PhD Candidate | Science Writer
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A writer and planetary science Ph.D. candidate interested in science journalism, rocks, space, and climate change. 2022 AAAS Mass Media Fellow at Science Friday. Current NASA mission involvement includes LRO Diviner, Mars 2020, and InSight. She loves Mars, the Rocky Mountains, Austin breakfast tacos, and her dog, Rocky.
Science Writing + Reporting
A Tiny New Device Could Help Find Extraterrestrial Life
Google Arts & Culture:
Gas Giants of Our Solar System
The Future of Saturn’s Shape in Our Sky
Dwarf Planets of Our Solar System
The Countdown Begins For Humanity’s Return To The Moon
Teen Innovator’s New AI Tool Helps Create Affordable Drugs
A High School Student Invented An Affordable Brain-Reading Prosthetic
A Teen Inventor Builds A Fingerprint Scanner for Gender Equity
Can Genetic Modification Help Plants Survive Climate Change?
Stunning JWST Images Show New Details Of The Universe
Photography: The New G.O.A.T. Of Park Systems Is An Actual Goat
Probing patient stories–and unsettled science–without breaking trust
Mercury Has Ice…But Wait, There’s More!
Top climate scientists are sceptical that nations will rein in global warming
Siegler, M., Warren, P., Franco, K. L., Paige, D., Feng, J., & White, M. (2022). Lunar Heat Flow: Global Predictions and Reduced Heat Flux. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 127, e2022JE007182. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022JE007182
Feng, J.; Siegler, M.A.; White, M.N. Shallow Regolith Structure and Obstructions Detected by Lunar Regolith Penetrating Radar at Chang’E-5 Drilling Site. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 3378. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14143378
Feng, Jianqing, Matthew. A. Siegler, and Mackenzie N. White. 2022. “Dielectric Properties and Stratigraphy of Regolith in the Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin: Observations from the Lunar Penetrating Radar.” Astronomy & Astrophysics 661 (May): A47. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/202143015.
Matthew A. Siegler, Jianqing Feng, Paul G. G. Lucey, Rebecca Ghent, Paul O. Hayne, Mackenzie White. 2020. "Lunar titanium and frequency dependent microwave loss tangent as constrained by the Chang'E-2 MRM and LRO Diviner Lunar Radiometers." Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets.
Foster, William J., Daniel J. Lehrmann, Jaime A. Hirtz, Mackenzie White, Meiyi Yu, Ji Li, and Rowan C. Martindale. 2019. “Early Triassic Benthic Invertebrates from the Great Bank of Guizhou, South China: Systematic Palaeontology and Palaeobiology.” Edited by Michael Hautmann. Papers in Palaeontology 5 (4): 613–56. https://doi.org/10.1002/spp2.1252.
53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2022) – Talk: A YEAR OF PERSEVERANCE AT JEZERO II: Siegler M.A., White M., [...] Passive Radiometry of Subsurface Temperatures Using the Mars 2020 Rimfax Instrument [#1491]
53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2022) – Apollo's Legacy Posters: White M., Siegler M.A., Million C.: Apollo Heat Flow Experiment: Implications for Lunar Thermophysical Properties and Heat Flow [#2485]
50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2019) – Poster Session II: 50 Years of Apollo Legacy: White M., Siegler M.A.: Apollo Lunar Heat Flow Experiment: An evaluation of potential causes of subsurface temperature drift [#2132]
47TH Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2016) – Poster Session II: Mars Polar Processes/Cryosphere: Levy J. S., Fassett C. I., Chaffey P. M., White M.: Boulder Size Distributions on Martian Debris-Covered Glaciers: Flow History and Timescale]: Boulder size-frequency distributions on debris-covered glacier landforms provide insight into transport timescales, erosion, and climatic processes.
Just the highlights – please get in contact for complete CV & work experience.
May 2018 - Present
PLANETARY SCIENCE INSTITUTE, RESEARCH SCIENTIST
Modeled subsurface heat flow as a member of the InSight Science Team
Reevaluated lunar geophysical properties at Apollo 15 and 17 sites
Research assistant to Dr. Matthew Siegler
October 2017 - May 2018
THE MARTINDALE LAB, RESEARCH ASSISTANT TO DR. ROWAN MARTINDALE
Identified and analyzed Early Jurassic rock samples to understand oceanic anoxic events and reef system changes
Processed and analyzed results sample results from the Environmental Scanning Electron
September 2015 - May 2017
UT INSTITUTE FOR GEOPHYSICS, RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Identified flow morphologies on Martian debris-covered glaciers
Produced and interpreted results for Mars Boulder Project using ArcGIS, Excel, & Matlab
Wrote 60-pg. honors thesis detailing results of extensive Martian geomorphology study
2022 American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Fellow (Science Friday)
Papers in Palaeontology Best Annual Paper
NASA/Texas Space Grant Fellowship Recipient 2019, 2021
Jackson School of Geosciences Field Scholarship
J. D. and V. L. Langston Endowed Scholarship Fund in Geology and Geophysics
Jacque Nell and David Scott Holland, Sr. Student Excellence Fund in the Geosciences
Richard Chuchla Dean's Discretionary Fund, Yilmaz and Atalay Undergraduate Scholarship in the Geosciences
Jackson Undergraduate Support Fund Scholarship
COLA: Nature, Society, and Sustainability in Ecuador Scholarship
COLA: Spanish & Portuguese Faculty Led Summer Scholarship
William Butler Yeats Hammer of Unity Award (highest course grade in Plan II Honors World Literature)
University Honors, The University of Texas
COURSES, CERTIFICATES, AND ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE
Course: SCOPE (Science Communication Online Programme), Northwestern University and NSF (In-Progress)
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) – Ambassador (2019, 2022, 2023)
Certificate: Advanced Fact-Checking Workshop, MIT Knight Science Journalism Program (August 2022)
NASW Perlman Mentoring Program – Student Writer (May 2021–September 2021)
Campanile Capital Traders – Financial Analyst Intern; Austin, TX (July 2017–June 2018)
Cardwell, Hart, & Bennett L.L.P. – Copy Editor and Office Manager; Austin, TX (August 2014–January 2015)
Watts Guerra L.L.P. – Legal Intern; Austin, TX (Summer 2012, 2013)
U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett – Congressional Intern; Austin, TX (Fall 2013)
TEXAS 4000 FOR CANCER
November 2014 - December 2017
Trained for and biked 4,500 miles from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AK (~70 mi/day for 70 days) to raise money for cancer research
Raised $4.75k personally for cancer research and cancer prevention, contributing to the over $7 million Texas 4000 has raised to date
Led training rides triweekly and served as personal coach, improving team skills and confidence for the summer ride
PLAN II HONORS STUDENT ASSOCIATION
Responsible for organizing events for Plan II Honors — a selective interdisciplinary honors program of 600 undergraduate students
Advised and assisted Plan II faculty with course selection and implementation of program policies, impacting student education
August 2012 - December 2017
DELTA GAMMA FRATERNITY SCOLARSHIP COMMITTEE
August 2012 - May 2016
Initiated increase of inter-fraternity relationships via study groups and in-house tutoring sessions
Volunteered weekly at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
An education consisting of a diverse selection of coursework, including honors science and liberal arts degrees. Undergraduate degrees included Plan II Honors (an interdisciplinary program with a writing focus) and Geological Sciences with minors in Geography and Government. A Ph.D. in Geophysics in-progress.
June 2021 - Present
THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
VISITING GRADUATE RESEARCHER
Visiting graduate researcher in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
January 2019 - Present
SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY
At SMU Mackenzie worked with Dr. Matthew Siegler, focusing on thermal modeling. She received the NASA/Texas Space Grant and is a member of the InSight, Diviner LRO, and Mars 2020 science teams.
August 2012 - May 2017
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
B.A. PLAN II HONORS & GEOGRAPHY
B.S. GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES
At The University of Texas, Mackenzie received university honors, served as President of the Plan II Honors Student Association, participated in multiple research labs, and was a member of the Texas 4000 for Cancer team.
August 2008 - May 2012
TEXAS MILITARY INSTITUTE (HIGH SCHOOL)
At TMI Mackenzie was president of the National Honor Society, captain of the varsity basketball and golf teams, named a KSAT12 News Scholar Athlete, a National Merit Scholar, and received the Richard T. Whatton English Award and the Sewanee Writing Award of Excellence.
INTERESTS AND HOBBIES
What I Do
Adobe Creative, Matlab, MS Office, Comsol Multiphysics, ArcGIS, Python
English, conversational Spanish. I love to write and communicate through diverse media.
Austin & Dallas Pets Alive!, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Austin Sustainable Food Center
Just for Fun
I love anything that gets me outside, from running at the park to backcountry skiing in the mountains.
Rocky dog finds himself as the star of the show again; I love taking and sharing photos of the handsome pup! I also enjoy nature photography, always brining my camera with me on backpacking trips.
I enjoy writing and editing, focusing primarily on science writing and current events!