SWS: Dr. Maria Banks, Geologist (CEPS, NASM)

Dr. Banks received her PhD in Geology and Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 2009.

Dr. Banks' graduate studies primarily involved the study of glaciers and ice sheets, climate change, and ice-related erosional and depositional landforms on Earth and Mars. As a graduate student, Banks worked with images of the Martian surface acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). She was also a member of the Phoenix Mars Mission team.

Dr. Banks is currently a Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellow with the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies. Her current research involves studying tectonic features, called lobate scarps, on the Moon and Mercury using images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and data from the MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) mission. She also continues her work with the HiRISE science team detecting changes in and measuring migration rates for sand dunes and ripples on the surface of Mars.

In addition to geology and planetary science, Dr. Banks enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities and has an undergraduate degree in music performance.

Dr. Banks recently completed several months of field work in Antarctica as a science technician with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Ice Core Project.

Additional information:
  Image Dr. Banks on a glacier in Alaska. Image

Dr. Banks making ice core measurements in Antarctica. Image

Dr. Banks in the field in Hawaii studying a lava flow.


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