Professor Pieters has been a faculty member at Brown since 1980, after having worked several years at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sarawak. Her general research efforts include planetary exploration and evolution of planetary surfaces with an emphasis on remote compositional analyses.
Remote sensing techniques continue to be a primary exploration tool for understanding the surfaces of planets, and the application of remotely sensed data to problems in the geological sciences often requires incorporating additional information from other science areas (engineering, astronomy, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, etc.). Compositional information is derived from visible, near-infrared, and mid-infrared radiation that has interacted with surface materials. Remotely acquired compositional information is primary data used to address a variety of geologic issues (recent examples include identifying and characterizing mafic plutons on the Moon, searching for possible parent bodies of the ordinary chondrites, and evaluating the effects of space weathering on planetary materials).
The research approach at Brown concerning remote sensing information applied to geological problems for the Earth and planets combines direct measurement of surface properties, acquisition of supporting interpretive information from laboratory spectroscopic data, and development of theoretical models and analysis approaches that accurately model or predict the natural system.
Dr. Pieters was the founder and initial Science Manager of the NASA Reflectance Experiment Laboratory (RELAB), a NASA-supported multi-user spectroscopy facility at Brown that operates from 0.3 to 25 µ m. She has been Principal Investigator for NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) experiment launched to the Moon in 2008 onboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft and is currently Co-Investigator on Dawn, a mission to explore the large asteroids Vesta and Ceres.
Carle Pieters' profile in The Directory of Research and Researchers at Brown