MITCHELL L. SOGIN, Chair, is a senior scientist and director of the Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He also is a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry for the Brown University−MBL Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences. Prior to joining MBL in 1989, he was on the faculty of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. His current research focuses on the molecular evolution of protists, microbial diversity in extreme environments, and microbial oceanography. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the AAAS, and he currently serves on the editorial boards of four scientific journals. He received his Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His past NRC service includes membership on the Space Studies Board, Committee on the Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems, Committee on Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars, Committee on a New Science Strategy for Solar System Exploration, Steering Group for the Workshop on Size Limits of Very Small Microorganisms, and Task Group on Sample Return from Small Solar System Bodies.
GEOFFREY COLLINS, Vice Chair, is an associate professor of geology at Wheaton College. He joined the faculty at Wheaton College in 2000 after receiving his Ph.D. in geological science from Brown University. He is a planetary scientist who is interested in geologic processes on the icy satellites of the outer solar system, including Ganymede and Europa at Jupiter and Enceladus, Dione, and Titan at Saturn.
AMY BAKER is the owner of Technical Administrative Services (TAS), a technically based service organization that provides technical and administrative support focusing specifically on the needs of the international scientific community. Over the past 6 years under TAS auspices she has participated in research for new biological methods for inclusion in NASA’s planetary protection procedures. As senior engineer with Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Ms. Baker worked as the technical lead for the Planetary Protection Laboratory for the Mars Surveyor Program and the Chemical Technology Laboratory. During her tenure with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory she served as the deputy director for the Hydrogen Research Program for the Department of Energy. Ms. Baker was also the secretariat to the International Energy Agency Executive Committee on Hydrogen Research. She was a member of the NRC Committee on Principles of Environmental and Scientific Stewardship for the Exploration and Study of Subglacial Lake Environments.
JOHN A. BAROSS is a professor of oceanography and in the Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. His research specialty is the ecology, physiology, and molecular phylogeny of microorganisms and viruses from hydrothermal vent and subseafloor environments. Dr. Baross has particular interests in the microbiology of extreme environments and in the significance of submarine hydrothermal vent systems for the origin and evolution of life and for the possibility of life on other planets in similar settings. He received his Ph.D. in marine microbiology from the University of Washington. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a national associate of the National Research Council. His NRC service includes chairing the Committee on the Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems, co-chairing the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life and the Committee for a Review of Programs to Determine the Extent of Life in the Universe, and serving as a member on the Steering Group for the Workshop on Size Limits of Very Small Microorganisms, the Task Group on Sample Return from Small Solar System Bodies, and the Ad Hoc Task Group on Mars Planetary Protection.
AMY C. BARR is an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University. Her research interests are in planetary mantle convection with an emphasis on icy satellites, planetary impacts, ice physics, and nonlinear fluid dynamics. After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in 2004, she held a postdoctoral position at Washington University, St. Louis, and then joined Southwest Research Institute, where she remained until 2011. She has been a principal investigator in the NASA Cassini data analysis program, the outer planets research program, and the planetary geology and geophysics program. Her current research interests are in accretion and early thermal evolution of planetary satellites, planetary impacts, heat transfer in solid planets, evolution of grain size and crystal fabric in ice, and the relationship between solid-state convection and resurfacing on icy bodies. Dr. Barr is a graduate of the California Institute of Technology, where she completed a B.S. in planetary science. In 2007, Dr. Barr received a NASA early career fellowship.
WILLIAM V. BOYNTON is a professor in the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona. His research interests include mineralogic and trace element studies of meteorites and impact events, internal stratigraphy and provenance of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary sediments, remote sensing via gamma-ray spectrometry, instrumentation for chemical analysis of planetary surfaces, and Mars surface chemistry. He has been extensively involved in Mars missions since 1984. His gamma-ray spectrometer first flew on the ill-fated Mars Observer spacecraft in the early 1990s before being successfully deployed by Mars Odyssey in 2002. He is the principal investigator of the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analysis instrument, which studied the chemical properties of martian surface materials on the Mars Phoenix spacecraft. His extensive NRC service includes membership on the Committee on the Review of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample-Return Missions, the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, the Committee on the Assessment of Solar System Exploration, and the Committee on Assessment of Mars Science and Mission Priorities.
CHARLES S. COCKELL is a professor of astrobiology at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. He was formerly a professor and chair of geomicrobiology in the Center for Earth, Planetary, Space, and Astronomical Research at the Open University in the United Kingdom. His research focuses on microbemineral interactions and the way in which microorganisms colonize and live in rocky environments in the solar system. Dr. Cockell’s committee service has included membership on the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Life Sciences Working Group, the ESA Planetary Protection Working Group, the ESA Science and Technology Advisory Group, and the NASA Mars Human Precursor Science Steering Group. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Explorers Club of New York, the British Interplanetary Society, and the Royal Astronomical Society. Dr. Cockell has authored two popular science books and has been the co-editor of four scientific books. In 1994 he founded the Earth and Space Foundation, a charity that awards grants to expeditions that successfully bridge the gap between environmentalism and the exploration and settlement of space by either using space technologies and ideas in environmental fieldwork or using environments on Earth to advance knowledge of other planets. He received his D.Phil. in molecular biophysics from the University of Oxford.
MICHAEL J. DALY is a professor of pathology at the School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is an expert in the study of bacteria belonging to the family Deinococcaceae, which are some of the most radiation-resistant organisms yet discovered. Dr. Daly’s NRC service includes membership on the Committee on Planetary Protection Requirements for Venus Missions, the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life, the Committee on the Astrophysical Context of Life, and the Task Group on the Forward Contamination of Europa.
JOSEPH R. FRAGOLA is vice president of Valador, Inc., a small information architecture consulting firm. Mr. Fragola has more than 35 years of experience working in reliability and risk technology in both the aerospace and nuclear industries. He is a professional engineer and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the Polytechnic Institute of New York. In the past he has worked for Grumman Aerospace Corporation and for IEEE at its headquarters in New York. He was recently a principal scientist at SAIC and continues to be a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He has published nearly 50 papers and two books. He was awarded the P.K. McElroy RAMS Best Paper Award in 1993, the Alan Plait Award for the Best Tutorial in 2004, and the IEEE Region I Award and has been named an IEEE fellow for his contributions to the theory and practice of risk, safety, and reliability.
ROSALY M.C. LOPES is a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and deputy manager for the Planetary Sciences Section. Her research interests focus on the use of remote sensing data collected from spacecraft to further develop theoretical models of surface processes, including analysis of Io’s infrared spectra obtained by Galileo’s Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer and analysis of geologic features on Titan using the Cassini Radar Mapper, with particular emphasis on cryovolcanic features. Recognition for her work includes the Wings WorldQuest: Women of Discovery Award, the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, and the Latinas in Science Award from the Comision Feminil Mexicana Nacional, and she is a fellow of the AAAS. She is the author or co-author of five books and nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications. She served as a member of the NRC Committee on New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration.
KENNETH H. NEALSON is the Wrigley Professor of Geobiology at the University of Southern California. His research interests focus on environmental microbiology and biogeochemistry. Dr. Nealson previously served as a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and as a professor at the Center for Great Lakes Studies of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a recipient of the Distinguished Visiting Researcher Award from the Joint Oceanographic Institution, and a recipient of the Cecil and Ida Green Visiting Professorship at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. In addition, he received the 2003 Proctor and Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. He received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Nealson has served on the NRC’s Space Studies Board, the Task Group on Issues in Sample Return, the Ad Hoc Task Group on Planetary Protection, the Committee on Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution, and the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life.
DOUGLAS S. STETSON is a consultant, specializing in innovative mission and system concepts, strategic planning, decision analysis, proposal development, and university and industry partnerships. He is the founder and president of the Space Science and Exploration Consulting Group, a network of senior advisors and experienced individuals drawn from NASA, national laboratories, industry, and universities. Prior to becoming a consultant, Mr. Stetson spent 25 years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a variety of technical and management positions, including several assignments at NASA Headquarters. At JPL he was most recently the manager of the Solar System Mission Formulation Office, where he was responsible for development of all new planetary mission and technology strategies and programs. Earlier in his career, Mr. Stetson played key roles in the design and development of several major planetary missions, including Cassini and Galileo, and he was the leader of many planetary advanced studies and proposals. He was a member of the Inner Planets Panel for the NRC’s Planetary Science Decadal Survey.
MARK H. THIEMENS is the dean of physical sciences, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and the Chancellor’s Associates Chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. His research is centered on use of the mass-independent fractionation process for stable isotopes to study the origin and evolution of the solar system, definition of the source and transformation of greenhouse gases in the troposphere, chemistry of the stratosphere and mesosphere, chemistry of the ancient martian atmosphere, and the origin and evolution of oxygen-ozone and life in Earth’s Precambrian. Dr. Thiemens is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and his extensive NAS-NRC service includes membership on the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, the PNAS editorial board, and the Committee on the Review of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample-Return Missions.
DAVID H. SMITH joined the Space Studies Board (SSB) in 1991. He is the senior staff officer and study director for a variety of NRC activities in planetary science, astrobiology, and astrophysics. He also organizes the SSB’s Lloyd V. Berkner Summer Policy Internship program and supervises most, if not all, of the interns. He received a B.Sc. in mathematical physics from the University of Liverpool in 1976, completed Part III of the Mathematics Tripos at Cambridge University in 1977, and earned a D.Phil. in theoretical astrophysics from the University of Sussex in 1981. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Queen Mary College University of London (1980-1982), he held the position of associate editor and, later, technical editor of Sky and Telescope. Immediately prior to joining the staff of the SSB, Dr. Smith was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
CATHERINE A. GRUBER is an editor with the SSB. She joined the 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.
RODNEY N. HOWARD joined the SSB as a senior project assistant in 2002. Before he joined the SSB, most of his vocational life was spent in the health profession as a pharmacy technologist at Doctor’s Hospital in Lanham, Maryland, and as an interim center administrator at the Concentra Medical Center in Jessup, Maryland. During that time, he participated in a number of Quality Circle Initiatives, which were designed to improve relations between management and staff. Mr. Howard obtained his B.A. in communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 1983.
HEATHER D. SMITH recently completed her Ph.D. in biological engineering from Utah State University. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Texas, Dr. Smith moved to California to work as a Space Camp counselor. While at Space Camp she volunteered at NASA Ames Research Center and was hired as a research associate for the SETI Institute upon completion of an undergraduate degree in physics from the Evergreen State College. After working at Ames for several years she decided to go back to graduate school. Prior to her doctoral degree she earned an M.Sc. in space studies from International Space University.
ANNA B. WILLIAMS received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Northeastern University. Her doctoral research focused on the development of small organic mimics of the protein alpha helix, for use as inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. Another aspect of her work was in the development of synthetic methodology toward the efficient radiolabeling of compounds of known biological activity for use as radioactive tracers. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Williams received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a minor in philosophy from Dickinson College.
KATIE DAUD is a senior at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a triple major in planetary science, Earth science, and political science. She serves as the president of the Astronomy Club, senator for the Community Government Association, and chair of the Student Organizations Committee. She did research for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on lunar tectonics.
DANIELLE PISKORZ recently graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in physics and a minor in applied international studies. She has done various research projects at L’Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and she spent her junior year studying at the University of Cambridge. Ms. Piskorz will begin her graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology in the fall of 2012.