Past Little While

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch...Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum, always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others, but to inform myself.
— John Steinbeck, Travels with Charlie

On this page, you'll find information about some of the research activities that have been a good part of my professional life for the past little while. Feel free to check them out by clicking on the website links and through my CV where you will find a list of publications stemming from these and other research programs in my portfolio.


Kilauea Sunrise

BASALT - Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains 2015-2019

BASALT is a NASA funded research program that investigates terrestrial volcanic terrains and their habitability as analog environments for early and present-day Mars, with all scientific fieldwork being conducted under simulated Mars mission constraints to evaluate strategically selected concepts of operations (ConOps) and capabilities with respect to their anticipated value for the joint human and robotic exploration of Mars. The project began in 2015 and is still on-going.  Click HERE for link to BASALT Special Collection in the journal Astrobiology.


FINESSE West Clearwater field site

FINESSE - Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration 2014-2019

FINESSE is an integrated research program focused on scientifically-driven field exploration. Our research is accomplished through a sequenced field program at two strategically chosen field sites: Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho and at the West Clearwater Lake Impact Structure in northern Canada. These sites have been chosen to address scientific questions pertaining to volcanism and impact science, respectively, as geologic analogs to the Moon, asteroids, and moons of Mars.


Microbialite from Pavilion Lake, Canada

PLRP - Pavilion Lake Research Project 2004-2015

The Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) is an international, multi-disciplinary, science and exploration effort to explain the origin of freshwater microbialites in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Fossil microbialites represent some of the earliest remnants of life on ancient Earth, and were common from ~2.5 billion to 540 million years ago. Today, microbialites are found in environments where conditions are often too harsh for most organisms. However, the microbialites in both Pavilion and Kelly lakes have provided a new environment for the scientific community to study. These lakes demonstrate that large and uniquely shaped structures can also occur in non-extreme environments that also support fish, plants and other species. The microbialites of these modern lakes are relevant to our understanding of ancient microbiaites that were once common and diverse on early Earth, as such, Pavilion Lake has become an exciting field site for Earth scientists and astrobiologists who are interested in the application of the PLRP research to the search for life in our solar system and beyond.