University of Vermont

Bryne Hadnott Reaches for the Stars and Mars in her Research

Staff profile

Bryne Hadnott is a research specialist at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics.
Bryne Hadnott is a research specialist at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics.

Bryne Hadnott is taking a hiatus from studying Mars to focus on Earth. Bryne—which rhymes with Renée—is a research specialist working with Research Assistant Professor Gillian Galford in the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics on a project entitled NASA Environmental and Socioeconomic Outcomes of the New African Green Revolution.

While she was studying Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, Bryne’s academic advisor connected her with a researcher at the California Institute of Technology studying visible and near infrared spectroscopy and geochemistry of rocks like those found on Mars. After working with that researcher one summer, Bryne continued the project and it became her undergraduate thesis.

Her research at Washington University and Caltech helped build the remote sensing expertise that made Bryne a great fit for Gillian’s New African Green Revolution project here at UVM. The goals of the project are to see whether changes in precipitation in Malawi have caused changes in vegetation that are detectable in remotely sensed imagery and to find out whether that relationship changed after the Malawian government began a large subsidy program in 2005. Bryne’s role as a research specialist is to process, clean up, and correct any errors in massive amounts of MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) and TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) vegetation indices and precipitation data.

Sadly, Bryne’s one-year position at UVM will be ending in August. She is excited, however, to head to Cornell University in the fall to pursue a PhD in planetary sciences working with Professor Alex Hayes. The details of her PhD research are not fully decided but will certainly involve remote sensing work, likely on Mars or Titan, one of Saturn’s moons.

Before she heads to Cornell, Bryne hopes to make the best of the rest of her time in Vermont by hiking and kayaking as much as possible. Despite growing up in Chicago, Bryne was not a fan of the long, cold winter and is looking forward to soaking up Vermont’s beauty now that spring has arrived. Winter aside, Bryne has enjoyed her time in Burlington, especially working in the Gund and getting to participate in Gund Teas and other inspiring events and conversations.