I hope that in the next few months I will be chosen as a scientist on the meteorology
science team for the Mars Pathfinder lander, which NASA will launch toward Mars on
December 2, 1996. It is scheduled to land on Mars July 4, 1997. In order to be considered
as a member of the science team, I had to write a proposal stating what I would like to
study with the weather data sent back by the spacecraft from the surface of Mars. I will
find out in mid-December whether or not I have been selected (by NASA and other
scientists) to be on the team.
One thing to keep in mind if you want to become a planetary scientist, or
meteorologist, or really anything, is that you do not have to be brilliant. I certainly
am not. I work hard and try to learn as much as I can about the subjects I work with, as
well as other things that interest me but do not have a direct relationship to my work.
By taking the time to learn about the subjects you like, and then applying what you have
learned, you can accomplish a great deal. And, it can be very fun!
[Editorial note: Jim participated in the Live From Mars "Weather Worlds" project by
supplying Pathfinder atmospheric data.]