I study the geochemistry and mineralogy on Mars, with an eye toward understanding how liquid water has interacted with Mars’ past and present environments. As a visible- to near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopist, I do this by mapping surface physical properties and mineralogy, seeking to understand modern mineral-environment interactions and to reconstruct past environmental conditions. To better understand the environments where some of these minerals form, I study Earth sites such as Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) systems, and conduct spectroscopy lab work.
Above: Chloe Weeks, Alliya Akhtar, and Erin Kennedy collect iron hydroxide precipitates from an AMD system in southeastern PA.
Above: acidic run-off from the Rio Tinto mining district in southern Spain: the water is precipitating out iron hydroxides and hydroxylated sulfates like jarosite and copiapite.
Above: Danyelle Phillips and Simona Clausnitzer float rocks in microgravity during our experiments onboard NASA's Reduced Gravity Flight Education Program.