BASALT Research Objectives
|Support the field infrared spectroscopic investigations.|
Before starting his career in Space Science, Andrew served as an environmental chemist for the U.S. Army Corps of engineers utilizing field instrumentation to perform on-site analysis for organic contaminates at hazardous waste sites throughout the U.S. As he sees it, he is still looking for organic “contaminates”, just on a much larger scale.
Andrew is a member of Ames’ Astrochemistry Laboratory. He research work involves the study of dust and ice. That is, interstellar dust and cosmic ices. This research is in the areas of laboratory astrophysics and astrochemistry where he measures the physical, chemical, and spectroscopic properties of organic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as well as PAHs in astrophysical ice analogs. This work is focused on the formation, evolution and preservation of organic compounds in the universe. As Andrew sees it, the distribution of biologically interesting organic compounds is directly linked to the possible distribution of life in the universe.
Andrew served on the science team for the O/OREOS (Organisms/Organics Responses to Orbital Stresses) nano-satellite mission and is on the science team for ongoing and proposed missions on the International Space Station (ISS). These missions are focused on helping us to understand the formation and processing of organic compounds in space and their role in the origins of life.
Education and Public Outreach (EPO) are important to Andrew and he enthusiastically volunteers his time to these efforts. These efforts involve reaching out to students from social and economically disadvantage areas and Native American tribes.