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Kathryn Stack Morgan

Photo of Kathryn Stack Morgan


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 264-850

Pasadena, CA 91109



Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Planetary Geosciences


Katie Stack Morgan is a research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with interests in Martian sedimentology, stratigraphy, and geologic mapping of planetary surfaces. Her research focuses on the Martian sedimentary rock record, using orbiter and rover image data to understand the evolution of ancient surface processes on Mars. Katie is the Deputy Project Scientist of the Mars 2020 rover mission, and she has been a member of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Science Team since 2012.


  • PhD, Geology, California Institute of Technology (2015)
  • MSc, Geology, California Institute of Technology (2011)
  • BA, Geosciences and Astronomy, Williams College (2008)

Professional Experience

  • 2022-present Collaborator, Science Office, Mars Science Laboratory
  • 2017-present Deputy Project Scientist, Mars 2020 Rover Mission
  • 2014-present Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Geophysics and Planetary Geosciences Group
  • 2016-2022 Participating Scientist, Mars Science Laboratory
  • 2012-2015 Collaborator, Science Office, Mars Science Laboratory

Community Service

Reviewer for Icarus, JGR-Planets, Nature Geosciences, Planetary and Space Science, Marine Geology, Geophysical Research Letters, and Geologos, NASA ROSES review panel member and external reviewer (Mars Data Analysis Program, Lunar Data Analysis Program, and Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools)

Research Interests

Mars Sedimentology, Mars Stratigraphy, Planetary Geologic Mapping, Clastic Sedimentology

Selected Awards

  • JPL Explorer Award (2022)
  • NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal (2022)
  • Mars 2020 Project Voyager Award (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
  • The JPL Edward Stone Award for Outstanding Research Publication (2021)
  • NASA Software of the Year Award, JPL OnSight Team Collaborator (2018)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL (2013, 2015, 2017)
  • Mars Science Laboratory JPL Voyager Award (2015)
  • Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science and Healthcare (2013)
  • Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences Jahns Teaching Prize (2012)
  • Mineralogical Society of America’s American Mineralogist Undergraduate Award (2008)
  • Williams College Freeman Foote Prize in Geology (2008)

Selected Publications

  1. STACK, K.M., W.E. Dietrich, M.P. Lamb, R.J. Sullivan, J.R. Christian, C.E. Newman, C.D. O’Connell-Cooper, J.W. Sneed, M. Day, M. Baker, R.E. Arvidson, C.M. Fedo, S. Khan, R.M.E. Williams, K.A. Bennett, A.B. Bryk, S. Cofield, L.A. Edgar, V.K. Fox, A.A. Fraeman, C.H. House, D.M. Rubin, V.Z. Sun, J.K. Van Beek (2022), Orbital and In-Situ Investigation of Periodic Bedrock Ridges in Glen Torridon, Gale Crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res.-Planets,
  2. STACK, K.M. et al. (2020), Photogeologic Map of the Perseverance Rover Field Site in Jezero Crater Constructed by the Mars 2020 Science Team, Space Science Reviews, https://doi.org10.1007/s11214-020-00739-x.
  3. STACK, K.M., J.P. Grotzinger, M.P. Lamb, S. Gupta, D.M. Rubin, L.C. Kah, L.A. Edgar, D.M. Fey, J.A. Hurowitz, M. McBride, F. Rivera-Hernandez, D.Y. Sumner, J.K. Van Beek, R.M.E. Williams, R. Aileen Yingst (2019), “Evidence for plunging river plume deposits in the Pahrump Hills member of the Murray formation, Gale crater, Mars,” Sedimentology,
  4. STACK, K.M., C.S. Edwards, J.P. Grotzinger, S. Gupta, D.Y. Sumner, F.J. Calef, III, L.A. Edgar, K.S. Edgett, A.A. Fraeman, S.R. Jacob, L.L. Le Deit, K.W. Lewis, M.S. Rice, D. Rubin, R.M.E. Williams, K.H. Williford (2016), Comparing orbiter and rover image-based mapping of an ancient sedimentary environment, Aeolis Palus, Gale crater, Mars, Icarus, Special Issue: MicroMars to MegaMars,
  5. STACK, K.M. and R.E. Milliken (2015), Reflectance spectroscopy of clay-sulfate Mixtures and implications for quantifying hydrated minerals on Mars, Icarus,
  6. STACK, K.M., J.P. Grotzinger, L.C. Kah, M.E. Schmidt, N. Mangold, K.S. Edgett, D.Y. Sumner, K.L. Siebach, M. Nachon, R. Lee, D.L. Blaney, L.P. Deflores, L.A. Edgar, A.G. Fairen, L.A. Leshin, S. Maurice, D.Z. Oehler, M.S. Rice, R.C. Wiens (2014), Diagenetic origin of nodules in the Sheepbed member, Yellowknife Bay formation, Gale Crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res., https://doi.org10.1002/2014JE004617.
  7. STACK, K.M., J.P. Grotzinger, R.E. Milliken (2013), Bed Thickness Distributions on Mars: An Orbital Perspective, J. Geophys. Res.-Planets.,
  8. YINGST, R.A., A.C. Cowart, L.C. Kah, S. Gupta, K. Stack, D. Fey, D. Harker, K. Herkenhoff, M.E. Minitti, S. Rowland (2023), Depositional and Diagenetic Processes of Martian Lacustrine Sediments as Revealed at Pahrump Hills by the Mars Hand Lens Imager, Gale Crater, Mars,” J. Geophys. Res.-Planets,
  9. CRUMPLER, L., B. Horgan, J. Simon, K. Stack, S. Alwmark, D. Gilles, R. Wiens, A. Udry, A. Brown, P. Russell, H. Amundsen, S.-E. Hamran, J. Bell III, D. Shuster, F. Calef, J. Nunez, B. Cohen, D. Flannery, C.D.K. Herd, K. Hand, J. Maki, M. Schmidt, M. Golombek, N. Williams (2023), In Situ Geologic Context Mapping Transect on the Floor of Jezero Crater from Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Observations, J. Geophys. Res.-Planets,
  10. KHAN, S.Y., K.M. Stack, R. Aileen Yingst, K. Bergmann (2022), Characterization of clasts in the Glen Torridon region of Gale crater observed by the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, J. Geophys. Res.-Planets,
  11. FARLEY, K.A., K.M. Stack, et al. (2022), Aqueously altered igneous rocks on the floor of Jezero crater, Mars, Science,
  12. GWIZD, S., C. Fedo, J. Grotzinger, S. Banham, F. Rivera-Hernández, K.M. Stack, K. Siebach, M. Thorpe, L. Thompson, C. O’Connell-Cooper, N. Stein, L. Edgar, S. Gupta, D. Rubin, D. Sumner, A.R. Vasavada (2022), Sedimentological and geochemical perspectives on a marginal lake environment recorded in the Hartmann’s Valley and Karasburg members of the Murray formation, Gale crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res.-Planets,
  13. FEDO, C.M. A.B. Bryk, L.A. Edgar, K.A. Bennett, V.K. Fox, W.E. Dietrich, S.G. Banham, S. Gupta, K.M. Stack, R.M.E. Williams, J.P. Grotzinger, N.T. Stein, D.M. Rubin, G. Caravaca, R.E. Arvidson, M.N. Hughes, A.A. Fraeman, A.R. Vasavada, J. Schieber, B. Sutter (2022), Geology and stratigraphic correlation of the Murray and Carolyn Shoemaker formations across the Glen Torridon region, Gale crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res.-Planets,
  14. TARNAS, J., K. Stack Morgan, M. Parente, J. Mustard, A. Koeppel, K. Moore, B. Horgan, F. Seelos, E. Cloutis, P.B. Kelemen, D. Flannery, A.J. Brown, K. Frizzell, P.C. Pinet (2021), Characteristics, origins, and biosignature preservation potential of carbonate-bearing rocks within and outside of Jezero crater, J. Geophys. Res.-Planets, https://doi.org10.1002/essoar.10506705.1.
  15. RABINOVITCH, J. and K.M. Stack (2021), Characterizing landing site safety on Venus using Venera panoramas and Magellan radar properties, Icarus,
  16. SUN, V.Z. and K.M. Stack (2020), Geologic Map of Jezero Crater and the Nili Planum Region, Mars, USGS Scientific Investigations Map 3464, pamphlet 14 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:75,000,
  17. SUN, V.Z., K.M. Stack, L.C. Kah, W. Fischer, R. Wiens, S. Johnson, M. Nachon, C. House, L. Thompson, A. Williams, R. Kronyak, S. VanBommel (2019), Late-Stage Diagenetic Concretions in the Murray Formation, Gale Crater, Mars, Icarus,
  18. GROTZINGER, J.P., S. Gupta, M.C. Malin, D.M. Rubin, J. Schieber, K. Siebach, D.Y. Sumner, K.M. Stack, et al. (2015), Deposition, exhumation, and paleoclimate of an ancient lake deposit, Gale Crater, Mars, Science,
  19. GROTZINGER, J.P., D.Y. Sumner, L.C. Kah, K. Stack, et al. (2014). A Habitable Fluvio-Lacustrine Environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars, Science,
  20. BEYER, R., K. Stack, J.L. Griffes, R.E. Milliken, K.E. Herkenhoff, S. Byrne, J.W. Holt, J.P. Grotzinger (2012). An atlas of Mars sedimentary rocks as seen by HiRISE, Sedimentary Geology of Mars, eds. J.P. Grotzinger and R.E. Milliken, SEPM Special Publication No. 102,