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Dr. David A. Crown

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Senior Scientist

Currently resides in AZ
crown [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Ceres, Dwarf planets, Earth, Icy satellites, Io, Mars, Moon, Venus
Disciplines/Techniques: Crater Counting, Education/Public Outreach (EPO), Field Work, Geology, Geomorphology, Mapping, Radar, Remote sensing, Tectonics, Volcanism
Missions: Dawn, Mars Odyssey, MRO

Research Interests

Dr. David Crown's research interests are in planetary geology, physical volcanology, and remote sensing, with a focus on understanding the geologic histories of the rocky planetary bodies in the solar system. Investigations of the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Venus, Io, and Ceres are accomplished by a combination of geomorphologic studies using spacecraft images, spectral analyses of remotely acquired data sets, geologic field investigations of analogue features on Earth, and quantitative analyses including statistical characterizations, theoretical modeling, and computer simulations.

His current research projects examine fluvial and other erosional processes that have severely modified the oldest parts of the Martian surface, as well as include comparative analyses of volcanic deposits, eruption dynamics, and volcanic flow emplacement processes on Earth, Venus, Mars, and Io. Studies of volcanic landforms in Hawaii, the western and southwestern U.S., and in the Central Andes of Bolivia are designed to develop methodologies for interpreting volcanic processes from morphologic characteristics and remote sensing signatures that can be utilized to assess planetary volcanism. Geological mapping studies of Mars, Venus, Io, and Ceres provide fundamental information on their geological histories by documenting the spatial distribution of geologic terrains from which interpretations of temporal changes in surface, atmospheric, and interior conditions can be made.

Professional History

David is a 1985 graduate (Magna Cum Laude, Honors) of Brown University, with a B.S. degree in Geology-Physics/Mathematics, and received a Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University in 1991. He was formerly a National Research Council Research Associate at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and member of the faculty of the Department of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of 11 geologic maps and more than 50 other scientific publications. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Baker Demonstration School in 1977 and New Trier High School East in 1981.

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