School of Earth and Space Exploration
Arizona State University">
Mark Robinson is Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Director of the Center for Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University. His research interests are currently focused on the origin and evolution of planetary crusts, including volcanism, tectonism, and regolith development. Investigations are approached using a variety of remote sensing techniques: multispectral imaging, spectroscopy, stereo analysis, and geomorphology utilizing datasets from Apollo, Lunar Orbiter, Clementine, Galileo, NEAR, Lunar Prospector, Mars Global Surveyor, and Mars Odyssey.
As a member of the MESSENGER Science Team he will work to constrain the chronology of volcanism and tectonism on Mercury using the rich datasets to be returned upon the spacecraft's arrival at this enigmatic planet. As PI of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Robinson will lead science analysis of ultra-high resolution (50 cm/pixel) imaging and the first ever global high resolution UV through Visible multispectral mapping (315 nm to 680 nm) of the Moon. The LROC imaging systems provide opportunities to map compositional variations of the lunar crust and reveal details of how airless body regoliths (soils) are formed and evolve with time - key knowledge for planning and executing future lunar exploration endeavors. Robinson is also a member of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM imaging spectrometer team working to find the spectral fingerprints of aqueous and hydrothermal deposits to help unravel the history of water on Mars.