Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research

The Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research has been established as a memorial to recognize the contributions of Brandon, Moreau, Paul, and Richard Barringer to the field of meteoritics and the Barringer family’s strong interest and support over many years in research and student education. In addition to its memorial nature, the Fund also reflects the family’s long-standing commitment to responsible stewardship of The Barringer Meteorite Crater and the family’s steadfast resolve in maintaining the crater as a unique scientific research and education site.

Each year, the Barringer Family Fund awards a small number of competitive grants of 2500-5000 USD to support MA, PhD, and postdoctoral students as they carry out field research at known and suspected impact sites around the world. Between its establishment in 2002 and 2015, the Barringer Family Fund has supported the research of 50 students. Applications should be submitted through the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

The Barringer Crater Company and its scientific advisors endorse efforts to make the field of Meteoritics and Planetary Science more welcoming to a diverse array of talented scientists. Since 2002, The Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research has awarded almost half of its research grants to women, based on the scientific merits of their proposals and the quality of their work. The Barringer Crater Company has a strong interest in encouraging and supporting scientific exploration and research within the field of meteoritics for women as well as men, and expects all associated scientists to treat their colleagues and students with  mutual respect. 

2015 Grantees

Rebecca GreenbergerBrown University, USA

-Quantifying Homogenization And Mixing Of Impact-Disrupted Materials: Insights Into Impact Processes And Interpretation Of Planetary Datasets-

“I first became involved in planetary science as an undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, where I worked with Dr. Ray Arvidson on tasks related to operation of the Mars Exploration Rovers and served as a documentarian on the Mars Phoenix Lander.  I recently completed my PhD at Brown University in geological sciences, using imaging spectroscopy of outcrops in the field and samples in the laboratory to study water-rock interactions on Earth and Mars.  I will begin a postdoctoral fellowship at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in July 2015.  I am interested in using new remote sensing techniques to understand a variety of geological processes on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system, and I love doing fieldwork.

 The project for which I have received funding seeks to quantify the extent of mixing during impact cratering, which is perhaps the most common geological process in the solar system, in order to understand what ends up where and better understand impact processes.  The rocks that form during impact events can be highly heterogeneous, making them difficult to fully characterize with conventional field and laboratory methods.  I will use imaging spectroscopy to map mineralogies of outcrops of impact-disrupted materials at the Haughton impact structure, Nunavut, Canada, in July 2016.  Using this instrumentation combined with laboratory analysis, we can in a way non-destructively sample entire outcrops.  The results of this work will have implications for understanding impact processes, will place quantitative on models, and will provide insights into interpretations of remote sensing observations of impact structures on other bodies in the solar system.”


Audrey Horne, Arizona State University, USA

-First Steps in Objectively Testing the Proposed Late Triassic Multiple Impact Event on Earth through Integrated U/PB, AR/AR, and (U-TH)/HE Geochronology and Thermochronology: Rochechouart-

With the funds generously allotted to me by the BFFMIC, I plan on traveling to the Rochechouart Impact Structure (RIS) in France to collect samples for a thermochronology and geochronology study. Impact events, especially those as large as Rochechouart (~40-50 km diameter), typically cause high temperature and pressure conditions that have a lasting effect on the radiometric clocks in the target rock. I plan to use the U-Pb, (U-Th)/He, and 40Ar-39Ar isotopic systems to date this impact crater; this multichronometric approach, coupled with ultraviolet laser ablation mass spectrometry, will provide a more robust age for RIS. The refined age is necessary in order to investigate whether RIS is part of a five-crater chain formed by a simultaneous impact event — proposed by Spray et al. 1997. These funds are allocated to date RIS, but I will date the other four craters as part of my dissertation.

 Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a passion for math and science. In high school, I was actually excited to take chemistry and calculus tests. I started working in laboratories in high school, and my science interests became increasingly more inorganic as I continued through college; I started off with mammalian stem cells, changed to plant cell walls, continued to carbohydrates in water, and finally found my ultimate passion: extraterrestrial rocks. I think I’m so fascinated with planetary science research because space terrifies me. It’s vastness and immortality humbles me and drives me to better understand it. “


Alexandra Pontefract, University of Western Ontario, Canada

-Colonization Of Shocked Basalt From Lonar Crater, Vargeao Dome, Vista Alegre And Cerro Do Jarau:  Implications For The Search For Life On Mars-

Kathryn Rathbun, University of Iowa, USA

-Mapping Ejecta Distribution And Modification At Monturaqui Crater, Chile-

Rudolf Valja, University of Tartu, Estonia

-Testing Fuel-Coolant-Interaction Induced Formation Of Suevites: Suevite Composition And Structure In The Ries Crater-

My PhD research project addresses the formation and post-impact development of impact melt-rich breccia (suevite) deposits. I am particularly looking into the extent and magnitude of post-impact thermal field in suevites and in impact crater rocks in general. My study objects are outer (“fallout”) suevites in Ries and Bosumtwi crater where I am focusing on determining the outer suevite formation mechanisms and temperature/pressure characteristics through petrological, mineralogical and geochemical studies. 

My motivation for imapact cratering studies is driven by a simple fact that impact processes that are so unique and incorporate a variety of extreme conditions (temperature, pressure) which all are much puzzling. There is still room for new and exiting discoveries to be made in this field even if we think that we already know how the impact processes work.

Ankit Verma, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

-Rock Breakdown at Barringer Crater, Arizona- 

Previous Grantees


Elmar Buhl, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany

-Impact Induced Deformation Band Formation in Nature (Upheaval Dome) and Experiment-


Anna Chanou, University of Western Ontario, Canada

-Questioning the Current Understanding of ‘Ballen’-textured SiO2: Planar Deformation Feature (PDF)-bearing Ballen-


Agnese Fazio, Università di Pisa, Italy

-Combined mirco-Raman and TEM study of high-pressure phases from Kamil Crater (Egypt): Implications for their Formation in Small Impact Craters on Earth-


Erik S. Heider, Auburn University, United States

-Geology of a Shallow Cross-Section Transect of Wetumpka Impact Structure, Alabama-


Pedro E. Montalvo Jiménez, University of Puerto Rico, United States

-High Spatial Resolution SHRIMP U-Pb and EBSD Studies of Detrital Shocked Zircon and Apatite from the Sante Fe Impact Structure, New Mexico, USA-


Mario Mustasaar, University of Tartu, Estonia

-Reflection Seismic Investigation of the Dobele Impact Crater, Latvia-                


Sarah Simpson, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

-Did the Rochechouart Structure have a Sedimentary Cover? Seeking Evidence from Biological Signatures within Post-impact Hydrothermal Deposits-



Sanna Holm, Lund University, Sweden

-Impact Ejecta in Eastern Switzerland – Provenance Characteristics of this Anomalous Horizon-


Magnus Ivarsson, Stockholm University, Sweden

-Impacts and Life-


Sarinya Paisarnsombat, University of New Brunswick, Canada

-Oxygen Isotope Study of Impact-induced Hydrothermal Minerals at the    Manicouagan Impact Structure-


Alaura Singleton, University of Western Ontario, Canada

-Characterization of the Central Uplift of the Slate Islands Impact Structure-



Souad Chaabout, Hassan II University, Morocco

“Prospecting for Meteorite Impact Craters in Morocco and Study of Degradation and Erosion of Possible Meteorite Impact Craters in the Desert Environment”


Timmons Erickson, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, United States

“EBSD Investigation of Detrital Shocked Zircon found within the Vaal River, South Africa”

Matthew Huber, University of Vienna, Austria

“Investigation of the Suavjarvi Structure, A Possible Proterozoic Impact Structure in the Fennoscandian Shield”


Michael Zanetti, Washington University, United States

“Impact Melt Emplacement at the Mistastin Impact Structure: Detailed Field Relationships and Implications for Copernican-aged Lunar Craters”


Marc Biren, University of New Brunswick, Canada

“Utilization of (U-Th)/He Dating to Map Thermal Variations Associated with Central Uplift Emplacement at the Manicouagan Impact Structure, Eastern Quebec, Canada”

Marisa Palucis, University of California Berkeley, United States

“Meteor Crater, Arizona: A Terrestrial Analog to Study Gully Formation on Mars”

Sebastian Sturm, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany

“Distribution of Megablocks in the Ries Crater, Germany: Implications for Complex Craters in the Solar System from Remote Sensing and Field Analysis”

Marcos Alberto Rodrigues Vasconcelos, University of Campinas, Brazil

“Geological Field Work at the Riachão Impact Structure, Northeastern Brazil”


Matthew Izawa, University of Western Ontario, Canada

“Mineralogy of the Post-impact Hydrothermal System of the Haughton Impact Structure”
Randy Kofman, University of Alberta, Canada

“Research Proposal for the Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research”
Haley Sapers, University of Western Ontario, Canada

“Characterization of the Putative Bioalteration of Suevitic Glass from the Ries Impact Crater, Germany”



Kean Bliss, San Diego State University, United States

“Evaluation of XRD and Raman Peak Broadening in Shock-metamorphosed Calcite and Dolomite from Selected Carbonate-Target Bolide Impact Structures”

Katherine Bron, University of Adelaide, Australia

“The Petroleum Prospectivity of Impact Features: Investigating the Influence of Impact Sedimentation, Structures and Mechanisms on Petroleum Systems”

Ludovic Ferrière, University of Vienna, Austria

“Formation Mechanism and Formation Conditions of Impact Spinels – Examples of Ni-rich Spinels from the K/T Boundary – Comparison with spinels from Meteorite Fusion Crusts”

Geoffrey Gilleaudeau, University of Tennessee, United States

“Investigation of Unusual Breccias in the Mesoproterozoic Atar Group, Mauritania: Tsunami Deposits Related to Extraterrestrial Impact?”



Daniel Doman, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

“Rotation of Paleoproterozoic Metasediments in the North-eastern Sudbury Impact Structure”

Steven Goderis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

“PGE Analyses for Projectile Identification of the Late Eocene Ejecta Layers”

Shawn Wright, Arizona State University, United States

“Lonar Crater, India: Spectral Analog for Shocked Basalt on Mars”



Kay Hofmann, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

“Emplacement of Pseudotachylitic Breccia in the Vredefort Impact Structure”

Cesar Vieira, University of Campinas, Brazil

“Isotopic Dating and Petrography of Target Rocks of Vargeão Impact Structure, Southern Brazil”

Axel Wittmann, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

“Fluidized Ejecta Blankets on Earth – Is the Ries Crater an Analogue to Martian Rampart Craters?”



Melissa Cox, Southwest Missouri State University, United States

“Geologic Mapping of the Weaubleau-Osceola Structure: Geospatial Evidence of a Possible Meteorite Impact”


Dirk Scherler, Humboldt University, Germany

“The Structural Signature of Oblique Impacts: A Case Study at the Spider Structure, Western Australia”


Frank Smith, University of Delaware, United States

“Search for Shock-metamorphosed Grains in Precambrian Spherule Layers”



Sarah Huson, Washington State University, United States

“Quantitative Analysis of the Deformational History and Timing of the Sierra Madera Impact Structure, West Texas”


Christiano Lana, Imperial College, United Kingdom

“Structural and Thermal Characteristics of the Araguainha Impact Structure”


Gordon Osinski, University of Arizona, United States

“The Fate of Carbonate During the Formation of Meteor Crater, Arizona”



Louise Coney, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

“Mineralogical/Geochemical Investigation of Two Sections across the Permian-Triassic Boundary in the Continental Realm of the Southern Karoo Basin, South Africa”


Francis Macdonald, Caltech, United States

“The Geology of the Amelia Creek Impact Structure”


Megan Madden, Virginia Tech, United States

“Shock Reequilibration of Fluid Inclusions due to Meteorite Impact: A Field Investigation of Naturally Impacted Terrestrial Rocks”


Frank Schoenian, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

“Distribution, Petrography and Genesis of the Ejecta Blanket of the Chicxulub Impact Crater on the Southern Yucatán Peninsula”



Frank Wieland, School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


Kieren T. Howard, School of Earth Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia

“Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr Isotopic Study of Darwin Glass and Suspected Target Rocks from Western Tasmania, Australia”


Maria Kuulusa and Fabio Donadini, Department of Geophysics, University of Helsinki, Finland

“Field Research at the Suvasvesi South Impact Structure, Finland”