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Karen Stockstill Cahill Personal/Professional Page


My research utilizes interdisciplinary approach integrating remote sensing and geochemistry to better understand the geologic history of planetary bodies. I have worked with data collected by various missions, including Clementine, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Orbiter, and MESSENGER as well as Apollo samples and Martian meteorites in the course of my studies and career. I began my research career as a Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) summer intern examining Iapetus with VIS-NIR telescopic data and then became an LPI visiting graduate fellow analyzing Apollo 17 impact melt breccias and the lunar Clementine data set.  Afterward I sought to ground my planetary pursuits with additional Earth Science perspectives by characterizing geologic samples and modeling the geochemical attributes of the Burroughs Mountain lava flow on Mt. Rainier, Washington for my Master’s thesis.  For my Ph.D., I turned back to planetary science and Mars, characterizing parental melts of the Nakhla meteorite by rehomogenizing melt inclusions as well as using TES and THEMIS data of Martian craters to search for mineralogic evidence for a lacustrine history. My post-graduate work has included spectral modeling of Mars surface units that identified ultramafic materials within crater floors, petrologic interpretation and modeling of Mercury surface compositions derived from MESSENGER, and spectral modeling of lunar glass simulants. I continue to use the intersection of remote sensing and geochemistry to study Mars, Mercury, the Moon, and beyond.

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