Devon Burr is an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at UT where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on planetary geology.
Professor Burr’s research interests cover a wide range of topics in planetary geomorphology (the study of landscapes), including rivers, dunes, faults, and other natural surface phenomena. She is intrigued by landscapes on Earth and elsewhere, and studies those landscapes to understand how their host planetary bodies formed and evolved over time. Earth is her favorite planet and it provides a template for her research on Mars, Titan (the largest moon of Saturn), and several other planetary bodies.
She conducts her research relying most heavily on images, topography, and other data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (EPA) spacecraft elsewhere in the Solar System. However, when exploring landscapes on Earth, her favorite technique is boots-on-the-ground field work, and she has conducted field work in Chile, Canada, Alaska, Antarctica, and Iceland, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. She also conducts experiments, first refurbishing and now using a high-pressure planetary wind tunnel at the NASA Ames Research Center to investigate how wind moves material and shapes landscapes on other planetary bodies.
Professor Burr is the lead editor on a Special Issue on Planetary Geomorphology for the journal Geomorphology, and the lead editor of a book published by Cambridge University Press—Megaflooding on Earth and Mars. Her scientific research has been published in numerous journals including Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, Geophysical Research Letters, Icarus, Planetary and Space Sciences, Geomorphology, Aeolian Research, Geological Society of America Bulletin, and Nature.
She holds a bachelor’s degree (with distinction in an honors program) from the United States Naval Academy, a master’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College, a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and a doctorate from the University of Arizona.