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Image of a snowmobile on the snow-covered tundra facing a large Pingo in the background. Previous snowmobile tracks show where geophysical measurements have already been taken.

Kynan Hughson, PhD


Dr. Kynan Hughson is an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage. At UAA, Dr. Hughson teaches Physical Geology, Earth Surface Processes, Geologic Data Analysis & Visualization, and is developing a course on Planetary Geology. His long-term research focuses on understanding the geological, geophysical, and hydrological processes that shape the surfaces of icy asteroids and worlds in our solar system.

Dr. Hughson’s current and proposed research takes aim at better understanding periglacial geomorphology and hydrogeology of Earth, Mars, Ceres, and icy moons through a combination of observation, computer modeling, and the geophysical examination of terrestrial polar analogs. He also works on future exploration technologies for accessing the deep subsurface oceans of many icy moons, and for high-detail mapping of ground ice on Mars and Ceres. In 2020, Dr. Hughson received funding for his Pingo SubTerranean Aquifer Reconnaissance and Reconstruction (Pingo STARR) project through NASA's Planetary Science and Technology through Analog Research (PSTAR) program. Pingo STARR is a four-year (2020-2024) field campaign using geophysical methods to examine the subsurface structure of pingos.

Dr. Kynan Hughson standing next to a large crevasse on the Mendenhall Glacier

Students interested in working with Dr. Hughson should contact him at

Education and Affiliations

UAA Green and Gold Logo
University of Alaska Anchorage

Assistant Professor - August 2021 to Present

Georgia Tech Blue Logo
Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Scientist - July 2020 to July 2021

Postdoctoral Scientist - June 2019 to July 2020

UCLA Blue Logo
University of California Los Angeles

PhD, Geophysics and Space Physics - June 2019

MS, Geophysics and Space Physics - June 2017

UNB Red and Black Logo
University of New Brunswick 

BSc, Geology and Physics, minor in Math - May 2014

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