Natalie Curran is a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow (NPP) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She has an undergraduate degree in Geology with Planetary Science and a PhD in Lunar Geology. Her focus is the regolith history and impact flux on the Moon through time.
Regolith History of the Moon
Currently, Natalie's research interests focus on the geology of the Moon. She investigates the history of lunar samples to understand the impact flux at the Moon and in the Solar System through time, and to understand the processes that modify and evolve a planetary crust. She use noble gases to determine the cosmic ray exposure age and formation age (using the Ar-Ar dating technique) of lunar samples. The main analytical instruments she use are noble gas mass spectrometers (HELIX-MC, Noblesse), Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), Electron Microprobes Analyser (EPMA).
Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis
Natalie is Science-PI for one of the nine teams selected to studied pristine lunar samples that have been carefuly stored and untoached in nearly 50 years. Her team will study a vacuum-sealed sample to investigate the geologic history of the Apollo 17 site, looking at the abundance of noble gases in the sample.
Impact history at the Apollo 16 landing site
Investigating impact-melt populations in an Apollo 16 double-drive-tube. Natalie will analyse the argon content of the samples to determine thier Ar-Ar age to further understand the impact flux at the Apollo 16 landing site.
NASA Postdoctoral Fellow
NASA Postdoctoral Program/USRA/NASA GSFC - Greenbelt, Maryland (USA)
March 2017 - Present
Understanding the Apollo 17 landing site by investigating the cosmic ray exposure age of pristine lunar samples (part of the Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis program).
Age determination of Apollo 16 drill core (using the Ar-Ar dating technique) and in situ K-Ar dating techniques for planetary missions.
University of Manchester - Manchester, UK
2016 - March 2017
Lunar Regolith Report and database: Extracting and analysing all the available noble gas data, for lunar samples, in preparation for upcoming Luna-27 missions to the Moon.
Meteor Crater Field Camp
Universities Space Research Association and Royal Astronomical Society (UK) - Meteor Crater, Arizona (USA)
November 2014 - November 2014
Selected participant in a field trip to Barringer ‘Meteor’ Crater. This included a geological mapping project within the ejecta blanket. This fieldtrip was partially funded by the USRA (US) and the RAS (UK).
Lunar Exploration Summer Intern
Universities Space Research Association - Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), Houston, Texas
June 2013 - September 2013
A selected team member designing a sample return mission to the lunar farside using a planetary rover. Final results were presented to a panel of NASA scientist and engineers. Funded by USRA and supervised by Dr David Kring.
Field teaching assistant on a 4th year undergraduate planetary science field trip to The Ries Impact Crater, Germany.
Teaching assistant for three undergraduate courses at the University of Manchester (‘Geophysical Techniques’, Earth Materials and ‘Interpretation of Geological Maps’).
Planned and participated in several school visits, giving talks on the Moon and teaching secondary school students (11-15 years) about planetary science.
Co-Supervisor of 4th-year undergraduate student Tim Gregory (University of Manchester).
NASA Goddard Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (NGAPS)
Co-chair since 2018
2017 - Present
American Geophysical Union
2019 - Present
UK Planetary Forum
Co-chair from 2014 to 2016
2012 - Present
Co-chair of the NASA Goddard Association of Postdoctoral Scholars
Scientific Organizing Committee for this the NASA Exploration Science Forum 2019
Review panalist: NASA PICASSO, NASA Solar System Workings, and external reviews
Co-chair of the UK planetary Forum (2014-2016)
Organised the UK Planetary Forum Early Careers Conference in 2015 and 2016
Member of the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration Team 2013
Reviewer for multiple journals: GCA, JGR, MaPS, and PSS
Selected Public Outreach
2017 - Present
Natalie participates in the International Observe the Moon Night annually. She host a table where everyone can hold and learn all about the Moon.
August 2019 - August 2019
July 2019 - July 2019
August 2019 - August 2019
August 2019 - August 2019
December 2019 - December 2019
Saxena, P., R. M. Killen, V. Airapetian, et al. N. E. Petro, N. M. Curran, and A. M. Mandell. 2019. Was the Sun a Slow Rotator? Sodium and Potassium Constraints from the Lunar Regolith The Astrophysical Journal 876 (1): L16 [10.3847/2041-8213/ab18fb]
Curran, N. M., K. Joy, J. Snape, et al. J. F. Pernet-Fisher, J. D. Gilmour, A. Nemchin, M. Whitehouse, and R. Burgess. 2019. The early geological history of the Moon inferred from ancient lunar meteorite Miller Range 13317 Meteoritics & Planetary Science 54 1401-1430
Snape, J. F., N. M. Curran, M. J. Whitehouse, et al. A. A. Nemchin, K. H. Joy, T. Hopkinson, M. Anand, J. J. Bellucci, and G. G. Kenny. 2018. Ancient volcanism on the Moon: Insights from Pb isotopes in the MIL 13317 and Kalahari 009 lunar meteorites Earth and Planetary Science Letters 502 84--95
Curran, N. 2017. Unravelling the History of the Lunar Regolith PhD Thesis
Gregory, T., K. H. Joy, S. Strekopytov, and N. M. Curran. 2017. Geochemistry and petrology of howardite Miller Range 11100: A lithologically diverse piece of the Vestan regolith Meteoritics & Planetary Science 52 (2): 206--224
Broadley, M. W., R. Burgess, H. Kumagai, N. M. Curran, and C. J. Ballentine. 2017. Halogen variations through the quenched margin of a M ORB lava: Evidence for direct assimilation of seawater during eruption Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 18 (7): 2413--2428
Curran, N., K. Joy, J. Pernet-Fisher, and R. Burgess. 2016. A New Basaltic-Bearing Lunar Meteorite Miller Range 13317 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 47 1516
Joy, K. H., I. A. Crawford, N. M. Curran, et al. M. Zolensky, A. F. Fagan, and D. A. Kring. 2016. The Moon: an archive of small body migration in the solar system Earth, Moon, and Planets 118 (2-3): 133--158
Potts, N. J., A. L. Gullikson, N. M. Curran, et al. J. K. Dhaliwal, M. K. Leader, R. N. Rege, K. K. Klaus, and D. A. Kring. 2015. Robotic traverse and sample return strategies for a lunar farside mission to the Schr"odinger basin Advances in Space Research 55 (4): 1241--1254
Curran, N., K. Joy, and R. Burgess. 2014. Determining the Regolith Histories of Lunar Meteorites Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 45 1467
Bower, D., N. Curran, and B. Cohen. 2017. Determining the Mineralogy of Lunar Samples Using Micro Raman Spectroscopy: Comparisons Between Polished and Unpolished Samples 2017 Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group 2041
McDonald, F., D. Martin, N. Curran, and A. Calzada-Diaz. 2015. Exploring the Moon on Earth Astronomy & Geophysics 56 (6): 6--31