I am a planetary geologist interested in the mineralogy and igneous processes/histories of planetary bodies. I study primarily Mars and Earth, although new directions include asteroid compositional studies, and I started out studying volcano-tectonic features on Venus. My primary tool, and thus my specialty, is spectroscopy. The main focus of my research is understanding the spectral features of minerals and rocks in the visible, near infrared, and thermal infrared portions of the electro-magnetic spectrum and using this knowledge to identify and/or characterize the rocks and minerals on planetary surfaces. These data are useful because we can obtain them without being in contact with the planetary surface; we do this via remote sensing (the collection of data from instruments carried by aircraft or spacecraft). Most of my recent work has focused on analysis of data from ongoing NASA spacecraft missions at Mars, but I’m also a Co-Investigator on the OSIRIS-REx and Lucy missions, which will carry TIR spectrometers to carbonaceous and Trojan asteroids.

My curriculum vitae in PDF format (2014).


Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

                    -Carl Sagan

Victoria E. Hamilton

Section Manager, Planetary Physics

Department of Space Science

Southwest Research Institute

1050 Walnut St., Suite 300

Boulder, CO 80302

ph: 720.240.0115; fax: 303.546.9687

e-mail: hamilton@boulder.swri.edu