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- User:LauraBarge + (Dr. Laurie Barge is a research scientist i … Dr. Laurie Barge is a research scientist in Astrobiology at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, and is also affiliated with the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, WA and the Oak Crest Institute of Science in Monrovia, CA. Laurie received her B.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Villanova University and her Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Southern California. Laurie studies the emergence of life on Earth and ways to search for life elsewhere. Her focus is on how minerals affect chemistry for the emergence of life and habitability on wet rocky planets, including early Earth, Mars, and "ocean worlds" such as Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus. Dr. Barge's research group seeks to understand mineral-driven organic reactions and geochemistry relevant to biological and prebiotic systems. This work includes planetary environment simulations in the lab including making mini vent chimneys, making early Earth and Mars minerals, and simulating the energy in ocean systems using fuel cells. At JPL Laurie is also the Investigation Scientist for the HiRISE instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.rument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.)