Dr. Louise M. Prockter
Dr. Louise Prockter’s scientific research focuses on the geomorphology and structural tectonics of icy satellites and other solar system bodies. She is particularly interested in surface history and evolution as evidenced by volcanism and tectonism. Examples of her research include understanding how surface grooves on Eros indicate interior structure, identification of the youngest volcanism on Mercury, and the discovery of plate tectonics on Europa. She uses remote sensing data from planetary missions, primarily imaging data combined with topographic and spectral data.
Throughout her career, Dr. Prockter has been involved in robotic planetary missions, including Galileo, NEAR, MESSENGER, and Europa Clipper.
Louise Prockter, former director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, is currently the Chief Scientist of the Space Exploration Sector at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She has been involved in robotic planetary missions throughout her career. She served as an Imaging Team associate on the Galileo and Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) missions; was a Deputy Project Scientist and Co-Investigator on the MESSENGER mission; was a Deputy Project Scientist for the Europa Clipper mission, and is currently a Co-Investigator on that mission’s camera team. She earned her Ph.D. in Planetary Geology from Brown University. She has participated in numerous NRC advisory panels, including the Committee for Planetary Exploration (COMPLEX), the Space Studies Board, and the Planetary Decadal Survey, as well as NASA’s Planetary Science Subcommittee. She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.