Me in 大涌谷 (Ōwakudani), a volcanic valley about 100 km southwest of Tōkyō, Japan

Hi, my name is Will Vaughan. I'm a graduate student in planetary geology at Brown. I got my B.S. in geology from the University of Chicago in 2011. You can contact me at

My research interests include (1) the igneous petrology of the Moon and Mercury; (2) pits and collapse features on the Moon and Mercury.

My personal interests include (1) East Asian languages, history, and culture; (2) sundials; (3) amateur radio—I'm a licensed amateur radio operator.

My graduate advisor is Jim Head. In addition to having published extensively on the Moon and the terrestrial planets, Jim has travelled to the ends of the Earth, from Antarctica to the ocean floor.

My undergraduate advisor was Larry Grossman, namesake of grossmanite. I wrote my senior thesis under the supervision of Larry and Steve Simon.

Check out (1) my peer-reviewed publications;
(2) my recent talks and conference participation;
(3) my press; and (4) some pictures of me.

  1. Impact melt differentiation in the South Pole-Aitken basin (under review)
  2. Geology and petrology of enormous volumes of impact melt on the Moon: A case study of the Orientale basin impact melt sea (pdf)
  3. Mercury's hollows: Constraints on formation and composition from analysis of geological setting and spectral reflectance (in press, pdf)

  1. 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (18–22 March 2013, The Woodlands, TX)
  2. Microsymposium 54 (16–17 March 2013, The Woodlands, TX)
  3. MESSENGER Science Team Meeting 29 (26–28 February 2013, Laurel, MD)
  4. Micro Meets Macro—Space Horizons 2013 (20–21 February 2013, Providence, RI)
  5. Brown University Planetary "Lunch Bunch" (29 November 2012, Providence, RI)
  6. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting (4–7 November 2012, Charlotte, NC)
  7. The Third Moscow Solar System Symposium (Третий Московский Симпозиум По Солнечной Системе) (8–12 October 2012, Moscow, Russia)
  8. MESSENGER Science Team Meeting 27 (7–9 August 2012, Salem, MA)
  9. Lunar Science Forum (17–19 July 2012, Moffett Field, CA)
  10. Second Conference on the Lunar Highlands Crust (13–15 July 2012, Bozeman, MT)
  11. MESSENGER Science Team Meeting 26 (8–10 May 2012, Vancouver, BC, Canada)
  12. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2012 (22–27 April 2012, Vienna, Austria)
  13. European Lunar Symposium (19–20 April 2012, Berlin, Germany)
  14. 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (19–23 March 2012, The Woodlands, TX)
  15. Brown University Planetary "Lunch Bunch" (23 February 2012, Providence, RI)
  16. MESSENGER Science Team Meeting 25 (7–9 February 2012, Tempe, AZ)
  17. MESSENGER Science Team Meeting 24 (8–10 November 2011, Annapolis, MD)
  18. 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (7–11 March 2011, The Woodlands, TX)

  1. Lunar impacts created seas of molten rock, March 2013 (article, top of /r/science)
  2. In search of Cumberlandite, March 2013 (article)
  3. Recently Named Mercury Craters Honor Blues Singer and Animation Pioneer, December 2012 (article)
  4. The May Day myth, May 2011 (article)

Me in the East Side Railroad Tunnel under Providence
Me in front of Khrushchev's grave in Moscow
Me atop Mt. Fuji in Japan just after sunrise
Me in front of the Hachikō replica in Woonsocket
Eating hot-spring-boiled 黒卵 (kuro-tamago, black eggs)
Me in front of the Tōdai clock tower
Me before the submerged torii at Itsukushima Shrine
My heartfelt wish for academic success

The Palace in the Moon, Kitagawa Utamaro

I last updated this webpage 14 March 2013.