Sarah Nichole Valencia

Sarah Nichole Valencia

  • POST-DOC SCIENTIST
  • 301.614.6831
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 698
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: UNIV OF MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Sarah Valencia is a lunar petrologist with the University of Maryland College Park at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland. Her work focuses on the evolution of igneous systems on the Moon. In particular, she is interested in Moon rocks with unusual compositions. To accomplish her research goals, Dr. Valencia studies rocks from the Moon – both from the Apollo sample collection and lunar meteorites. One area of her research is trying to understand how granite forms on the Moon. Unlike Earth, the Moon lacks the water and plate tectonics typically associated with granite formation. Yet, small fragments of granite occur within the Apollo sample collection, and granitic bodies have been detected from spacecraft orbiting the Moon. Dr. Valencia studies fragments of lunar granite and rocks associated with granite to understand the chemistry of these rocks, how they are related, and how they might have formed.  Dr. Valencia also uses data gathered by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been in orbit around the Moon since 2009, to study the evolution of lunar rocks on the surface of the Moon. One region she is particularly interested in is the Apennine Bench Formation, near the Apollo 15 landing site in Mare Imbrium. This geologic formation may represent the only exposure of KREEP basalt on the lunar surface. KREEP basalts have been found in the Apollo sample collection but have not been unequivocally been identified on the lunar surface. Dr. Valencia uses the images taken by the cameras aboard LRO to study the surface properties of the Apennine Bench to understand it’s origin and evolution.

    Positions/Employment

    5/2018 - Present

    Postdoctoral Scholar

    University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland

    CRESST II Program through NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center

    Education

    Washington University – St. Louis, MO

    August 2012 – May 2017

    M.A. Earth & Planetary Sciences May 2014

    Ph.D. Earth & Planetary Sciences May 2017

    Advisors: Bradley L. Jolliff, Randy L. Korotev

    Dissertation Title: The Evolution of Igneous Rocks on the Moon: Insights from Lunar Meteorites and Apollo 12

     

    University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI

    August 2007 – December 2010

    B.S. Geological Sciences December 2010

    Awards

    Microanalysis Society Early Career Scholar – May 2016

    Carl Tolman Prize for Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant – October 2015

    Professional Societies

    Next Generation of Lunar Scientists and Engineers, 2013 - Present
    Organizing Committee
    American Geophysical Union, 2018 - Present
    Association for Women Geoscientists, 2018 - Present
    Lunar Exploration and Analysis Group (LEAG), 2020 - Present
    Early Career Representative

    Professional Service

    Guest Associate Editor

    Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, “50 Years of Apollo Science” - 2019

     

    NASA Review Panels

    Executive Secretary – 2014, 2018

    Panelist 

     

    Meeting Recorder

    Lunar Science for Landed Missions Workshop – January 10-12, 2018

    New Views of the Moon Workshop – May 24-26, 2016

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Moriarty, D. P., R. N. Watkins, S. N. Valencia, et al. J. D. Kendall, A. J. Evans, and N. E. Petro. 2020. "Evidence for a Stratified Upper Mantle Preserved within the South Pole – Aitken Basin." Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, (In Press) [10.1029/2020JE006589]

    Moriarty, D. P., D. P. Moriarty, S. N. Valencia, R. N. Watkins, and N. E. Petro. 2020. "Illuminating the Lunar Mantle: A Brief Assessment of the State of Current Knowledge and Critical Exploration Targets for Advancing our Understanding." Nature Communications, (Submitted)

    Valencia, S. N., B. L. Jolliff, and R. L. Korotev. 2019. "Petrography, relationships, and petrogenesis of the gabbroic lithologies in Northwest Africa 773 clan members Northwest Africa 773, 2727, 3160, 3170, 7007, and 10656." Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 54 (9): 2083-2115 [10.1111/maps.13370]

    Jawin, E. R., S. N. Valencia, R. N. Watkins, et al. J. M. Crowell, C. R. Neal, and G. Schmidt. 2018. "Lunar Science for Landed Missions Workshop Findings Report." Earth and Space Science, 6: 2-40 [10.1029/2018ea000490]

    Elder, C., J. Molaro, A. Khayat, et al. A. Chopra, L. Blum, S. Valencia, K. Mitchell, A. Delgado, L. Jozwiak, M. Landis, J. Watkins, A. Bramson, A. Davis, M. Slipski, C. Budney, C. Young, C. Chu, A. Das, J. Fulton, and H. Chilton. 2018. "OCEANUS: A high science return Uranus orbiter with a low-cost instrument suite." Acta Astronautica , 148: 1-11 [10.1016/j.actaastro.2018.04.019]

    Non-Refereed

    Valencia, S. N., R. Watkins, J. A. Richardson, et al. T. Glotch, E. Jawin, S. Ravi, and B. Jolliff. 2020. "End-member volcanism in the absence of plate tectonics: Silicic volcanism on the Moon." 2023–2032 NAS Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey

    Teaching Experience

    Teaching Assistant: Earth Materials

    Dr. Jill Pasteris

    Fall semesters 2013, 2104, 2015


    Teaching Assistant: Earth and the Environment

    Dr. Michael Wysession

    Fall semester 2012

     

    Selected Public Outreach

    Letters to a Pre-Scientist 2016 - 2017
    https://www.prescientist.org/

    Pen pal program where elementary to high school aged students are matched with scientist pen pals.

    Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students 2016 - 2018
    https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration/education/hsResearch/

    Scientist advisor for students participating in ExMASS – a program managed by the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration, with the NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute during which high school students undertake a research project and prepare a poster presentation.

    Career paths in Science 2018 - 2018

    Presentations to middle and high school students about career paths in science, a day in the life of a scientist, and opportunities for students.

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Sarah Valencia is a lunar petrologist with the University of Maryland College Park at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland. Her work focuses on the evolution of igneous systems on the Moon. In particular, she is interested in Moon rocks with unusual compositions. To accomplish her research goals, Dr. Valencia studies rocks from the Moon – both from the Apollo sample collection and lunar meteorites. One area of her research is trying to understand how granite forms on the Moon. Unlike Earth, the Moon lacks the water and plate tectonics typically associated with granite formation. Yet, small fragments of granite occur within the Apollo sample collection, and granitic bodies have been detected from spacecraft orbiting the Moon. Dr. Valencia studies fragments of lunar granite and rocks associated with granite to understand the chemistry of these rocks, how they are related, and how they might have formed.  Dr. Valencia also uses data gathered by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been in orbit around the Moon since 2009, to study the evolution of lunar rocks on the surface of the Moon. One region she is particularly interested in is the Apennine Bench Formation, near the Apollo 15 landing site in Mare Imbrium. This geologic formation may represent the only exposure of KREEP basalt on the lunar surface. KREEP basalts have been found in the Apollo sample collection but have not been unequivocally been identified on the lunar surface. Dr. Valencia uses the images taken by the cameras aboard LRO to study the surface properties of the Apennine Bench to understand it’s origin and evolution.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Moriarty, D. P., R. N. Watkins, S. N. Valencia, et al. J. D. Kendall, A. J. Evans, and N. E. Petro. 2020. "Evidence for a Stratified Upper Mantle Preserved within the South Pole – Aitken Basin." Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets (In Press) [10.1029/2020JE006589]

    Moriarty, D. P., D. P. Moriarty, S. N. Valencia, R. N. Watkins, and N. E. Petro. 2020. "Illuminating the Lunar Mantle: A Brief Assessment of the State of Current Knowledge and Critical Exploration Targets for Advancing our Understanding." Nature Communications (Submitted)

    Valencia, S. N., B. L. Jolliff, and R. L. Korotev. 2019. "Petrography, relationships, and petrogenesis of the gabbroic lithologies in Northwest Africa 773 clan members Northwest Africa 773, 2727, 3160, 3170, 7007, and 10656." Meteoritics & Planetary Science 54 (9): 2083-2115 [10.1111/maps.13370]

    Jawin, E. R., S. N. Valencia, R. N. Watkins, et al. J. M. Crowell, C. R. Neal, and G. Schmidt. 2018. "Lunar Science for Landed Missions Workshop Findings Report." Earth and Space Science 6 2-40 [10.1029/2018ea000490]

    Elder, C., J. Molaro, A. Khayat, et al. A. Chopra, L. Blum, S. Valencia, K. Mitchell, A. Delgado, L. Jozwiak, M. Landis, J. Watkins, A. Bramson, A. Davis, M. Slipski, C. Budney, C. Young, C. Chu, A. Das, J. Fulton, and H. Chilton. 2018. "OCEANUS: A high science return Uranus orbiter with a low-cost instrument suite." Acta Astronautica 148 1-11 [10.1016/j.actaastro.2018.04.019]

    Non-Refereed

    Valencia, S. N., R. Watkins, J. A. Richardson, et al. T. Glotch, E. Jawin, S. Ravi, and B. Jolliff. 2020. "End-member volcanism in the absence of plate tectonics: Silicic volcanism on the Moon." 2023–2032 NAS Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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