Planetary Geology, Geophys & Geochem Lab

Aleks Gawronska


Aleks Gawronska's Contact Card & Information.
Org Code: 698
Mail Code 698
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

I am a fellow lunatic trying to learn more about the world around us. As a planetary scientist and igneous petrologist, I am interested in understanding how magmatic and volcanic processes shape and modify rocky bodies across our Solar System by, for example, modifying mantle and crustal lithologies, emplacing secondary crusts, and generating transient atmospheres. To investigate this, I have been investigating lunar magmatic processes as an igneous petrologist for over 7 years, first as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, and recently as a PhD student at Miami University. As a PhD student I also became interested in lunar exploration and in situ resource utilization in support of lunar science particularly with regards to the lunar south pole. This led me to the work I now do at NASA Goddard to investigate whether endogenous volatiles (i.e., those delivered to the surface during volcanic outgassing) are preserved on the Moon, and whether they make up a component of ices that may exist in the lunar south polar region.


Postdoctoral Researcher

Catholic University of America and NASA GSFC - MD

June 2023 - Present

Graduate Research Assistant

Miami University - OH

August 2022 - May 2023

Funded through a Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology solicitation (award number 80NSSC22K1371). 

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Miami University - OH

August 2018 - August 2022

Exploration Science Intern

Lunar and Planetary Institute - TX

May 2019 - August 2019


PhD, Geology, Miami University

BS, Environmental Science, concentration Earth Science, minor Sustainability, University of Notre Dame

Other Professional Information



2022. "The Distribution and Accessibility of Geologic Targets near the Lunar South Pole and Candidate Artemis Landing Sites." The Planetary Science Journal 3 (12): 275 [10.3847/psj/aca590] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "New interpretations of lunar mare basalt flow emplacement from XCT analysis of Apollo samples." Icarus 388 115216 [10.1016/j.icarus.2022.115216] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Mantle." Encyclopedia of Lunar Science 1-8 [10.1007/978-3-319-05546-6_213-1] [Article in Book]

2022. "Moon, Overall Geology." Encyclopedia of Lunar Science 1-10 [10.1007/978-3-319-05546-6_145-1] [Article in Book]

2022. "Basalt." Encyclopedia of Lunar Science 1-11 [10.1007/978-3-319-05546-6_135-1] [Article in Book]

2021. "Numerical modeling of the formation of Shackleton crater at the lunar south pole." Icarus 354 113992 [10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113992] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Geologic context and potential EVA targets at the lunar south pole." Advances in Space Research 66 (6): 1247-1264 [10.1016/j.asr.2020.05.035] [Journal Article/Letter]