Dr. Kelsi N. Singer

Principal Scientist at Southwest Research Institute and Deputy Principal Investigator on NASA's New Horizons Mission

Office: 371

Office Phone #: 303-226-5910  

in SWRI ext.: 7258

Link to publications in the NASA Ads

I am a planetary scientist and the Deputy Principal Investigator on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt.  I am honored to have received the AAS/DPS Urey Prize for Early Career Scientific Achievement in 2019.

My areas of expertise include: impact cratering physics with a focus on fragmentation and secondary craters; relating crater populations to impactor populations (scaling and size-frequency distributions); despinning lithospheric stresses and tectonics; long-runout landslides; chaotic terrains; GIS programming; geologic mapping; spacecraft observation planning; spacecraft conops; data analysis; and astrobiology.

Educational and Professional Bio: I received my bachelor's degrees in Astronomy and Anthropology from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2006.  My graduate research focused on the geology and geophysics of the icy satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune and impact physics.  I completed my Ph.D. under Professor Bill McKinnon in 2013 and also conducted a one-year post-doc at Wash U. studying lunar cratering with Professor Brad Jolliff and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team.  In 2014 I joined Southwest Research Institute and the New Horizons mission and have been there ever since!

Research Overview: I have mapped a variety of geologic features on different worlds in the solar system.  I then related these surface features to geophysical models about the body's:

I am also interested in empirical, numerical, and laboratory constraints on cratering physics.  See my research topics here.

I have studied the following solar system bodies: Pluto, Charon, Arrokoth, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Iapetus, Tethys, Enceladus, Triton, Mercury, the Moon, and Mars.