David Garrison Blackburn has been awarded a full SPAC assistantship, tuition and the Doctoral Academy Fellowship to the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
Blackburn is the son of James and Phyllis Blackburn of Cave City.
"The fellowship and entrance into this program is highly competitive and David will be one of six doctoral candidates to enter in the fall semester. We are very excited at the prospect of having David in the SPAC program, and we are sure that he will find the interdisciplinary structure of the program to be both stimulating and rewarding," said Director Dr. Derek Sears.
Blackburn will begin the four-year program in August, and at the end of the first semester, he will meet with the SPAC admissions committee to discuss his research interests and decide upon his research advisor and the nature of his research project. Current research areas include: surface processes on asteroids, meteorites and asteroid sample return, Mars: near-surface processes and biological investigations, astronomical processes, geological processes on planetary surfaces, mission design and engineering and planetary atmospheres.
Blackburn is a May 2007 graduate of Arkansas Tech University, where he earned a bachelor of science in computer science with a minor in mathematics. He graduated summa cum laude and received the award of excellence from the department of computer and information science at Arkansas Tech University. David was a co-valedictorian in 2003 for Sulphur Rock High School.