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Angela Green, Lunar Sample Processor

April 28, 2011

Just before LPSC, I received a note from Angela Green, a contractor at Johnson Space Center.  Intrigued by her job title, I asked her to talk to us for a bit about what a lunar sample processor does and what led her to this job.  Angela earned her M.S. from Louisiana State University (LSU) in May 2008, with thesis: “Characterization of the Lucinid Bivalve-Bacteria Symbiotic System: The Significance of the Geochemical Habitat on Bacterial Symbiont Diversity and Phylogeny.”  She answered the following questions by email:

1.       What first interested you in space science?

This I owe to my father.  He was a super science geek.  He was a mechanic by trade, but loved all things NASA and Space Science.  He would take us to see the shuttle being brought back to Ellington, bring  us to NASA open houses every year, take us to the Science Museums free events, and loved to just come walk around campus back when it was open to the public.  His enthusiasm made me enthusiastic, and I found I had a true love for all things science, and am now a super science geek.  He would love what I do, and he would be so proud.

2.      You made the transition from biology to geology for graduate school.  How do those fields intersect for your research?  Did you publish your thesis results in a journal article?

My work in graduate school was focused on Geomicrobiology, which allowed me to merge the two fields, as well as geochemistry, and microbiology.  I love all science, but have really found myself in geology, specifically lunar geology. 

3.      What does a lunar sample processor do?

It is my job to preserve, protect, and distribute the lunar rocks that were brought back from the moon on the Apollo missions.  These samples are used for scientific and educational studies.

4.      How can people request lunar samples for their own study?

Samples and thin sections can be requested for both research and classroom study.  There is training as well stringent security guidelines that must be met in order to request samples.  All the information can be found on the NASA Lunar Sample Curation webpage under “How to request samples” at

Thank you, Angela!

Angela is being featured here as one of 51 Women in Planetary Science, a series of interviews with successful women scientists on career choices, sequencing, publishing, review panels, and other tips for success. Questions or suggestions for future interviews (we encourage both senior and junior scientists to volunteer to do interviews!) can be sent to us directly or to our email list, which all planetary science women can join!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Caleb Smith permalink
    May 9, 2011 11:08 am


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