TU alum Francis McCubbin earns major science award

By Megan Bradshaw on August 17, 2017

Geochemical Society recognizes an early career scientist for a single outstanding contribution to geochemistry or cosmochemistry.

Towson University Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics alumnus Francis McCubbin ’04 will receive the 2017 F.W. Clark Award from the Geochemical Society at its annual meeting, known as Goldschmidt2017, being held this week in Paris.

McCubbin has been the astromaterials curator in the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division since 2015. As curator, McCubbin is responsible for protecting the scientific integrity of NASA’s priceless astromaterials collections and distributing select samples to the global community for further scientific examination. McCubbin’s research focuses on understanding the abundance, distribution and origin of water in the inner solar system, as well as deciphering the thermal and magmatic evolution of the terrestrial planets, moons and asteroids.

Before coming to Johnson, McCubbin spent five years as a research scientist at the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. 

The annual award recognizes an early career scientist for a single outstanding contribution to geochemistry or cosmochemistry, published as a single paper or a series of papers on a single topic. F.W. Clarke was a chemist who determined the composition of the Earth’s crust and has been called the father of geochemistry. The award consists of an engraved silver medal, a $750 honorarium and a certificate.