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Jim Bell

Jim Bell

Cornell University

Jim Bell is an Associate Professor in the Cornell University Astronomy Department. He received his B.S. from Caltech in 1987 and his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii in 1992, performing research on Mars surface mineralogy and climate variations using infrared and optical telescopes at Mauna Kea Observatory. He worked as a National Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at NASA's Ames Research Center in California prior to coming to Cornell.

His studies primarily focus on the geology, chemistry, and mineralogy of planets, asteroids, and comets using data obtained from telescopes and spacecraft missions. He has published more than 30 first-authored and more than 130 co-authored research papers in peer reviewed science journals, authored or co-authored nearly 400 abstracts and scientific conference presentations, is a frequent contributor to popular astronomy magazines and radio shows, and recently wrote "Postcards from Mars" (Dutton, 2006), a book about the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. He has been a member of the science teams of the NASA Mars Pathfinder, Mars Odyssey, NEAR, CONTOUR, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Exploration Rover, and 2009 Mars Science Laboratory missions and has been an HST Guest Observer since 1993.


Mike Wolff

Mike Wolff

Space Science Institute

Michael Wolff is a Senior Resarch Scientist with the Space Science Institute (headquarters in Boulder, CO). Mike graduated from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) with a Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1993. Among his current research interests, one finds radiative transfer, remote sensing algorithm development, electrodynamical scattering theory, and many aspects of terrestrial planet atmospheres. Based near the beaches of Brookfield, Wisconsin, Mike is actively involved in several current spacecraft teams. In addition to that of the MARCI instrument, he is a science team member on the Mars Exploration Rover project and the MRO/CRISM instrument. He has no hobbies, as the would imply having some free-time. Nevertheless, Mike enjoys Bombay gin martinis and his favorite color is blue.


Jim Bell and Mike Wolff during the August 2003 Mars Closest Approach Event at Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.