012.0319
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2017). Formation of the Reull Vallis Outflow Channel by Large-Scale Lava-Ice Interactions and Top-Down Melting. 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 1188.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2017). Valley Network Formation in a "Cold and Icy: Climate Regime: Theoretical Predictions for Erosion Rates and Channel Morphology. 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 1191.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2016). Did the Orientale Impact Melt Sheet Undergo Large-scale Igneous Differentiation by Crystal Settling? 7th Planetary Cratering Consortium.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2016). Did the Orientale Impact Melt Sheet Undergo Large-Scale Igneous Differentiation by Crystal Settling? 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 1174.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2016). Lava Heating and Loading of Ice Sheets on Early Mars: Predictions for Meltwater Generation, Groundwater Recharge, and Resulting Landforms. 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 1176.
- Cassanelli, J.P. et al., (2015). Ice Sheet Basal Melting on Mars: Potential for Long-term Habitats. 3rd Nordic-Hawaii NASA Astrobiology Institute Summer School, Iceland.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2015). Lava-loading of Ice Sheets in a Late Noachian "Icy Highlands" Mars: Predictions for Meltwater Generation, Groundwater Recharge, and Resulting Landforms. 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 1533.
- Cassanelli, J.P. et al., (2015). Sources of Water for Groundwater-fed Outflow Channels on Mars: Implications of the Late Noachian "Icy Highlands" Model for Melting and Groundwater Recharge. 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 1529.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2014). Volcano-ice Interactions in a Late Noachian "Icy Highlands" Mars: Implications for Groundwater Recharge and Outflow Channel Water Sources on the Tharsis Rise. 5th Moscow Solar System Symposium.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2014). Firn Densification on Late Noachian Mars: Implications for Ice Sheet Formation and Thermal Characteristics. 8th International Conference on Mars, Abstract 1032.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Head, J.W., (2014). Firn Densification on Late Noachian Mars: Implications for Ice Sheet Formation and Thermal Characteristics. 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 1265.
- Cassanelli, J.P. et al., (2014). Late Noachian "Icy Highlands" Mars: Implications for Melting and Groundwater Recharge Across the Tharsis Rise. 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 1501.
- Cassanelli, J.P., and Robbins, G.A., (2010) Evaluating Impacts of Anthropogenic Salt Influxes to Connecticut's Groundwater Though Water Quality Monitoring and Tracer Studies. 45th Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Meeting, Abstract 57-11.
- Cassanelli, J.P. (2011). Salt Contamination of Ground and Surface Water in Connecticut: A Compilation and Synthesis of Historic Data and Local Scale Testing. University of Connecticut Master’s Thesis, Paper 69.