This investigation seeks to better understand the thermal infrared (TIR) spectral characteristics of naturally-occurring amorphous materials through laboratory synthesis and analysis of glasses. Because spectra of glass phases differ markedly from their mineral counterparts, examination of glasses is important to accurately determine the composition of amorphous surface materials using remote sensing datasets. Quantitatively characterizing TIR (5-25 ??m) spectral changes that accompany structural changes between glasses and mineral crystals provides the means to understand natural glasses on Earth and Mars. A suite of glasses with compositions analogous to common terrestrial volcanic glasses was created and analyzed using TIR reflectance and emission techniques. Documented spectral characteristics provide a basis for comparison with TIR spectra of other amorphous materials (glasses, clays, etc.). Our results provide the means to better detect and characterize glasses associated with terrestrial volcanoes, as well as contribute toward understanding the nature of amorphous silicates detected on Mars. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.