Planetary Scientist, Feminist, Artist, Nerd
Jamie Molaro, PhD
I am a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. My work focuses on fracture processes and breakdown in rocky and icy material on airless bodies. I study the role of thermally induced stresses in boulder disaggregation and regolith production, and the contribution this makes to landscape evolution on the Moon, asteroids, dwarf planets, comets, and icy moons. I also work to understand how this cyclic processing changes the bulk properties of materials, the differences between rock and ice in the outer solar system, and how competing processes (such as ice sintering) may interact with surface breakdown. I study these processes at a variety of scales, from micro- to macroscopic, working to build an in-depth understanding the role thermal forcing plays in surface evolution. I employ primarily numerical modeling techniques in my research, along with the occasional laboratory experiment and terrestrial field study. In my free time, I run science-art shows, make stuff, and play lots of board and video games.