Dr. David A. Kring
Dr. Kring’s research explores the origin of the solar nebula and its evolution into a geologically active planetary system; the geologic history of the Earth, Moon, Mars, and several smaller planetary bodies; impact cratering on the Earth, its effect on Earth’s environment, and its possible role in the biological evolution of our planet; and the chemical and physical properties of meteorites. He has worked extensively with the Chicxulub impact crater, which his team linked to the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event. This led to an astrobiologically-relevant examination of the environmental and biological consequences of impact cratering throughout Earth history, including an inner solar system bombardment approximately 4 billion years ago. This led, in turn, to his impact-origin of life hypothesis, which focuses on impact-generated hydrothermal systems that were suitable crucibles for prebiotic chemistry and habitats for the origin and early evolution of life on Earth and possibly Mars. He is currently integrating his field experience in impact-cratered terrains with his analytical experience of Apollo, Luna, and lunar meteorite sample collections from the Moon to lead the development of spacecraft missions in response to the President’s lunar exploration initiative. Dr. Kring has incorporated all of these research efforts into his teaching, which has been in laboratory, field, and classroom settings. He has also utilized public lectures and been involved with a variety of print, radio, and television science productions in an effort to educate the general public.