American Studies

Dr. Reggie L. Hudson

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

Reggie Hudson Email Professor Hudson

Dr. Hudson earned his bachelor's degree, with majors in mathematics and chemistry, from Pfeiffer College and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. After coming to Eckerd College in 1978 he began doing research with scientists at University College London and at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His main research activities with NASA involved cometary and interstellar chemistry, particularly the influence of high-energy radiation on cometary surfaces, icy satellites of the outer planets, and interstellar matter. He taught the junior-year physical chemistry courses at Eckerd, freshman chemistry courses, and Eckerd's astronomy and astrobiology courses for over 30 years.  He also participated in Eckerd's Western Heritage sequence and the Honors Program.

Dr. Hudson now works at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington, DC, although he still maintains strong ties with the Eckerd College community. Past, present, and future Eckerd students are welcome to contact him.

Present Positions:

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Eckerd College
Associate Chief, Astrochemistry Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Teaching Areas:

  • Courses in physical chemistry, astrobiology, and astronomy
  • Courses in introductory chemistry and in the history and methods of science
  • Courses in Eckerd College's Honors Program (served as program's first director)

Research Areas:

Chemistry and physics of cosmic ices (cometary, icy satellite, and interstellar)
Radiation chemistry and photochemistry applied to astrochemical problems
Molecular spectroscopy, especially as applied to free radical structure and reactions
Infrared optical constants of planetary and interstellar ices


1978 - Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Tennessee
1974 - A.B., Chemistry and Mathematics, Pfeiffer University (Misenheimer, NC)

Professional Societies:

  • American Chemical Society: Chemical Education, Physical, and History Divisions
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (U.K.): Education and Faraday Divisions
  • American Astronomical Society: Division for Planetary Sciences
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Sigma Xi (Life Member)
  • The Coblentz Society

Recent Professional Activities:

  • Member of the astrobiology team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Manuscript reviewer for Journal of the American Chemical Society, Chemical Physics, Journal of Chemical Education, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Icarus, Spectrochemica Acta, Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, and the Astrophysical Journal
  • Proposal reviewer for NASA programs in planetary geology, exobiology, and planetary atmospheres
  • Presentations at meetings of the American Astronomical Society (Planetary Sciences Division)
  • Presentations at meetings of the Congress of Space Researchers (COSPAR) in Montreal, Paris, Warsaw, and Houston
  • Presentations at "Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors" meetings at Cornell University and Berlin
  • Presentations at workshops on Pluto (Lowell Observatory, Johns Hopkins University), Kuiper-Belt objects (Paris), solid-state astrochemistry (Holland), space weathering (San Francisco), and solar-system ices (Maryland)

Selected Refereed Publications:

See Dr. Hudson's page at NASA's Cosmic Ice Lab for a list of some of his recent publications.

Grant Support:

Teaching - Support from the NSF Instrumentation Program and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; numerous small internal grants from Eckerd College

Research - Continuous grant support from NASA for research from 1991 to the present; recent grant support from the NASA Astrobiology Program, as well as the Cassini Data Analysis, Planetary Geology and Geophysics, Planetary Atmospheres, Exobiology, and Astrophysics Research and Analysis programs

Chemistry at Eckerd

The Chemistry Department at Eckerd College offers Bachelor's degrees in chemistry, including a chemistry degree certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). We are one of only two Florida colleges where a student can earn an ACS-certified biochemistry degree. Our students have gone on to careers in fields such as forensics, atmospheric chemistry, and pharmaceutical chemistry as well as DNA structural research, cosmetic chemistry, and medicine. We've even graduated a professional baseball player and a college president!

The James Center

Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

Equipped with the latest in eco-conscious innovations, educational technology and scientific instrumentation, the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences will advance our efforts to prepare tomorrow’s leaders in the sciences, and will quickly become the hub of the Natural Sciences at Eckerd College. Discover the James Center.