Abigail Fraeman

Advancing Remote Spectroscopy with New Methods and Instrumentation

Personal Website

Where is she NOW? - Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"I am broadly interested in the origin and evolution of terrestrial bodies in our solar system. As a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, I analyzed the composition and geologic history of Mars and its moons using reflectance spectroscopy. This technique is one of the most effective and widely employed tools for remotely determining the composition of planetary bodies. Two of the biggest outstanding challenges in interpreting data collected using this method are the need to better understand how processes of space weathering modify the spectral properties of atmosphere-less solar system bodies, and how to quantitatively estimate the abundances of materials in fine-grained mixed materials. As a KISS Postdoctoral Fellow, I would like to address these challenges. I propose to systematically study the spectral and textural effects of space weathering on asteroids and comets to be able to better interpret remote spectral data from their surfaces. I would also like to explore how to best use emerging JPL/Caltech microspectroscopy technologies to characterize the spectral and textural properties of planetary materials, and to make improvements in how spectra from intimately mixed materials can be quantitatively modeled. Tackling both of these challenges is important in understanding the materials that make up our solar system and the evolutionary history of planetary bodies." (July, 2014)

"The Keck Institute for Space Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship provided me with an amazing opportunity to significantly advance both my research and career goals. Having the flexibility to design my own research program allowed me to tackle exciting, high risk-high reward scientific problems. This freedom also gave me the chance to develop my voice as an independent scientist. In addition to research, the KISS fellowship was also invaluable for allowing me to become part of a multidisciplinary community of extraordinary scientists and engineers. The people I met at KISS workshops, lectures, dinners, and other events cemented my connection between Caltech campus and JPL, and these relationships helped position me on my top choice career path as a JPL researcher." (February 2016)


  1. Postdoctoral Fellowship Final Report, 2016 (7.8 MB .pdf)
  2. Fraeman, A. A., B. L. Ehlmann, R. E. Arvidson, C. S. Edwards, J. P. Grotzinger, R. E. Milliken, D. P. Quinn, and M. S. Rice (2016), The stratigraphy and evolution of lower Mount Sharp from spectral, morphological, and thermophysical orbital data sets, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 121, 1713–1736, doi: 10.1002/2016JE005095.

  3. Fraeman, Abigail A. and Ehlmann, Bethany L. and Northwood-Smith, Geraint W. D. et al. (2016) Using VSWIR Microimaging Spectroscopy to Explore the Mineralogical Diversity of HED Meteorites. In: 8th Workshop on Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing (WHISPERS 2016), 21-24 August 2016, Los Angeles, CA. (In Press)