Hannah Kaplan is a planetary scientist at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, CO, where she recently began working on the OSIRIS-REx science team. She uses infrared spectroscopy to remotely characterize the chemistry and mineralogy of planetary surfaces.
Recently, Hannah’s work has focused on the spectral properties of organics in meteorites and on extraterrestrial surfaces such as Ceres. Understanding the makeup of these organics will help to shed light on early solar system formation and, possibly, the precursors of life on Earth. She will continue this work as part of the OSIRIS-REx mission, combining data from two spectrometers to map the surface composition of the asteroid Bennu and inform the selection of a sampling site.
Hannah’s interest in planetary science and remote sensing began while working with her undergraduate advisor, Dr. Ray Arvidson, to describe Martian surface composition along the Opportunity traverse path. She honed this interest at Brown University with Dr. Ralph Milliken, where she continued to study Mars mineralogy along with meteorite and asteroid composition. Hannah holds a B.A. in Earth and Planetary Science from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Brown University in Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science.