General Information:
About Us:
CU Boulder Webpages:

    Contact Information:

    Stephen ("Steve") J. Mojzsis

    Professor of Geology
    Director, Collaborative for Research in Origins (CRiO)
    Chair, Arts & Sciences Council
    Department of Geological Sciences
    University of Colorado at Boulder
    2200 Colorado Avenue
    Boulder, Co. 80309-0399
    office: 303-492-5014
    lab: 303-735-5021
    fax: 303-492-2606


    --> The 2017 workshop Before Life was held October 2017, in cooperation with the John Templeton Foundation - FfAME origins program.
    --> Congratulations to Mike Zawaski (Ph.D. student in our group) who was awarded a Center for the Study of Origins Fellowship. Excellent news!
    --> Our manuscript on the record of late accretion to the Moon using (U-Th)/He thermochronology was just accepted at EPSL.
    --> A new manuscript detailing various pitfalls in the search for life on Mars was accepted to Nature Geoscience.
    --> Our work to explore the thermal effects of bombardment to the crust and mantle of Mercury is in revisions at EPSL.

    SOME OF OUR RECENT WORK (check for frequent updates):

  • The cool and distant formation of Mars Mars’ formation requires a specific dynamical pathway, while this is less valid for Earth and Venus. We predict that Mars’ volatile budget is most likely different from Earth’s and that Venus formed close enough to our planet that it is expected to have a nearly identical composition from common building blocks.
  • A colossal impact enriched Mars' mantle with noble metals We show that Mars’ late accretion budget also requires a colossal impact, a plausible visible remnant of which is the emispheric dichotomy. The addition of sufficient HSEs to the Martian mantle entails an impactor of at least 1200 km in diameter to have struck Mars before ~4430 Ma, by which time crust formation was well underway. Thus, the dichotomy could be one of the oldest geophysical features of the Martian crust. Ejected debris could be the source material for its satellites.
  • Evaluating an impact origin for Mercury's high-magnesium region We find that an ~3000 km diameter impact basin easily exhumes Mg-rich mantle material but that the amount of subsequent modification required to hide basin structure is incompatible with the strength of the geochemical anomaly, which is also present in maps of Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer data. Consequently, the high-Mg region is more likely to be the product of high-temperature volcanism sourced from a chemically heterogeneous mantle than the remains of a large impact event.

    GEOL 1020: Introduction to Geology 1 (some years)
    GEOL 1020: Historical Geology & Earth System History (next offered, Fall 2018)
    ASTR/GEOL 2040: Search for Life in the Universe (next offered, Spring 2018)
    GEOL 4500: Critical Thinking in Earth Sciences: Origin of Life (some years)
    GEOL 4130: Introduction to Planetary Field Geology (next offered Maymester, 2018)
    GEOL 4700/5700: Archean and Proterozoic Geology (some years)
    GEOL 4330/5330: Cosmochemistry (next offered, Spring 2019)
    ASTR/ATOC/GEOL 5835: Planetary Seminar (some years)
    GEOL 5700: Special Topics: Geobiology (this course is being remade, and will likely be led by Prof. Seb Kopf, and co-taught by me along with Profs. Wing and Templeton)
    ASTR/GEOL 5130: Planetary Field Geology (next offered Spring, 2018 on the Big Island of Hawai'i)
    ASTR/GEOL 5800 Planetary Surfaces & Interiors (some years)
    ASTR/ATOC/GEOL 5830: Geology, Age and Origin of the Moon (some years)

[Ukalik site, September 2014]

University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Boulder

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado
Department of Geological Sciences

Graduate Program in Planetary Sciences
Graduate Program in Planetary Sciences within the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences

The Center for Astrobiology at the University of Colorado
The Center for Astrobiology

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

CU Geophysics Program
Geophysics Program