Astrochemistry Laboratory

Picture of Natasha M. Johnson

Dr. Natasha M. Johnson

Astrochemistry Laboratory, Code 691
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Phone: (301) 286-3919

Email: Dr. Natasha M. Johnson

Current Position

    Scientist, Astrochemistry Laboratory


  • 2002 - Ph.D. (Earth & Planetary Sciences) Washington University in St. Louis
  • 1998 - A.M. (Earth & Planetary Sciences) Washington University in St. Louis
  • 1996 - B.A., cum laude (Math/Geology/Comp. Sci./Physics) University of Arizona, Tucson

Research Areas

    Gas-grain catalytic reactions, Geochemical interaction of planetary surfaces and/or atmospheres, Production of organics in the pre-solar nebula, Instrument development/fabrication

Professional Experience

  • Management Associate, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, 2007-2009
  • Post-doctoral Researcher, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 2002-2007
  • Principal Solar Observer/Data Analyst, 60ft Solar Tower, Mt. Wilson Observatory, 1991-1996
  • Museum Guide, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, CA, 1986-1995

Awards and Fellowships

  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Management Associateship, 2007-2009
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship, 2002-2005
  • First recipient of "Best Planetary Science Student Paper Award" jointly sponsored by the Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Division of the Geological Society of America 2000
  • LPSC/GSA Stephen E. Dwornik Planetary Science Student Paper Honorable Mention 2000
  • NASA - Missouri Space Grant Fellowship (Planetary Chemistry Laboratory) 1996-1998
  • NASA - Undergraduate Space Grant Fellowship (LPL, Univ of Arizona) 1990-1991
  • COOP with Space Physics and Astrophysics, JPL (SWOOPS instrument on Ulysses) - 1990
  • Planetary Geology & Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program (PGGURP) position at JPL during Voyager encounter with Neptune - 1989

Selected Publications

  • 2008  "A self-perpetuating catalyst for the production of complex organic molecules in protostellar nebulae," J.A. Nuth, III, N.M.Johnson, and S.Manning, Ap. J., 673(2), L225-L228.
  • 2006  "A mechanism for the equilibrium growth of mineral crystals in AGB stars on 10^5-year timescales," J.A. Nuth, III, G.M. Wilkinson, N.M. Johnson, and M. Dwyer. Ap. J., 644(2), 1164-1170.
  • 2006  "Crystalline silicates in Comets: How did they form?" J.A. Nuth, III and N.M. Johnson, Icarus, 180, 243-250.
  • 2006  "Chemical Processes in the Interstellar Medium: Source of the Gas and Dust in the Primitive Solar Nebula," J.A. Nuth, III, S. B. Charnley and N. M. Johnson 2006. In Meteorites and the Early Solar System II (D. Lauretta et al., eds.), Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson, p.147-167.
  • 2004   "Thermogravimetric measurement of the vapor pressure of iron from 1573 K to 1973 K," F.T. Ferguson, J.A. Nuth, III, and N.M. Johnson, J. Chem. Eng. Data, 49(3), 497-501.
  • 2003  "Tremolite decomposition on Venus, II. Products, kinetics and mechanism," N.M. Johnson, and B. Fegley, Jr., Icarus, 164(2), 317-333.
  • 2002  "Longevity of fluorine-bearing termolite on Venus" N.M. Johnson and B. Fegley, Jr., Icarus, 165(2), 340-348.
  • 2002  "Atmosphere-surface interaction on Venus," N.M. Johnson and B. Fegley, Jr., Adv. Space Res., 29,(2), 233-241.
  • 2000  "Water on Venus: New insights from termolite decomposition," N. Johnson and B. Fegley, Jr.,Icarus, 146, 301-306.

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration