Wendy Calvin
Research Scientist
U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Arizona

Who I Am

I am a research scientist with the U. S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona. I am interested in knowing more about rocks and ices on all the planets in the solar system, but particularly the polar caps of Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter. I compare measurements made by instruments on robotic spacecraft with those made by a similar instrument in a laboratory. When I first started I did more "hands-on" tinkering in a lab, but now almost everything I do is on computers. I don't mind the transition because now I'm working more with really great pictures from space which always amaze me.

I am a co-investigator for the camera that will be on the Mars Orbiter mission in 1998 (MARCI), and loosely affiliated with the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on Mars Global Surveyor. As a "friend of TES" I started out being a post-doc to one of the TES investigators, meaning they paid some of my salary. Now I pay my own salary through other research grants, but continue my support of TES as much as I can because it relates to other research I'm involved in.

One thing I like about this job is that as I walk around on our planet, I can think about how the things I see relate to what has happened or is happening on a planet like Mars. For example, when I lived in Boulder, Colorado, the creek would freeze over every year. But it wasn't smooth, it was rough and jumbled and chaotic with big blocks of ice and sometimes still some water underneath. I think about if that had happened on Mars, which is much colder than Earth, in the past, when we supposed there was more water there.

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