Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Andréa Hughes

(Postdoctoral researcher)

 andrea.c.hughes@nasa.gov

 301.614.6692

Org Code: 675

NASA/GSFC
Mail Code: 675
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: HOWARD UNIV

Brief Bio


Andréa works in the Laboratory for Ionosphere, Thermosphere, Mesosphere Physics within the Heliophysics division of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She has a diverse background in Earth and Planetary Sciences, having studied both Martian surface and atmospheric processes. Andréa earned her bachelor’s degree in Space Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology. She then went on to complete a master’s degree in Planetary Geology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Most recently, Andréa completed her PhD in Engineering Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  

Current Projects


Martian Proton Aurora

Magnetospheres

Andréa's research entails using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft to study the phenomenology, variability, and driving processes of Martian proton aurora. In her current position at NASA, Andréa is studying the relationship between proton aurora and the local magnetic field environment at Mars. The results of this work provide a novel and unprecedented understanding of proton aurora at Mars, which we find to be an important component of present day observations of Martian hydrogen/atmospheric escape and water loss! 

Research Interests


General Research Interests: Interdisciplinary Earth/Planetary Sciences

Solar System: Mars

Andréa has a diverse background in Earth and Planetary Sciences, having studied both Martian surface and atmospheric processes.  She is particularly interested in interactions between the solar wind and the Martian/terrestrial upper atmosphere which lead to the formation and variability of proton aurora activity. She is also excited to apply her knowledge and passion for multi-disciplinary Earth/Planetary Sciences to better understand the Martian planetary system as a whole (and to apply this knowledge to other planetary bodies as well!).


Martian Proton Aurora

Solar System: Atmospheres

Andréa recently completed her PhD in Engineering Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Her PhD dissertation research entailed using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft to study the phenomenology, variability, and driving processes of Martian proton aurora.  Her doctoral dissertation was titled: “Proton Aurora on Mars: Assessing the Variability and Driving Mechanisms”


Ancient Martian Deltas

Solar System: Planetary Geology

Andréa earned her master’s degree in Planetary Geology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she did her thesis on the history of water on Mars as observed through the minerology, morphology, and thermophysical properties of hypothesized Martian deltas. Her thesis was titled: “An Evaluation of the History of Aqueous Activity on Mars through a Survey of Select Hypothesized Martian Deltas and Paleolakes via the Analysis of Mineralogy, Morphology, and Thermophysical Properties”.

Education


Doctor of Philosophy, Engineering Physics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Master of Science, Geology/Planetary Geoscience, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Bachelor of Science, Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology