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Title: Space Geologist, Adriana Ocampo (18 minutes)
Producer: Gary Hochman

"Space and the stars were my passion. When I was young I couldn't go to sleep in the evening without looking at the stars and wondering what those little points of light were."
– Adriana Ocampo

Carmen Cid

Space geologist Adriana Ocampo takes viewers on an expedition to Belize and neighboring Mexico to explore the crash site of an ancient asteroid. As a geologist of planetary bodies, Adriana uses her knowledge about asteroid impacts on other planets to explore impact craters on Earth. Her team of scientists visit road cuts and rock quarries to uncover the "splash" marks of the Chicxulub crater, buried for 65 million years. Adriana was the first to recognize that a ring of sinkholes or "cenotes" found in the Yucatan peninsula was related to the buried Chicxulub crater. Her discovery helped scientists prove that an asteroid brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Introduction to the Video

NSC reports spacecraft go. Spacecraft is go. Copy that. Thank you.

Adriana Ocampo is a space explorer. She's not an astronaut. She's a NASA geologist on a quest for space objects on Earth - not now, but millions of years ago.

I love what I do because it's a dream that we all have to just go out and play in the dirt. I'm able to do it for a living. And in the process, also learn a lot about science and that's what keeps it exciting because every moment can be a discovery.

Oh my God, guys, we found it.

There is enough evidence that has been presented that we can say that there was a big asteroid or comet that impacted the Earth and caused global mass extinction.

You really have to be doing the detective work to identify impact craters.

The videos on this site are in QuickTime. You can download a free QT player here.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9909496.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and
do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).