Dr. Reggie L. Hudson

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

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


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

Dr. Reggie L. Hudson

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.

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

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