Natalie Mary Helena Bridget Curran

Natalie Mary Helena Bridget Curran

  • POST DOC SCHOLAR
  • 301.614.6731
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 698
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: CATHOLIC UNIV OF AMERICA
  • Brief Bio

    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.

    Research Interests

    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).

    Current Projects

    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.

    Positions/Employment

    2/2017 - Present

    NASA Postdoctoral Fellow

    NASA Postdoctoral Program/USRA/NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland (USA)

    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.
     

    12/2016 - 2/2017

    Visiting Scientist

    University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

    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. 

    10/2014 - 10/2014

    Meteor Crater Field Camp

    Universities Space Research Association and Royal Astronomical Society (UK), Meteor Crater, Arizona (USA)

    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).

    5/2013 - 8/2013

    Lunar Exploration Summer Intern

    Universities Space Research Association, Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), Houston, Texas

    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.

    Teaching Experience

    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).
     

    Professional Societies

    NASA Goddard Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (NGAPS), 2017 - Present
    Co-chair since 2018
    American Geophysical Union, 2019 - Present
    UK Planetary Forum, 2012 - Present
    Co-chair from 2014 to 2016

    Professional Service

    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

    International Observe the Moon Night 2017 - Present
    https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon/annual-event/overview/

    Natalie participates in the International Observe the Moon Night annually. She host a table where everyone can hold and learn all about the Moon.

    NASA Explorers Podcast: Apollo 6 / 2019 - 6 / 2019
    https://www.nasa.gov/mediacast/episode-3-moon-girl/
    NASA Explorers Facebook live 7 / 2019 - 7 / 2019
    https://www.facebook.com/NASAExplorersSeries/
    Prince Georges Community TV 7 / 2019 - 7 / 2019
    https://archive.org/details/pgctvmd-Analyzing_Apollo_Moon_Rock_Samples
    WHSV-TV article 11 / 2019 - 11 / 2019
    https://www.whsv.com/content/news/565422762.html

    Publications

    Refereed

    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.

    Curran, N., D. Bower, B. Frasl, and B. Cohen. 2018. "Age Distribution of Lunar Impact-Melt Rocks in Apollo Drive-Tube 68001/2." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 49: 2732.

    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.

    Curran, N., A. Gullikson, N. Potts, et al. J. Dhaliwal, M. Leader, R. Rege, and D. Kring. 2014. "A Robotic Sample Return Mission to the Northern Portion of the Schr"odinger Basin Peak Ring." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 45: 1475.

    Non-Refereed

    Saxena, P., R. Killen, V. Airapetian, et al. N. Petro, N. Curran, and A. Mandell. 2019. "The Sun was likely a Slow Rotator: Lunar Geochemical Constraints." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 50:

    Curran, N., D. Bower, and B. Cohen. 2017. "Near-Surface Age Distribution of Lunar Impact-Melt Rocks." 2017 Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group 2041:

    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.

    Brief Bio

    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.

    Publications

    Refereed

    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

    Curran, N., D. Bower, B. Frasl, and B. Cohen. 2018. "Age Distribution of Lunar Impact-Melt Rocks in Apollo Drive-Tube 68001/2." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 49 2732

    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

    Curran, N., A. Gullikson, N. Potts, et al. J. Dhaliwal, M. Leader, R. Rege, and D. Kring. 2014. "A Robotic Sample Return Mission to the Northern Portion of the Schr"odinger Basin Peak Ring." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 45 1475

    Non-Refereed

    Saxena, P., R. Killen, V. Airapetian, et al. N. Petro, N. Curran, and A. Mandell. 2019. "The Sun was likely a Slow Rotator: Lunar Geochemical Constraints." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 50

    Curran, N., D. Bower, and B. Cohen. 2017. "Near-Surface Age Distribution of Lunar Impact-Melt Rocks." 2017 Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group 2041

    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

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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