Field studies of impact and volcanic settings; developing tools and recommendations for future human exploration.
I lead the planetary science team at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. My scientific research focuses on geochronology and geochemistry of planetary samples from the Moon, Mars and asteroids. I am a Principal Investigator on multiple NASA research projects, a member of the Mars Exploration Rover mission team still operating the Opportunity rover, and the principal scientist for Lunar Flashlight, a lunar cubesat mission that will be launched in 2017 as an SLS secondary payload. I am the PI for the MSFC Noble Gas Research Laboratory (MNGRL), where we use radiometric dating to understand the age of meteorites and lunar rocks and connect them with the impact history of our solar system. I am developing a flight version our noble-gas geochronology technique, the Potassium-Argon Laser Experiment (KArLE), for use on future planetary landers and rovers. I am a strong advocate for the role of sample analysis in human and robotic exploration, so am pleased to have been a member of three Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) seasons, helping recover and return pristine planetary samples for the US National collection. I also serve multiple roles within NASA representing science interests and capabilities within human spaceflight planning. In particular, I have participated in science backroom operations and led tactical and strategic teams, including an international science backroom with the European Space Agency in the Netherlands, for NASA’s Research and Technology Studies (Desert-RATS) and Moon-Mars Analog Mission Activities teams.