Department of planetary Sciences
Planetary Science Institute
Dr. Banks received her PhD in Geosciences at the University of Arizona in 2009, studying glacial erosional and depositional morphologies in the Argyre Planitia in the southern hemisphere of Mars. She subsequently worked as a Science Technician on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Ice Core Project and was a member of the science support team for NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS). Prior to joining PSI in 2013, Dr. Banks was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian' Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum.
Dr. Maria Banks' main research interests involve studying and understanding the geologic history and evolution of planetary bodies and moons due to processes that act on and near their surfaces. She specializes in quantitative geomorphology and the analysis of landforms and landscapes through spacecraft images. She is interested in combining these images with other data sets (i.e. altimetry data, thermal inertial data, spectral data) and in conducting research and fieldwork focused on understanding terrestrial analogues.