More About the Author
Jim Bell is a scientist, author, and an extremely active and prolific public communicator of science and space exploration. He is a Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, an Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, and President of The Planetary Society. He is a frequent contributor to popular astronomy and science magazines like Sky & Telescope and Scientific American, and to radio shows and internet blogs about astronomy and space. He has appeared on television on the NBC "Today" show, on CNN's "This American Morning," on the PBS "Newshour," and on the Discovery and National Geographic cable channels. He has written a number of books that showcase some of the most spectacular stories and images from the space program: "Postcards from Mars" (Dutton/Penguin, 2006), "Mars 3-D" (Sterling, 2008), "Moon 3-D" (Sterling, 2009), "The Space Book" (Sterling, 2013), and "The Interstellar Age" (Dutton, 2015).
Jim grew up in Rhode Island and received his B.S. in Planetary Science and Aeronautics from Caltech in 1987 and his Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from the University of Hawaii in 1992. His research primarily focuses on the geology, geochemistry, and mineralogy of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets using data obtained from telescopes and spacecraft missions. Jim spent 3 years as a National Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at NASA's Ames Research Center in the early 1990s.
Jim is an active planetary scientist and has been heavily involved in many NASA robotic space exploration missions, including the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR), Mars Pathfinder, Comet Nucleus Tour, Mars Exploration Rover, Mars Odyssey Orbiter, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission. As a member of the Mars Exploration Rover team, Jim has served as the lead scientist in charge of the Panoramic camera (Pancam) color, stereoscopic imaging system on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. As a professional scientist, Jim has published more than 30 first-authored and 140 co-authored research papers in peer reviewed scientific journals, has authored or co-authored more than 400 short abstracts and scientific conference presentations, and has edited two scientific books for Cambridge University Press (one on the NEAR mission, the other on the surface composition of Mars). He has been an active user of the Hubble Space Telescope, and of ground based telescopes at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii.
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