Mars Science Laboratory

 

The Project

Operating a Rover, Interpreting Results...

More Mars Pages on This Site

Blake, D. F., R. V. Morris, G. Kocurek, S. M. Morrison, R. T. Downs, D. Bish, D. W. Ming, K. S. Edgett, D. Rubin, W. Goetz, M. B. Madsen, R. Sullivan, R. Gellert, A. H. Treiman, S.M. McLennan, A. S. Yen, J. Grotzinger, D. T. Vaniman, S. J. Chipera, C. N. Achilles, E.B. Rampe, D. Sumner, P-Y Meslin, S. Maurice, O. Forni, O. Gasnault, M. Fisk, M. Schmidt, P. Mahaffy, L. A. Leshin, D. Glavin, A. Steele, C. Freissinet, R. Navarro-González, R. A. Yingst, L. C. Kah, N. Bridges, K. W. Lewis, T. F. Bristow, J. D. Farmer, J. A. Crisp, E. M. Stolper, D.J. Des Marais, P. Sarrazin, and the MSL Science Team, 2013. Curiosity at Gale crater, Mars: Characterization and analysis of the Rocknest sand shadow. Science, v. 341. DOI: 10.1126/science.1239505

Chavdarian*, Gregory V., and Dawn Y. Sumner, 2011 (online 2010).  Origin and evolution of polygonal cracks in hydrous sulphate sands, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.  Sedimentology, v. 58, p. 407-423.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2010.01169.x

Chavdarian*, Gregory V., and Dawn Y. Sumner, 2006.  Cracks and fins in sulfate sand: Evidence for recent mineral-atmospheric water cycling in Meridiani Planum outcrops?  Geology, v. 34, p. 229-232. DOI: 10.1130/G22101.1

Edgett, K.S., M.A. Ravine, M.A. Caplinger, E.H. Jensen, J.A. Schaffner, R.A. Yingst, J.N. Maki, T.J. Parker, A.J. Sengstacken, J.J. Simmonds, R.G. Willson, F.T. Ghaemi, J.F. Bell III, L.J. Edwards, K.E. Herkenhoff, E. Heydari, L.C. Kah, M.T. Lemmon, M.E. Minitti, T.S. Olson, S.K. Rowland, J. Schieber, R.J. Sullivan, P.C. Thomas, D.Y. Sumner and W. Goetz, 2012.  Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) investigation.  Space Science Reviews - Special Issue on Mars Science Laboratory Mission, v. 170, p. 259-317, DOI: 10.1077/s11214-012-9910-4.

Grotzinger, John, David Beaty, Gilles Dromart, Sanjeev Gupta, Mitch Harris, Joel Hurowitz, Gary Kocurek, Scott McLennan, Ralph Milliken, Gian Gabrielle Ori, and Dawn Sumner, 2011.  Mars sedimentary geology: Key concepts and outstanding questions.  Astrobiology, v. 11, p. 77-87, DOI: 10.1089/ast2010.0571.

Grotzinger, John, David Beaty, Gilles Dromart, Sanjeev Gupta, Mitch Harris, Joel Hurowitz, Gary Kocurek, Scott McLennan, Ralph Milliken, Gian Gabrielle Ori, and Dawn Sumner, 2011.  The sedimentary record of Mars.  The Sedimentary Record, v. 9, n. 2, p. 4-8.

Leshin, L.A., P.R. Mahaffy, C.R. Webster, M. Cabane, P. Coll, P.G. Conrad, P.D. Archer, Jr., S.K. Atreya, A.E. Brunner, A. Buch, J.L. Eigenbrode, G.J. Flesch, H.B. Franz, C. Freissinet, D.P. Glavin, A.C. McAdam, K.E. Miller, D.W. Ming, R.V. Morris, R. Navarro-González, P.B. Niles, T. Owen, R.O. Pepib, S. Squyres, A. Steele, J.C. Stern, R.E. Summons, D. Sumner, B. Sutter, C. Szopa, S. Teinturier, M.G. Trainer, J.J. Wray, and J.P. Grotzinger, 2013. The first volatile, isotope and organic analysis of solid samples with the Mars Curiosity rover: Insights into martian fines. Science, v. 341. DOI: 10.1126/science.1238937

Minitti, M.E., L.C Kah, R.A. Yingst, K.S. Edgett, R.C. Anderson, L.W. Beegle, J.L. Carsten, R.G. Deen, W. Goetz, C. Hardgrove, D.E. Harker, K.E. Herkenhoff, J.A. Hurowitz, L. Jandura, M.R. Kennedy, G. Kocurek, G.M. Krezoski, S.R. Kuhn, D. Limonadi, L. Lipkaman, M.B. Madsen, T.S. Olson, M.L. Robinson, S.K. Rowland, D.M. Rubin, C. Seybold, J. Schieber, M. Schmidt, D.Y. Sumner, V.V. Tompkins, J.K. Van Beek, and T. Van Beek, accepted. MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) at the Rocknest Sand Shadow: Science and Science-enabling Activities. Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, Special Issue: Results from the First 100 Sols of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Bradbury Landing Through Rocknest. DOI: 10.1002/2013JE004426

Summons, Roger E., Jan P. Amend, David Bish, Roger Buick, George D. Cody,  David J. Des Marais, Gilles Dromart, Jennifer L. Eigenbrode, Andrew H. Knoll,  and Dawn Y. Sumner, 2011.  Preservation of martian organic and environmental records.  Astrobiology (News and Views section), v. 11, p. 157-181. DOI:10.1089/ast.2010.0506

Sumner, Dawn Y., 2004. Poor preservational potential of organics in Meridiani Planum hematite-bearing sedimentary rocks, Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, v. 109, E12007. DOI:10.1029/2004JE002321.

Williams, R.M.E., J.P. Grotzinger, W.E. Dietrich, S. Gupta, D.Y. Sumner, R.C. Wiens, N. Mangold, M.C. Malin, K.S. Edgett, S. Mauice, O. Forni, O. Gasnault, A. Ollila, H.E. Newsom, G. Dromart, M.C. Palucis, R.A. Yingst, R.B. Anderson, K.E. Herkenhoff, S. Le Mouélic, W. Goetz, M.B. Madsen, A. Koefoed, J.K. Jensen, J.C. Bridges, S.P. Schwenzer, K.W. Lewis, K.M. Stack, D. Rubin, L.C. Kah, J.F. Bell, J.D. Farmer, R. Sullivan, T. Van Beek, D.L. Blaney, O. Pariser, and R.G. Deen, 2013.  Martian fluvial conglomerates at Gale Crater. Science, v. 340, p. 1068-1072. DOI:10.1126/science.1237317

Publications

First self portrait of the rover Curiosity using MAHLI with scoop marks from the first solid sample analyzed on Mars are in the foreground.  (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

My interest in Mars focuses on understanding ancient environments.  What were the conditions on the surface of early Mars?  Could they have hosted life?  Did they host life?


My role in MSL includes many aspects of understanding the geology and environments in Gale Crater.  In addition to being a co-investigator on the MastCamera, MAHLI, and MARDI, I am:

Long Term Planner for operations (2012-present)

Gale Mapping Working Group, chair (2012-present)

Landing Location Working Group, member (2012)

Gale Imaging Working Group, member (2011-2012)

Gale Ascent Team Working Group, member (2011)

Landing Site Working Group, co-chair (2010-2011)

Landing Site Science Steering Group, member (2006-2011)

Preservation of the Martian Organic and Environmental Record Working Group, member (2008-2010)

In practice, much of my time it taken up with following day-to-day decisions, contributing to planning observations, and interpreting data.  We are now starting to write up results for publication.  My first lead publication is a 2 page abstract (pdf) at the 2013 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. I am on 13 abstracts for this meeting!


I have also participated in many outreach activities, including talks and media interviews.  UCOP also decided to highlight my work as part of their Onward California campaign.  I really enjoy sharing the excitement of discovery.

2511    MSL: Geology Posters, Tue, p.m., Town Center Exhibit Area

3108    Ice, Glaciers, and Polar Processes on Mars, Thu, p.m., Waterway Ballroom 4

2185    Exobiology, Fri, a.m., Waterway Ballroom 4

1431    MSL: Geology and Environment, Mon, a.m., Waterway Ballroom 4

1607    MSL: Geology and Environment, Mon, a.m., Waterway Ballroom 4

1617    MSL: Geology and Environment, Mon, a.m., Waterway Ballroom 4

1628    MSL: Geology and Environment, Mon, a.m., Waterway Ballroom 4

1395    MSL: Rocknest, Tue, a.m., Waterway Ballroom 4

1257    MSL: Rocknest Posters, Tue, p.m., Town Center Exhibit Area

1699    MSL: Geology Posters, Tue, p.m., Town Center Exhibit Area

1741    Terrestrial Analogs Posters, Tue, p.m., Town Center Exhibit Area

1844    MSL: Geology Posters, Tue, p.m., Town Center Exhibit Area

2892    MSL: Geology Posters, Tue, p.m., Town Center Exhibit Area

LPSC 2013 Abstracts

External Links

Cracks, knobs and blebs near the John Klein site where we drilled our first sample.

(Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)