Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff
CHRISTOPHER F. CHYBA, Chair, holds the Carl Sagan Chair for the Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute and is associate professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Dr. Chyba is a MacArthur Fellow for his work in astrobiology and international security and a former member of the National Security Council staff. His scientific research focuses on planetary habitability and the search for life elsewhere in the solar system. He is a past member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Executive Council, former chair of the Science Definition Team for NASA’s Europa Orbiter Mission, and a former member of NASA’s Space Science Advisory Committee’s Executive Committee, among numerous other service positions. Dr. Chyba currently serves on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on International Security and Arms Control and on the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Committee on Advances in Technology and the Prevention of Their Application to Next Generation Biowarfare Threats. Since July 2005, Dr. Chyba has been a professor of astrophysical sciences and international affairs at Princeton University, joint in the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences.
STEPHEN CLIFFORD is a staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. His research focuses on geology, subsurface hydrology, meteorology, glaciology, and soil physics to characterize the dynamics of climate and water on Mars. In particular, his research has examined evidence concerning the martian hydrosphere and how it may have evolved over time. Dr. Clifford is also a principal investigator in NASA’s Planetary and Geophysics Program and has served on several NASA review panels. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
ALAN DELAMERE is senior engineer and program manager at Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation. He is currently involved as co-investigator on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) High Resolution Imaging Science Instrument (HIRISE) and on the Deep Impact mission to Comet Tempel 1. Mr. Delamere has been involved in the Mars program since the 1980s. His expertise focuses on instrument building and mission design.
MARTIN S. FAVERO is the director of Scientific and Clinical Affairs, Advanced Sterilization Products, a Johnson & Johnson Company. Previously, he served in several positions at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, including director of CDC’s Hospital Infections Program and deputy director of the Hepatitis
Laboratories Division and chief of its Applied and Environmental Microbiology Section, and he headed the CDC’s work in spacecraft sterilization and planetary quarantine from 1964 to 1972. Dr. Favero has published more than 200 papers and book chapters on public health, environmental microbiology, disinfection and sterilization, environmental aspects of viral hepatitis, dialysis-associated disease, biosafety, and prevention of viral hepatitis and AIDS transmission in health care settings. He is a member of Sigma Xi, a fellow of the Infections Diseases Society of America, and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. He has served in numerous capacities for professional societies, including as the president of the American Society for Microbiology, Arizona Branch. Dr. Favero served on the NRC Committee on Joint Medical/Engineering Approaches for Reducing Nosocomial Infection (1997 to 1998).
ERIC J. MATHUR is vice president of scientific affairs and molecular diversity at Diversa Corporation. His scientific responsibilities include managing Diversa’s Biodiversity Access Program, involving relationships with more than 15 countries and institutions. He also has oversight of and directs Diversa’s molecular diversity program, which involves the construction of environmental gene libraries and the development of directed evolution and pathway engineering technology at Diversa. Mr. Mathur is a member of Diversa’s Senior Management Committee and its Internal Product Review Committee and has served on both Sygenta and Dow Chemical research advisory committees. He has published more than 40 papers, is named inventor on more than 25 U.S. patents, and has been invited to present more than 100 lectures. Mr. Mathur also sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Thermal Biology Institute, is a member of the SETI Institute’s Life in the Universe working group, and holds a visiting scientist position at the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya. Additionally, Mr. Mathur serves as an editor of Extremophiles, and he is on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute.
JOHN C. NIEHOFF is senior research engineer and corporate vice president of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), where he is active in program planning and assessment support primarily to the Space Science Enterprise at NASA. He also serves as senior staff member of the Space, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Group within SAIC. Previously, he managed SAIC Space Science Operations, which included six divisions focusing on NASA basic research, program planning and evaluation, and data analysis. Mr. Niehoff is the 1981 recipient of the NASA Public Service Award and more recently the recipient of several NASA/Langley Research Center Team excellence awards (Discovery and Pluto Kuiper Belt Announcement of Opportunity evaluations).
GIAN GABRIELE ORI is a professor of geology (Faculty of Science, Universita G. d’Annunzio, Italy) and director of the International Research School of Planetary Sciences (Pescara, Italy). He also holds a visiting professor position at the Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Professor Ori is an interdisciplinary scientist for geology and is co-investigator of the high-resolution stereo camera and co-investigator of the subsurface penetrating radar MARSIS on the Mars Express mission. He is also associate to the synthetic aperture radar for the study of Titan’s surface on the Cassini mission and to the team of SHARAD of the subsurface radar sounder on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Professor Ori has been leader of the Surface Analysis Group of the Exobiology Science Team of the European Space Agency and of the Preliminary Science Definition team of the Mars Sample Return ESA mission.
DAVID A. PAIGE is an associate professor of planetary science at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include studies of the surface, atmosphere, polar caps, and climate of Mars; the polar caps of Mercury, the Moon, Triton, and Pluto; Earth’s climate; and remote sensing and spacecraft exploration. He was the principal investigator for the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor instrument package on the Mars Polar Lander spacecraft. Dr. Paige served on the NRC Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (1998 to 2001) and on the Committee on Assessment of Mars Science and Mission Priorities (2001).
ANN PEARSON is an assistant professor of biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. Her research interests cover light isotope biogeochemistry, including applications of com-
pound-specific isotopic analysis to early diagenesis of sedimentary organic matter; anthropogenic perturbation of organic reservoirs and terrestrial carbon dynamics; bacterial pathways of carbon assimilation; environmental ecology and metabolism of Bacteria and Archaea; new interfaces for mass spectrometry with applications to environmental samples; and phylogenetically directed research on problems in organic geochemistry and environmental microbiology. Dr. Pearson has developed entirely new analytical techniques that link genomics, biochemistry, and radio-carbon dating in the context of geochemistry. Also, she is using these new methods in work toward redefining how life emerged and evolved on this planet in the context of the geosystem. She is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Chemical Society and served as a member of the 2003 National Science Foundation (NSF) Review Panel for Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Microbial Observatories, and Microbial Interactions and Processes (MO/MIP); the 2003 Harvard University Curricular Review: Working Group on General Education; and the 2002-2003 Planning Committee for Harvard Microbial Sciences Initiative.
JOHN C. PRISCU is a professor of ecology in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University. His research focuses on nutrient biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, life in extreme environments, and astrobiology. He is currently conducting research on decontamination techniques for sample collection and return from Lake Vostok, and on the novel genomes and physiologies in the lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Also, he is a principal investigator on the McMurdo Dry Valley Long-Term Ecological Research project, which uses the dry valleys as monitors for global change. Dr. Priscu has led research teams to Antarctica for 20 years, and he convenes an international group of specialists to develop a plan to sample Antarctica subglacial lakes. He received the Goldthwait Award in 2003 from the Byrd Polar Research Center for his studies of microbial life in polar ice. He was a member of the AGU Antarctic Research Series Editorial Board for a number of years, is a member of the U.S. Ice Core Working Group, serves on the Advisory Committee for the U.S. Ice Core Drilling Service, and is currently the U.S. representative for Life Science on the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. He served on the NRC Committee on Frontiers in Polar Biology.
MARGARET S. RACE is a scientist with the SETI Institute whose research focuses on planetary protection and analysis of cross-contamination both in space and on Earth. Her current studies involve legal and regulatory aspects of Mars sample return proposals; involvement of the public in the review and approval process for sample return; ethical implications of the possible discovery of life beyond Earth; and educational outreach about astrobiology through schools, museums, and the mass media. Previously, Dr. Race served on the NRC Task Group on Issues in Mars Sample Return (1996 to 1997), Study on Transportation in a Sustainable Environment (1994 to 1997), Task Group on Sample Return from Small Solar System Bodies (1997 to 1998), and Committee on Development of an Addendum to the National Science Education Standards on Science and Technology (1998 to 2001).
MITCHELL L. SOGIN is director of the Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution at the Marine Biological Laboratory. His research interests emphasize molecular phylogeny and the evolution of eukaryotic ribosomal RNAs. He is a member of the American Society of Microbiology, the Society of Protozoologists, the International Society of Evolutionary Protozoologists, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Society for Cell Biology. Dr. Sogin is a former member of the Space Studies Board (1999 to 2004), an associate fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, a division lecturer for the American Society of Microbiology, a recipient of the Stoll Stunkard Award from the American Society of Parasitologists, a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a visiting Miller Research Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
CRISTINA TAKACS-VESBACH is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. Dr. Takacs-Vesbach conducted her graduate work in microbial ecology and performed research on the factors affecting bacterioplankton distribution and productivity in the dry valley lakes of Antarctica. Her postdoctoral work focused on the microbial phylogenetic and physiological diversity of hydrothermal springs.
Dr. Takacs-Vesbach is the recipient of the outstanding doctoral student award of the Montana State University (MSU) Foundation, the John Wright Award for Limnology, and the Gary Lynch Award from the MSU Department of Biology.
PAMELA L. WHITNEY, study director, is a senior program officer at the Space Studies Board, where she has directed studies and workshops on international cooperation in space, Earth remote sensing, Mars planetary protection, and space policy, among other space technology and research topics. Ms. Whitney also serves as the executive secretary of the U.S. national committee to the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science (ICSU). Previously, she held positions as an analyst at the aerospace consulting firm CSP Associates, Inc., and as a researcher and writer for Time-Life Books, Inc. Ms. Whitney was president of Freelance Unlimited and held contracts with the National Geographic Society, the World Bank, and the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment. Ms. Whitney holds an A.B. in economics from Smith College and an M.A. in international communication from the American University. She is a member of Women in Aerospace and the International Academy of Astronautics.
EMILIE CLEMMENS was an NRC Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellow at the Space Studies Board during the fall of 2004. Emilie earned a Ph.D. in bioengineering in December 2003 from the University of Washington and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Kentucky. Her dissertation research was aimed at understanding molecular-level differences between cardiac and skeletal muscles, and she engineered a system to measure in vitro muscle protein mechanics. Dr. Clemmens is also the co-founder of the Forum on Science Ethics & Policy, which is a new organization dedicated to promoting dialogue in the Seattle area between scientists, policy experts, legislators, and the general public on timely issues concerning the ethics and policy of scientific research.
AMANDA SHARP, summer undergraduate intern research assistant, is a rising senior at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in physics, but her courses have included significant work in astronomy and math. Her undergraduate research work has included modeling the atmospheric profiles of extrasolar giant planets and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.
CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN has worked for the National Academies since 1974. She started as a senior project assistant in the Institute for Laboratory Animals for Research (ILAR), which is now a board in the Division on Earth and Life Sciences (DELS), where she worked for 2 years before transferring to the Space Science Board, which is now the Space Studies Board.
CATHERINE A. GRUBER is an assistant editor with the Space Studies Board. She joined SSB as a senior program assistant in 1995. Ms. Gruber first came to the NRC in 1988 as a senior secretary for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board and has also worked as an outreach assistant for the National Academy of Sciences-Smithsonian Institution’s National Science Resources Center. She was a research assistant (chemist) in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Cell Biology for 2 years. She has a B.A. in natural science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.