Dylan Hickson - 2017 Winning Essay

Dylan Hickson

For as long as I can remember my head has always been in the stars. From early dreams of being an astronaut my passion for space has evolved into the pursuit of a PhD degree in Earth and Space Science at York University, of which I am currently enrolled for the 2016 - 2017 academic year.

I have had the opportunity to present the research associated with my PhD thesis at international conferences, have published work in a peer-reviewed journal, and been recognized for my academic achievements and research potential through two faculty graduate scholarships and a National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada graduate student fellowship. Further I participated as a science team member in the Canadian Space Agency’s Analogue Mars Mission 2015 and have collaborated with researchers at a variety of Canadian institutions including the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto.

After completing my PhD I intend to acquire a Postdoctoral researcher position in planetary science at a world class research facility, such as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, John Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, or the many research centres affiliated with the European Space Agency.

The ultimate end to this long endeavour is my career goal to continue researching as a planetary scientist for the following decades contributing to current and future space missions. As one of my favourite scientists once stated: ‘Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.’