Finally, I've just started working on MarsQuest -- a museum exhibit about Mars that
will begin touring the country in mid-1999. I'm the science content coordinator, and will
be responsible for deciding what topics will be included in the exhibit and making sure
the content is scientifically accurate. We plan to have a life-sized reproduction of the
Pathfinder landing site, as well as large dioramas of several locations on Mars (the North
Polar Cap, the Valles Marineris canyon, perhaps the top of a volcano...). MarsQuest will
be a great experience for visitors -- you should feel like you've actually visited the
surface of Mars! I'm an admitted "Mars nut," so having this opportunity to get the "Mars
story" out to the public is a dream come true!
My Career Path
From the time I was in grade school I was interested in airplanes and space
exploration, so it seemed like a career in engineering was the way to go. I went to
college at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and got a BS and M.Eng. in engineering; both
involved studying a lot of math and physics. When I was a senior (1975-1976), the Viking
missions had just been launched to Mars and I got seriously bitten by the "planetary
geology bug." After finishing my engineering studies, I continued in graduate school at '
Washington University (St. Louis, MO) and got a MA in Earth & Planetary Sciences (this
involved a lot of catch-up work in geology and geophysics). Finally, I ended up back at
Cornell, where I finally got a PhD in Planetary Geology. I spent two years at Arizona
State University (Tempe, AZ) as a researcher, then arrived at LASP in Boulder in 1986.
So, I've been studying Mars for most of the past 20 years and am overjoyed to see another
spacecraft looking around the surface, and several more waiting in the wings!