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 Planetary Geosciences (3223): People
Abigail  Fraeman's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-301
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Abigail Fraeman

Abigail Fraeman is broadly interested in the origin and evolution of terrestrial bodies in our solar system, and her work has concentrated on investigating how the complex geologic histories of Mars and its moons are preserved in their rock record.  She specialized in remote sensing with a focus on visible and short wavelength infrared reflectance spectroscopy.  Abigail received a PhD in Earth & Planetary Sciences from Washington University in St Louis and a BS in Physics and in Geology & Geophysics and  Yale University.

  • Ph.D., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, 2014
  • A.M., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St Louis, 2011
  • B.S., Geology & Geophysics, Physics, Yale University, 2009

Research Interests

History and evolution of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, Reflectance spectroscopy from the macro- to micro-scale.


MRO - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Icon MRO - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched in 2005 and is on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time.

MER - Mars Exploration Rovers Icon MER - Mars Exploration Rovers
NASA's twin robot geologists, the Mars Exploration Rovers, launched toward Mars on June 10 and July 7, 2003, in search of answers about the history of water on Mars.

MSL - Mars Science Laboratory Icon MSL - Mars Science Laboratory

The Curiosity rover landed at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. It is designed to search for and assess past or present habitable environments, i.e., those capable of supporting microbial life.

Professional Experience
  • JPL, research scientist (2016 – present)
  • Caltech, Texaco Prize Postdoctoral Scholar & Keck Institute for Space Studies Prize Postdoctoral Scholar (2014 – 2016)
  • Washington University in St. Louis, Graduate Researcher, (2009 – 2014)
  • National Academies of Sciences, Intern (2007, 2009)
  • Brown University, Summer Student (2008)
  • Cornell University, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program Student (2006)

Community Service

AGU, GSA Member, Reviewer for Icarus, Planetary and Space Sciences, and Astronomy & Astrophysics Letter. NASA review panel member and external reviewer.  Washington University in St Louis EPS Department Graduate Student President.

Selected Awards
  • Keck Institute for Space Students Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014 – 2016)
  • Caltech Geological & Planetary Science Div. Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014 – 2016)
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards (2013, 2015)
  • P.E.O. Scholar Award (2013)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Spencer T. Olin Fellowship for Women in Graduate Study (2012 – 2014)
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Outstanding Student Paper Award (2012)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2009 -2012)
  • Intel Science Talent Search Finalist (2005)

Selected Publications
  1. Lapotre, M., and 7 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2017. Compositional Variations in Sands of the Bagnold Dunes at Gale Crater, Mars, from Visible-Shortwave Infrared Spectroscopy and Comparison to Ground-Truth form the Curiosity Rover, JGR: Planets, 122, 12.
  2. Ehlmann, B., and 39 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2017. Chemistry, mineralogy, and grain properties of Namib and High dunes, Bagnold dune field, Gale crater, Mars: A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations, JGR: Planets, 122, 12.
  3. Johnson, J., and 14 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2017. Visible/near-infrared spectral diversity from in situ observations of the Bagnold Dune Field sands in Gale Crater, Mars, JGR: Planets, 122, 12.
  4. Arvidson, R., and 13 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2017. Relating geologic units and mobility system kinematics contributing to Curiosity wheel damage at Gale Crater, Mars, Journal of Terramechanics, 73, SI.
  5. Wellington, D., and 9 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2016. Visible to Near-Infrared MSL/Mastcam Multispectral Imaging: Initial Results from Select High-Interest Science Targets with Gale Crater, Mars, American Mineralogist, 102, 6.
  6. Frydenvang, J., and 42 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2017. Diagenetic silica enrichment and late-stage groundwater activity in Gale Crater, Mars, GRL, 44, 10.
  7. Ehlmann, B., and 46 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2016. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-like Worlds, JGR: Planets, 121, 10.
  8. Fraeman, A., et al., 2016. The Stratigraphy and Evolution of Lower Mt. Sharp from Spectral, Morphological, and Thermophysical Datasets, Journal of Geophysical Research, 121, 9.
  9. Lapotre, M., and 13 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2016. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution, Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aaf3206.
  10. Johnson, J., and 13 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2016. Constraints on iron sulfate and iron oxide mineralogy from ChemCam visible/near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy of Mt. Sharp basal units, Gale Crater, Mars, American Mineralogist, doi: 10.2138/am-2016-5553.
  11. Arvidson, R., and 10 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2016. Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Megaripple Crossings up to Sol 710 in Gale Crater, Journal of Field Robotics, doi: 10.1002/rob.21647.
  12. Stack Morgan, K., and 14 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2016. Comparing orbiter and rover image-based mapping of an ancient sedimentary environment, Aeolis Palus, Gale crater, Mars, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.02.024.
  13. Greenberger, R., and 7 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2015. Imaging Spectroscopy of Geological Samples and Outcrops: Novel Insights from Microns to Meters, GSA Today, doi: 10.1130/GSATG252A.1.
  14. Seelos, K., and 7 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2014. Mineralogy of the MSL Curiosity landing site in Gale crater as observed by MRO/CRISM, Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/2014GRL060310.
  15. Arvidson, R., and 25 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2014. Terrain physical properties derived from orbital data and the first 360 sols of Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover operations in Gale Crater, Journal Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1002/2013JE004605.
  16. Fraeman, A., et al 2014. Spectral absorptions on Phobos and Deimos in the visible/near infrared wavelengths and their compositional constraints, Icarus, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2013.11.021
  17. Grotzinger, J., and 72 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2013. A habitable fluvio-lacustrine environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars, Science, doi:10.1126/science.1242777.
  18. Fraeman, A., et al. 2013. A hematite-bearing layer in Gale Crater: mapping and implications for past aqueous conditions, GEOLOGY,doi:10.1130/G43613.1
  19. Fraeman, A., et al., 2012. Analysis of disk-resolved OMEGA and CRISM spectral observations of Phobos and Deimos, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1029/2012JE004137.
  20. Diniega, S., and 18 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2012. Mission to the Trojan Asteroids: lessons learned during a JPL Planetary Science Summer School mission design exercise, Planetary and Space Science, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.11.011.
  21. Ehlmann, B., and 7 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2011. Clay formation environments and potential habitats on early Mars, Nature, doi:10.1038/nature10582
  22. Fraeman, A. and Korenaga, J. 2010. The influence of mantle melting on the evolution of Mars, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icaurs.2010.06.030
  23. McGuire, P., and 14 others inc. Fraeman, A., 2009. An improvement to the volcano-scan algorithm for atmospheric correction of CRISM and OMEGA spectral data, Planetary and Space Sciences, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2009.03.007

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