Jose Hurtado

Geological Sciences Building
El Paso Texas, 79968
Phone Logo(915) 747-5669


Jose Miguel Hurtado
Professor, Geological Sciences - Computational Science - Environmental Science and Engineering - Center for the Advancement of Space Safety and Mission Assurance Research (CASSMAR)

Dr. Hurtado's research expertise is in field geolog; remote sensing (including Unmanned Aerial Systems); and terrestrial/planetary tectonics and geomorphology; He applies this expertise in two broad research areas: lunar geology and active tectonics in the Bhutan Himalaya. Dr. Hurtado's lunar geology work has focused on the use of remotely-sensed datasets to investigate the potential resources on the moon and their geologic context. This has included using thermal infrared data to discover and characterize caves in the lunar subsurface, hyperspectral data to map the presence of water and Ti, and topographic data to identify water-related volcanic features. He has also conducted work at a local planetary analog site to show how shallow geophysical tools (e.g., gravity, magnetics, GPR) can be used to characterize water-related explosive volcanic features on other planets. His Bhutan work has focused on field studies of Quaternary geomorphologic features (river terraces, fault scarps, etc.) that record ongoing tectonic uplift along the Himalayan rangefront. The objective of this work is to evaluate models for the evolution of the Bhutan Himalaya and for assessing seismic hazards. In addition to these research areas, Dr. Hurtado also has expertise in human space exploration through ongoing collaborations with NASA in mission simulation activities and astronaut crew training. Dr. Hurtado has also worked on various commercial spaceflight projects, including passenger training program and vehicle development with Virgin Galactic.


  1. Tectonics and Geomorphology
  2. Field Geology
  3. Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing
  4. Unmanned Aerial Systems
  5. Planetary Science and Exploration
  6. Human Spaceflight