Our People

Nancy McKeown

Chair, Physical Sciences
Associate Professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences

PhD (California, Santa Cruz), B.Sc. (Stanford)

5-132B, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB


Nancy McKeown is a planetary geologist focusing on the geology of Mars. Her specialties include studying mineralogy by analyzing data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) satellite and analyzing the geomorphology of outcrops on Mars using data from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) also on board MRO. She has collaborated with scientists from Canada, USA, the UK, France, and the Netherlands to conduct research of both Mars and Earth. Current research projects include analysis of mineralogy at Eberswalde Crater, Mars; analysis of Recurring Slope Lineae on Mars; and performing spatial analyses of soil chemistry data from Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, in conjunction with Dr. Mark Furze (also at MacEwan University). Dr. McKeown's research interests more generally lie in the fields of imaging spectroscopy and GIS. Dr. McKeown has presented her research at numerous international conferences including the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, and at the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Landing Site workshops, contributing valuable information to the decision of where the MSL rover Curiosity would land.

Available to supervise senior students' independent study.

remote sensing, imaging spectroscopy, GIS, Mars

Teaching and Research Interests

Teaching interests:

  • EASC 102 Environmental Geology
  • EASC 206 Geology of the Solar System
  • EASC 221 Introduction to GIS
  • EASC 334 Planetary Surface Imaging
  • EASC 100 Planet Earth (now EASC 101 Physical Geology)

Research interests:

  • Mars geology
  • Mars mineralogy
  • Imaging spectroscopy
  • GIS

Selected Publications / Presentations / Conference Papers

  • Bishop, J. L., Tirsch, D., Tornabene, L., Jaumann, R., McEwen, A.S., McGuire, P.C., Ody, A., Poulet, F., Clark, R., Parente, M., McKeown, N.K., Mustard, J. F., Murchie, S. L., Voigt, J. , Aydin, Z., Bamberg, M., Petau, A., Michael, G., Seelos, F., Hash, C., Swayze, G., Neukum, G. (2013), Mineralogy and morphology of geologic units at Libya Montes, Mars: Ancient aqueously derived outcrops, mafic flows, fluvial features and impacts, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, 118, pp. 487-513, doi:10.1029/2012JE004151.
  • McKeown, N. K., Bishop, J. L., Amador, E., Cuadros, J., Hillier, S., Makarewicz, H. D., Parente, M., & Silver, E. A. (2011). Interpretation of reflectance spectra of clay mineral-silica mixtures: Implications for Martian clay mineralogy at Mawrth Vallis. Clays and Clay Minerals, 59(4), 400-415, doi: 10.1346/CCMN.2011.0590404.
  • McKeown, N. K., Bishop, J. L., Dobrea, E. Z.N., Parente, M., Ehlmann, B.L., Mustard, J. F., Murchie, S. L.,  Bibring, J.P., & Silver, E. (2009). Characterization of phyllosilicates observed in the central Mawrth Vallis region, Mars: Their potential formational processes, and implications for past climate. Journal of Geophysical Research- Planets, 114, E00D10, doi:10.1029/2008JE003301

Select Conference Presentations:

  • A detrital source for the phyllosilicates in Eberswalde Crater, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XLIV, Houston, TX, March, 2013
  • A comparative lab-field-aerial spectral study of the Painted Desert, AZ: implications for CRISM data interpretation, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December, 2011

Awards / Grants / Fellowships

  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellowship (2016)
  • MacEwan University, MacEwan Conference, Exhibition, and Performance Travel Fund (2012)
  • MacEwan University, MacEwan Conference, Exhibition, and Performance Travel Fund (2011)
  • MacEwan University, MacEwan Research, Scholarly Activity, and Creative Achievement Fund (2010)
  • American Philosophical Society, The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology (2010)

Professional Associations / Memberships

  • Canadian Space Society
  • American Geophysical Union.
  • Association of Women Geoscientists