MIT EAPS Directory

Maria Zuber

E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics, Vice President for Research, MIT

Maria Zuber’s research focuses on the structure and tectonics of solid solar system objects. She specializes in using gravity and laser altimetry measurements to determine interior structure and evolution and has been involved in more than half a dozen NASA planetary missions aimed at mapping the Moon, Mars, Mercury, as well as several asteroids. She was principal investigator for the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) and as such became the first woman to lead a NASA spacecraft mission.

Zuber received her B.A. in astronomy and geology from the University of Pennsylvania. She also earned Sc.M. and Ph.D. degrees, both in geophysics, from Brown University. Zuber later worked at Johns Hopkins University and served as a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. She joined the faculty of MIT in 1995 where, as chair of the Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences between 2003 to 2012, she became the first woman to lead a science department at MIT. 

She currently serves as MIT's Vice President for Research.

Wikipedia

Publications

Alberts, B. and Cicerone, R. J. and Fienberg, S. E. and Kamb, A., et al. (2015) Self-correction in science at work Science, vol. 348, no. 6242, pp. 1420-1422

Byrne, P. K. and Klimczak, C. and McGovern, P. J. and Mazarico, E. and James, P. B. and Neumann, G. A. and Zuber, M. T. and Solomon, S. C. (2015) Deep-seated thrust faults bound the Mare Crisium lunar mascon Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 427, pp. 183-190

Genova, A. and Goossens, S. and Lemoine, F. G. and Mazarico, E. and Fricke, S. K. and Smith, D. E. and Zuber, M. T. (2015) Long-term variability of CO2 and O in the Mars upper atmosphere from MRO radio science data Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, vol. 120, no. 5, pp. 849-868

James, P. B. and Zuber, M. T. and Phillips, R. J. and Solomon, S. C. (2015) Support of long-wavelength topography on Mercury inferred from MESSENGER measurements of gravity and topography Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, vol. 120, no. 2, pp. 287-310

Johnson, B. C. and Minton, D. A. and Melosh, H. J. and Zuber, M. T. (2015) Impact jetting as the origin of chondrules Nature, vol. 517, no. 7534, pp. 339-U421

Mazarico, E. and Genova, A. and Neumann, G. A. and Smith, D. E. and Zuber, M. T. (2015)Simulated recovery of Europa's global shape and tidal Love numbers from altimetry and radio tracking during a dedicated flyby tour Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 42, no. 9, pp. 3166-3173

Miljkovic, K. and Wieczorek, M. A. and Collins, G. S. and Solomon, S. C. and Smith, D. E. and Zuber, M. T. (2015) Excavation of the lunar mantle by basin-forming impact events on the MoonEarth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 409, pp. 243-251

Gregory A. Neumann, Maria T. Zuber, Mark A. Wieczorek, James W. Head, David M. H. Baker, Sean C. Solomon, David E. Smith, Frank G. Lemoine, Erwan Mazarico, Terence J. Sabaka, Sander J. Goossens, H. Jay Melosh, Roger J. Phillips, Sami W. Asmar, Alexander S. Konopliv, James G. Williams, Michael M. Sori, Jason M. Soderblom, Katarina Miljković, Jeffrey C. Andrews-Hanna, Francis Nimmo and Walter S. Kiefer (2015), Lunar impact basins revealed by Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory measurements, Science Advances 30 Oct 2015, Vol. 1, no. 9, e1500852, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1500852

Perry, M. E. and Neumann, G. A. and Phillips, R. J. and Barnouin, O. S., et al. (2015) The low-degree shape of Mercury Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 42, no. 17, pp. 6951-6958

Soderblom, J. M. and Evans, A. J. and Johnson, B. C. and Melosh, H. J., et al. (2015) The fractured Moon: Production and saturation of porosity in the lunar highlands from impact cratering Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 42, no. 17, pp. 6939-6944

Stark, A. and Oberst, J. and Preusker, F. and Gwinner, K. and Peale, S. J. and Margot, J. L. and Phillips, R. J. and Zuber, M. T. and Solomon, S. C. (2015) Mercury's rotational parameters from MESSENGER image and laser altimeter data: A feasibility study Planetary and Space Science, vol. 117, pp. 64-72

Stark, A. and Oberst, J. and Preusker, F. and Peale, S. J. and Margot, J. L. and Phillips, R. J. and Neumann, G. A. and Smith, D. E. and Zuber, M. T. and Solomon, S. C. (2015) First MESSENGER orbital observations of Mercury's librations Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 42, no. 19, pp. 7881-7889

Tian, Z. L. and Zuber, M. T. and Stanley, S. (2015) Magnetic field modeling for Mercury using dynamo models with a stable layer and laterally variable heat flux Icarus, vol. 260, pp. 263-268

Tye, A. R. and Fassett, C. I. and Head, J. W. and Mazarico, E. and Basilevsky, A. T. and Neumann, G. A. and Smith, D. E. and Zuber, M. T. (2015) The age of lunar south circumpolar craters Haworth, Shoemaker, Faustini, and Shackleton: Implications for regional geology, surface processes, and volatile sequestration Icarus, vol. 255, pp. 70-77

Awards

Freshman Advising Student Champion Award (2015) | Elected Member, Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars (2015) | Buzz Aldrin Space Exploration Award, The Explorers Club (2014) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Dawn Science Team (2013) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter-Laser Ranger Optical Communication Experiment (2013) | Space Pioneer Award in Science and Engineering, GRAIL Team, National Space Society (2013) | MIT James R. Killian, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award (2012-2013) | Harry H. Hess Medal, American Geophysical Union (2012) | NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal (2012) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the GRAIL Science Team (2012) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the GRAIL Project Office Team (2012) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the GRAIL Mission Formulation Team (2012) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Team (2010) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Laser Ranging Team (2009) | U.S. News & World Report/Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership List of America’s Best Leaders (2008) | Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, Brown University (2008) | Fellow, Geological Society of America (2008) | Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007) | Carl Sagan Memorial Award, American Astronautical Society/Planetary Society (2007) | G. K. Gilbert Award, Geological Society of America (2007) | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Outstanding Teamwork Award for the Earth-Mars Laser Ranging Experiment (2006) | Horace Mann Medal, Brown University (2005) | Member, American Philosophical Society (2005) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Science Definition Team (2005) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Mercury Laser Altimeter Instrument Team (2004) | NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (2004) | Member, National Academy of Sciences (2004) | Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Mars Global Surveyor Project Science Team (2003) | List of 50 Most Important Women in Science, Discover Magazine (November) (2002) | Scientific Achievement Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, New England Section (2002) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Shoemaker Mission Team (2002) | Fellow, American Geophysical Union (2001) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Mars Program Independent Assessment Team (2000) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Mars Global Surveyor Science Team (2000) | E. A. Griswold Chair in Geophysics, MIT (1998) | Asteroid 6635 Zuber, discovered and designated by Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker at Palomar Observatory in 1997; approved by the IAU in 1998 (1998) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft encounter of Asteroid 253 Mathilde (1998) | NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award (1995) | David S. Olton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Student Research, Johns Hopkins University (1995) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Deep Space Program Science Experiment Lunar Orbit Mission Operations Support Team (1994) | Oraculum Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Johns Hopkins University (1994) | Second Decade Society Faculty Development Chair, Johns Hopkins University (1993-1995) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Mars Observer Payload Development Team (1993) | NASA Outstanding Performance Award (1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988) | NASA Group Achievement Award for the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter Project (1991) | NASA Peer Award (1988) | Sigma Xi (1985, 1983)