Faculty & Staff Directory
- Ph.D. Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, 1985
- M.S. Space Physics, University of Texas at Dallas, 1979
- B.A. Physics, Mathematics, Russian, Murray State University, 1976
Prof. Summers is a planetary scientist who studies planetary atmospheres.
He also teaches astronomy, astrobiology, planetary science, and atmospheric science/climate science at Mason
Prof. Summers is a planetary scientist who specializes in the study of planetary atmospheres. His research concerns how planets and their atmospheres develop â€“ although driven by common physical, chemical, and sometimes biological processes into the diverse types of planets we find in our solar system and beyond, including planets orbiting other stars. He has worked on NASA space missions that study the Earth from space shuttle and orbiting satellites, and that probe other planetary atmospheres using deep space robotic missions. In addition, Michael has played a leading role in the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.
NASA New Horizons Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt
NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite mission to study Earth's highest clouds.
Michael Summers believes that science education is essential for addressing the broad range of technical and environmental challenges facing humanity. At Mason he has helped create new degree programs as well as courses that deal with the big issues facing humanity. This includes the development of several of Masonâ€™s first Ph.D. programs, as well as their core courses for both undergraduate and graduate students, in the fields of physics, astronomy, atmospheric science, astrobiology, and planetary science. He is particularly well known for engaging large numbers of undergraduates in substantial research projects. In 2013 he received a GMU Teaching Excellence Award.
- Astronomy, ASTR-111, Introduction to the Solar System
- Astronomy, ASTR-301, Astrobiology
- Physics and Climate, Lecture: PHYS-111/CLIM-111, Lab PHYS-112/CLIM-112, Introduction to the Atmospere
- Physics, PHYS-475/575, Atmospheric Physics
- Stern, et al., Initial results from the first spacecraft exploration of a small Kuiper Belt Object: 2014 MU69, 17 May 2019, Vol. 364.
- Stern et al., New Horizons Results on the Pluto System, Science, March, 2016.
- Gladstone G.R., S. A. Stern, K. Ennico, C. B. Olkin, H.A. Weaver, L.A. Young, M. E. Summers, et al., 2016. The atmosphere of Pluto as observed by New Horizons. Science 351. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aad8866
- Stern, S. A., et al., 2015. The Pluto system: Initial results from its exploration by New Horizons. Science 350, id.aad1815. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aad1815
- Summers, M.E., B.J. Lieb, C. Chapman, Y.L. Yung, Atmospheric Biomarkers of Subsurface Life on Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29 (24), Dec. 20, 2002.
- Summers, M.E., R.R. Conway, C.R. Englert, D.E. Siskind, M.H. Stevens, J.M. Russell III, L.L. Gordley, M.J. McHugh, Discovery of a Water Vapor Layer in the Arctic Summer Mesosphere, Geophys, Res. Lett., 28, 3601-3604, 2001.
- Summers, M. E., D. F. Strobel and R. G. Gladstone, Chemical Models and Constraints on Pluto's Atmosphere, invited chapter for the book Pluto and Charon, University of Arizona press, Space Science Series, 1998.
- Summers, M.E., R.R. Conway, D.E. Siskind, M.H. Stevens, D. Offermann, M. Riese, P. Preusse, D.F. Strobel, and J.M. Russell III, Implications of Satellite OH Observations for Middle Atmopsheric H2O and Ozone, Science, 277, 1967-1970, 1997.
Alan J. Berman Research Publication Award: Naval Research Laboratory, Annual awards given by NRL for the highest quality research and communication publication. Awarded twice, once in 1992 and another in 1998.