In a recent post on their Editor's Vox platform, Advancing Waerth and Space Sciences shared details of work the late Faculty of Environment researcher was pursuing before her plane was shot down shortly after taking off for Canada from Iran.
A Fallen Rising Star
The last works of Marzieh (Mari) Foroutan, an early-career martian geologist who was lost to us in 2020, have now been completed and published in JGR: Planets.
With the passing of a veteran scientist, we can afford ourselves the satisfaction of looking back upon a fruitful scientific career; one with a long record of success in expanding the boundaries of our collective knowledge. Losing a young colleague before they hit their stride is a double blow. We are left bereft of both the pleasure of their company and the scientific progress that their research might have brought.
Such is the case with Ms. Marzieh (“Mari”) Foroutan, a promising young graduate student from the University of Waterloo, Canada, who was forging her own path when it was tragically cut short. Mari was lost to us when the commercial airplane in which she was flying was shot from the sky above Iran on the 8 January 2020.
How can we honor a fallen colleague? I can think of few better ways than to see their last scientific works in progress through to completion. In so doing, we can help enshrine their contributions to our collective memory.
Dr. James (“Jim”) Zimbelman of the Smithsonian Institution, and the 2020 recipient of the G. K. Gilbert Award from the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America, has helped shepherd such an important contribution through the peer-review process. The resulting publication, Zimbelman and Foroutan , published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, is a tribute to friendship, good mentorship, and frankly, the determination of both co-authors.
This paper grew out of Mari’s collaborative work on Transverse Aeolian Ridges on Earth and Mars, a subject that was separate from her PhD work. In other words, it was a labor of pure intellectual curiosity and serves as a fitting coda to an all-too-brief career.