The Catholic University of America

Dr. Pamela Clark

Personal Information

Code 691 
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Phone: (301) 286-7457
Fax: (301) 286-1681

Research Interests

Scientific specialty: Planetary geochemistry/geophysics. Theoretical and experimental work to support development of X-ray instruments for Geochemical Experiment Packages, particularly on the NEAR mission.   Analysis and interpretation for X-ray direct composition measurements along with a wide range of other remote sensing data, including spectral reflectance and radar observations, for silicate bodies, with particular interests in asteroids, Mercury, and the Moon. 

Positions Held

Current Position:  Research faculty, Physics, Catholic University

Relevant Previous Positions: Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Albright College; 'The Professor', World of Science; 1984-90, Member of technical staff, NASA/JPL; 1982-84, Assistant Professor, Geosciences, Murray State University

Working Group Experience:  NASA Planetary Astronomy Review Panel (97-  ); Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous XGRS Working Group (95-  ); Co-investigator, Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program (94-  ); NASA Space Physics Mercury Orbiter Study Team (89-90); Goldstone Solar System Radar Experimenters Team, Mercury Coordinator (84-90); Lunar Remote Sensing (75-80) and Mercury Research (86-  ) Consortiums.


BA (1973), Chemistry, St. Joseph College, W. Hartford, CT, with Honors 

  • American Chemical Society (ACS) Section Award 
  • Connecticut State Scholarship 

U. Maryland (PhD Dissertation (1979): "Correction, Correlation, Theoretical Considerations of Lunar XRF Intensity Ratios") 

  • Teaching Assistantship, Chemistry 
  • Research Assistantship, Remote sensing/Geochemistry

National Academy of Sciences Resident Research Associateship, NASA/JPL, Pasadena, CA (1980-82) 
NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Research Fellowships, NASA/JPL (1984) and NASA/GSFC (91/92) 
Distinguished Alumna Award, St. Joseph College (1985). 

Current Research Projects

Determination/interpretation of crustal composition from elemental and mineralogical abundances, particularly in regard to iron as basis of interpretation for coming NEAR asteroid geochemical data; analysis of orbital Gamma-ray and X-ray derived elemental concentration maps on scales ranging from local to global to determine inner solar system history and the origin of major terranes and of ground-based radar-derived roughness parameters at different size scales to determine origin of major tectonic features. 

Educational Outreach

Designer/teacher for science courses which emphasize hands-on, interactive, cross-disciplinary approaches to problem-solving. Member, JPL, GSFC, and Planetary Society Speakers' Bureaus. Development of hands-on science demos for the public as 'The Professor' at World of Science (91-93).  Editor, college newspaper (SJC Probe) (72-73), and Mercury Messenger (86-  ). Advisor/Colleague/Mentor for NASA Faculty Fellow, Teacher, and Coop College Student programs at NASA/JPL and NASA/GSFC (86-  ). Coordination, field work direction of undergraduate inter-disciplinary NSF-sponsored environmental study (72-73). 


(also see reference section

  • Clark, P. and I. Adler, Utilization of independent solar flux measurements to eliminate nongeochemical variation in X-ray fluorescence data, PROC LUN PLAN SCI CONF 9TH, 3, 3029-3036, 1978.
  • Clark, P., E. Eliason, C. Andre, and I. Adler, A new color correlation method applied to XRF Al/Si ratios and other lunar remote sensing data, PROC LUN PLAN SCI CONF 9TH, 3, 3015-3027, 1978.
  • Clark, P., Chapter 6: Comparison of theoretically calculated and observed XRF data. In CORRECTION, CORRELATION, AND THEORETICAL CONSIDERATION OF LUNAR X-RAY FLUORESCENCE INTENSITY RATIOS. U.Maryland Dissertation, 1979.
  • Clark, P. and R. Hawke, Compositional variation in the Hadley Apennine Region, PROC LUN PLAN SCI CONF 12B, 727-749, 1981.
  • Clark, P. and R. Hawke, The relationship between geology and geochemistry in the Undarum/Spumans/Balmer Region of the Moon,  EARTH, MOON, PLAN, 38, 97-112, 1987.
  • Clark, P., B.R. Hawke, and A. Basu, The relationship between orbital, Earth-based, and sample data for lunar landing sites, PROC LUN PLAN SCI CONF 20TH, 147-160, 1990. 
  • Clark, P. and R. Hawke, The lunar farside: the nature of highlands east of Smythii, EARTH, MOON, PLAN 53, 93-107, 1991. 
  • Clark, P., S. Floyd, and J. Trombka, The effectiveness of a proportional counter with a specially designed filter as a solar X-ray monitor on the NEAR mission, NASA CP 3353, 31-33, 1997. 
  • Clark, P., and J. Trombka, Remote X-ray spectrometry for NEAR and future missions: Modeling and analyzing X-ray production from source to surface, JGR, 102, 16361-16384, 1997.
  • Clark, P. and L. McFadden, New results and implications for lunar crustal iron distribution using sensor data fusion techniques, JGR (in publication)