I am a planetary scientist with two non-profit research organizations, the Mars Institute and the SETI Institute, and professor of planetary science at Kepler Space University. I'm also director of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
My research focuses on Mars, in particular the history of water there, and on the origin of the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. I also do research on the Moon, in particular about polar caves and ice there. In addition to trying to understand these worlds, I also work on advancing the human exploration of the Moon and Mars. The HMP is a field research project on Devon Island, High Arctic, where we study planets by analogy with the Earth, and plan future human missions to the Moon and Mars.
I have been drawing and painting since childhood. I draw and paint about space and time, and about our tiny yet hopeful place in their vastness. I am a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA).
I also love to fly. I'm an FAA-certified helicopter commercial pilot and flight instructor. To me, helicopters are the lunar modules of the Earth, our planet's most magnificient exploration machines. You pick a spot, you land, you explore, you liftoff, you fly on to the next place...
I recently published my first book, a training manual for kids interested in going to Mars. The book is titled MISSION: MARS and is published by Scholastic. I often vist K-12 schools to talk about Mars exploration and encourage students to go into STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math). If you are interested in helping me visit your or more schools, let me know here: Contact.
I am grateful to my family, friends, dogs, for all their love and support.