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Dr. Amy Fagan

Postdoctoral Fellow
Lunar and Planetary Institute
3600 Bay Area Boulevard
Houston, TX 77058


I am a postdoctoral fellow at the LPI-JSC Center for Lunar Science and Exploration as part of the NASA Lunar Science Institute.  My current research focuses on characterizing ancient granulites and regolith breccias from the Apollo sample collection to constrain the bombardment history and surface evolution of the Moon.


Doctoral Research:

My doctoral research was rather eclectic, and focused on volcanic and impact processes on Mars and the Moon. Using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data, I examined the morphology of impact craters and volcanoes that formed subglacially in the northern high-latitude and polar region of Mars.  The majority of my dissertation focused on the petrology of Apollo basalt and impact melt samples from Apollo 14 and 16 using whole-rock and individual crystal analyses with EPMA, ICP-OES (solution-mode), and ICP-MS (solution and laser-ablation modes). 


Research Interests:

I first became interested in Planetary Geology as an undergrad while learning about the meteorite impact theory for the extinction of the dinosaurs.  As such, I am particularly interested in the morphology of impact craters and their products (i.e. impact melt, impact breccias, glass spherules etc.).  These fascinating samples provide us with a snapshot of the composition of the pre-impact surface, and potentially the subsurface.  I am also interested in Volcanology, particularly subglacial and pseudocrater volcanic features, as these provide two key components necessary for life: water and a heat source.  Understanding these landforms and their products on Earth can help constrain a time period when life may have existed on Mars. Finally, I am interested in coupling lunar samples with remote sensing, particularly to locate the source regions for “exotic” samples from various Apollo sites.



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