Chris H. Okubo
Educational Background
University of Nevada, Reno 2005
Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering
Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering
Ph.D., Geological Engineering, Advisor: Dr. Richard Schultz
Dissertation Title: Strain localization within fault-related folds, with applications to Mars.

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa 1997
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
Department of Geology & Geophysics
B.S., Geology & Geophysics, Advisor: Dr. Stephen Martel
Honors Thesis Title: Pit crater formation on Kīlauea volcano, Hawai‘i.

James Cook University, Townsville, Australia 1995
School of Earth Sciences
Field mapping and research.
Honors Project Title: Characterization of shallow, non-carbonate sediment on the Great Barrier Reef.

Professional Experience
Astrogeology Research Program
U.S. Geological Survey
Since 2008
Research Geophysicist
Investigating the mecahnics of deformation and groundwater interaction on Earth and other planets.
Targeting specialist for the HiRISE camera on-board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
University of Arizona
2005 - 2008
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Targeting specialist for the HiRISE camera on-board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno
2000 - 2005
Graduate Research Assistant
Numerical modeling of the topography and internal structure of interacting fault-related folds.

Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
1997 - 2000
U.H. Research Associate III
Hyperspectral, thermal and radar remote sensing of active terrestrial volcanoes.

Hawai‘i NASA Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
1994 - 1997
Special Projects Assistant
Archiving and dissemination of data products from NASA’s planetary exploration missions.
Public outreach.

Research Interests
My interests in the geological sciences encompass the fields of fault and rock mechanics, planetary geology, and remote sensing. Much of my work focuses on developing quantitative approaches in understanding the structural geology and tectonics of Earth and other planets based on field, laboratory and remotely-sensed data. Current research activities include:
  • Mechanics of deformation in granular rocks and soils
  • Field areas: southern Nevada, Utah, northern Arizona, western Colorado, northern New Mexico
  • Strength and deformability of terrestrial analogs to layered deposits on Mars
  • Field areas: southeast Utah, central New Mexico, southeastern California
    Mars study areas: Primarily Arabia Terra and Valles Marineris
  • High-resolution structural mapping on Mars
  • Mars study area: Candor Chasma region of Valles Marineris
  • Geotechnical investigations into the role of volatiles in the formation of geologically-young Martian ravines ("gullies")
  • Mars study areas: Globally-distributed sites, specifically ravines that incise regolith within the cratered highlands

Contact Information

Chris H. Okubo
Astrogeology Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2255 N. Gemini Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Voice: 1 (928) 556-7015
Fax: 1 (928) 556-7014

The University of Arizona
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

U.S. Geological Survey
Astrogeology Science Center      2015 January 20