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Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division (2017)

Chapter: Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
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D

Committee Members and Staff Biographies

STEPHEN J. MACKWELL, Chair, is the corporate director, science programs, for the Universities Space Research Association. Most recently, he served as the outgoing director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Prior to that appointment, Dr. Mackwell served as the director of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. He has served as program director for geophysics, Division of Earth Sciences, National Science Foundation (NSF); as member, group chief, and panel chair of the review panel for NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics and Solar System Workings Programs; as expert reviewer for the Department of Energy’s Geosciences Research Program; and as expert consultant for the NSF Division of Earth Sciences. Dr. Mackwell conducts laboratory-based research into the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of geological materials under conditions relevant to the mantle and crust of Earth and other terrestrial planets. He received his Ph.D. from the Australian National University. His past committee service for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine includes the Committee on New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration, the Committee to Review Near-Earth-Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies, the Committee on the Planetary Science Decadal Survey, the Committee on Lessons Learned in Decadal Planning in Space Science: A Workshop, the Committee on Assessment of NASA Science Mission Directorate 2014 Science Plan, and the Committee on Survey of Surveys: Lessons Learned in Decadal Planning in Space Science. He currently serves on the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science.

MICHAEL F. A’HEARN is a distinguished university professor emeritus and research professor of astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). His research is aimed at the small bodies of the solar system, particularly comets, and what they tell us about the origin of the solar system. At UMCP, he was the principal investigator (PI) for both the Deep Impact mission and the EPOXI mission in NASA’s Discovery Program. He is the PI for the Small Bodies Node of NASA’s Planetary Data System and is a member of two instrument teams on European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission (the ALICE UV spectrometer and the OSIRIS cameras). Dr. A’Hearn has been at the University of Maryland since 1966 (with visiting positions elsewhere). He has received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement twice, the Gerard P. Kuiper Prize of the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS’s) Division for Planetary Sciences, and the Space Science Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin. His prior National Academies service includes the Committee to Review Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies, the Panel on Primitive Bodies of the Committee on a New Science Strategy for Solar System Exploration (the first planetary science decadal survey), and the Task Group on Sample Returns from Small Bodies.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×

JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER is a consultant in science and technology policy at Alexander Space Policy Consultants. He was a senior program officer with the National Academies’ Space Studies Board (SSB) from 2005 until 2013, and he served as SSB director from 1998 until November 2005. Prior to joining the National Academies, he was deputy assistant administrator for science in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development, where he coordinated a broad spectrum of environmental science and led strategic planning. He has also served as associate director of space sciences at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and, concurrently, as acting chief of the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics (1993-1994); assistant associate administrator for space sciences and applications in the NASA Office of Space Science and Applications, where he coordinated planning and provided oversight of all scientific research programs (1987-1993); and acting director of life sciences (1992-1993). Prior positions have included deputy NASA chief scientist, senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and research scientist at the GSFC. His research interests were in radio astronomy and space physics.

JOSEPH A. BURNS is the Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and a professor of astronomy at Cornell University. Dr. Burns has also served as dean of the faculty at Cornell since 2012. His research interests center on using the principles of mechanics and classical physics to understand various aspects of the current structure of the solar system. He is particularly interested in the structure and dynamics of planetary rings. Dr. Burns is a member of the Cassini Imaging Team. He has curated exhibits of those images simultaneously being shown at the American Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum. Dr. Burns is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Royal Astronomical Society. He is an elected member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the International Academy of Astronautics. He has been a vice president of the AAS and has chaired their divisions for Planetary Sciences and Dynamical Astronomy (DDA). He received the DDA’s Brouwer Prize in 2013. His National Academies experience includes membership on the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, the Space Studies Board, the Committee on a New Science Strategy for Solar System Exploration, and the Panel on Ultraviolet, Optical, and Infrared Astronomy from Space of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee.

LARRY W. ESPOSITO is a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. He is the PI of the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) experiment on the Cassini space mission to Saturn. He was chair of the Voyager Rings Working Group and, as a member of the Pioneer Saturn Imaging Team, he discovered Saturn’s F ring. His research focuses on the nature and history of planetary rings. Dr. Esposito has been a participant in numerous U.S., Russian, and European space missions and used the Hubble Space Telescope for its first observations of Venus. He was awarded the Harold C. Urey Prize from the AAS, the Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement from NASA, and the Richtmyer Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society. Dr. Esposito has extensive National Academies experience, including service on the Task Group on the Forward Contamination of Europa and the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration.

G. SCOTT HUBBARD is an adjunct professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, the director emeritus of the Stanford Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation (COE CST), and the editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal New Space. Dr. Hubbard has been engaged in space-related research, as well as program, project, and executive management, for more than 40 years, including 20 years with NASA—culminating as director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. At Stanford, Dr. Hubbard’s research interests include the study of both human and robotic exploration of space with a particular focus on technology and missions for planetary exploration, especially Mars. Examples include novel hybrid propulsion for applications such as a Mars Ascent Vehicle and drilling techniques for a future Mars sample-return mission. Dr. Hubbard served as NASA’s first Mars program director and successfully restructured the entire Mars program in the wake of mission failures. His book Exploring Mars: Chronicles from a Decade of Discovery describes his work on NASA’s Mars program. Dr. Hubbard previously served as the sole NASA representative on the Columbia

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×

Accident Investigation Board and directed the impact testing that established the definitive physical cause of the accident. He was the founder of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, conceived the Mars Pathfinder mission with its airbag landing, and was the manager for NASA’s highly successful Lunar Prospector Mission. Prior to joining NASA, he was a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and directed a high-tech start-up company. He chairs the SpaceX Commercial Crew Safety Advisory Panel. Within the COE CST, Dr. Hubbard led research to enable, facilitate, and promote commercial space. He has received many honors, including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. Dr. Hubbard has received several honorary doctorates. He earned his B.A. in physics-astronomy at Vanderbilt University. He has served on the National Academies’ Decadal Survey for Planetary Science 2013-2022 and the Committee for Astrobiology and Planetary Science. He is a NASA Advisory Council at-large member.

TORRENCE V. JOHNSON is a senior research scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He is also a visiting associate in planetary science at the California Institute of Technology. At JPL, his most recent position was chief scientist for Solar System Exploration. His research interests include the study of the satellites of outer planets, the dynamics and chemistry of Io using both spacecraft and ground-based telescopic observations, laboratory studies of silicates and ices, and interpretation of planetary spacecraft data. He was an imaging team member during the Voyager mission’s planetary phase, and he was the project scientist for the Galileo mission from 1977 to end of mission. Currently, he is an imaging team member and co-investigator on the Cosmic Dust analyzer on the Cassini mission. He is a fellow of the AGU, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Padua in Italy. He earned his Ph.D. in planetary science from the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Johnson’s National Academies service includes membership on the U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics and the Working Group on Planetary Science.

PETER B. KELEMEN is the Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor at Columbia University. He also serves as the chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. His current research interests are in the geologic capture and storage of CO2 (CCS) via mineral carbonation, the subduction zone carbon cycle, and reaction-driven cracking processes in natural and engineered settings, with application to CCS, geothermal power generation, hydrocarbon extraction, and in situ mining. In addition, he is working on reactive transport of melt and fluids in Earth’s upper mantle and crust, genesis and evolution of oceanic and continental crust, subduction zone processes, and viscous mechanisms for earthquake initiation in the mantle and beneath glaciers. Dr. Kelemen was a founding partner of Dihedral Exploration, a mineral exploration consultancy specializing in field work requiring technical climbing skills, with which he searched for ore deposits in British Columbia, Alaska, and Greenland. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the AGU, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the Geochemical Society. He has received the AGU Bowen Award and Columbia University’s Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award. He has participated in a broad range of NSF-based workshops and planning meetings related to Earth sciences and marine geology and geophysics. He received his Ph.D. in geological sciences from the University of Washington.

MAKENZIE LYSTRUP is the director of advanced systems and business development at Ball Aerospace Civil Space. At Ball, Dr. Lystrup leads the new business organization that addresses customers who include NASA, NOAA, and other civil government agencies. She also leads strategic planning for the Civil Space business unit. Her research interests have been in infrared spectroscopic observations of giant planet upper atmospheres and planetary ionosphere-magnetosphere interactions. Previously, Dr. Lystrup was a science policy congressional fellow and a NSF astronomy and astrophysics postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. She received her Ph.D. in astrophysics from University College London.

JUAN PEREZ-MERCADER is a senior research fellow and PI of a large group at Harvard University in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His current research interests are in the physics and chemistry of self-organizing behavior, information in non-equilibrium physico-chemical systems, chemical computation, origins of life, theoretical biology, and life detection. He previously served as the first director of Spain’s Centro de

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×

Astrobiologia (CAB), which he helped found in Association with the NASA Astrobiology Institute. He is also profesor de investigación in Spain’s National Research Council (CSIC) and an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute. Dr. Perez-Mercader has authored about 150 research papers and five books, including a best-selling popular science book in Spanish. He has two patents in biotechnology and one pending in chemical computing. He is an elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics and of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is the recipient of many honors and distinctions. Among these are one of the prizes given in 1994 by the Gravity Research Foundation, the European Physical Society Lecturer for the 2005 Celebrations in Bern of Einstein’s 1905 work there, and the NASA Public Service Medal, as well as NASA’s Group’s Achievement Award for exceptional achievement on Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS). He received his Ph.D. in physics from the City College of New York.

JOHN D. RUMMEL is a senior scientist with the SETI Institute, where he works on astrobiology and planetary protection science and policy issues. He is currently a visiting scholar at the McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law, working on models of future space governance for protection and use of space environments. Dr. Rummel was formerly the director of the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy and a professor of biology at East Carolina University, where he continued his interests in ecosystems ecology, community ecology, and evolutionary biology. He maintains an active interest in the ecology and biogeography of deep sea hydrothermal vents and the potential for life elsewhere in the universe. Dr. Rummel previously worked as both the planetary protection officer and the senior scientist for astrobiology at NASA and as director of research administration and education at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He is the recipient of numerous performance and achievement awards for his work at NASA, and is a fellow of AAAS, and the recipient of the Life Sciences Award from the International Academy of Astronautics. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University for research in community ecology and evolution. Dr. Rummel is a former member of the National Academies’ Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration and served as the chair of the Panel on Planetary Protection of the International Council for Science’s Committee on Space Research (1999-2014). He was also a member of the NASA Advisory Council’s Planetary Protection Subcommittee until 2015.

Staff

DAVID H. SMITH, Study Director, joined the SSB in 1991. He is the senior staff officer and study director for a variety of activities at the National Academies in planetary science, astrobiology, and astrophysics. He also organizes 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 Sussex University 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 MIT.

CHARLIE HARRIS was a research associate for the SSB and the ASEB through August 2016. He graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2014 with a double major in public policy and communication studies, and a minor in astronomy. He has served as an intern with NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters and with the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has also worked as a junior associate with an independent policy firm focused on providing clients in the commercial space sector with government relations services and strategic consulting.

DIONNA J. WISE is a program coordinator with the SSB, having previously worked for the National Academies’ Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education for 5 years. Ms. Wise has a long career in office administration, having worked as a supervisor in a number of capacities and fields. She attended the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and majored in psychology.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×

CHERIE ACHILLES was a Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Intern with the SSB. She is a Ph.D. student studying geosciences at University of Arizona. Her research focuses on martian surface materials, specifically the crystalline and amorphous phases comprising rocks and sediments analyzed by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. Prior to entering graduate school, Ms. Achilles received her Bachelor of Science degree in molecular and cellular biology and in microbiology from the University of Arizona in 2008. From 2005 -2008, she was a member of the engineering and operations team for the Surface Stereo Imager on the Phoenix Mars Lander. Following the Phoenix mission, Ms. Achilles joined the Astromaterials and Research Exploration Science group at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). While at JSC she was involved in several Mars-related research projects and became a member the MSL Science Team working with the CheMin instrument. In addition to her involvement with the Mars research group, she contributed to the analysis of interplanetary dust particles as well as the sampling and analysis of hyper-velocity impact structures from space hardware (e.g., Space Shuttle, ISS). Ms. Achilles left JSC in 2013 to pursue her Ph.D. but continues her involvement in CheMin operations and research while at the University of Arizona.

SARAH PEACOCK was a Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Intern with the SSB. She is a fourth year doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Her research interests include exoplanet atmospheres and habitability. Her dissertation work involves modeling the high-energy radiation environment around M dwarf stars and applying that radiation to planetary atmospheres. Ms. Peacock is the recipient of a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship and a Galileo Circle Scholarship. She received her M.S. in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona in 2016 and her B.A. in astronomy-physics from the University of Virginia in 2013.

MICHAEL MOLONEY is the director for space and aeronautics at the SSB and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) of the National Academies. Since joining the ASEB/SSB, Dr. Moloney has overseen the production of more than 40 reports, including four decadal surveys—in astronomy and astrophysics, planetary science, life and microgravity science, and solar and space physics—a review of the goals and direction of the U.S. human exploration program, a prioritization of NASA space technology roadmaps, as well as reports on issues such as NASA’s Strategic Direction, orbital debris, the future of NASA’s astronaut corps, and NASA’s flight research program. Before joining the SSB and ASEB in 2010, Dr. Moloney was associate director of the Board on Physics and Astronomy and study director for the decadal survey for astronomy and astrophysics (Astro2010). Since joining the Academies in 2001, Dr. Moloney has served as a study director at the National Materials Advisory Board, the Board on Physics and Astronomy, the Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design, and the Center for Economic, Governance, and International Studies. Dr. Moloney has served as study director or senior staff for a series of reports on subject matters as varied as quantum physics, nanotechnology, cosmology, the operation of the nation’s helium reserve, new anti-counterfeiting technologies for currency, corrosion science, and nuclear fusion. In addition to his professional experience at the National Academies, Dr. Moloney has more than 7 years’ experience as a foreign-service officer for the Irish government—including serving at the Irish Embassy in Washington and the Irish Mission to the United Nations in New York. A physicist, Dr. Moloney did his Ph.D. work at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. He received his undergraduate degree in experimental physics at University College Dublin, where he was awarded the Nevin Medal for Physics.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×
Page 52
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×
Page 53
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×
Page 54
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×
Page 55
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Committee Members and Staff Biographies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Restructured Research and Analysis Programs of NASA's Planetary Science Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24759.
×
Page 56
Next: Appendix E: Glossary and Acronyms »
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The Research and Analysis (R&A) program managed by NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD), supports a broad range of planetary science activities, including the analysis of data from past and current spacecraft; laboratory research; theoretical, modeling, and computational studies; geological and astrobiological fieldwork in planetary analog environments on Earth; geological mapping of planetary bodies; analysis of data from Earth- and space-based telescopes; and development of flight instruments and technology needed for future planetary science missions. The primary role of the PSD R&A program is to address NASA’s strategic objective for planetary science and PSD’s science goals.

Recently, PSD reorganized the R&A program to provide better alignment with the strategic goals for planetary sciences. The major changes in the R&A program involved consolidating a number of prior program elements, many of which were organized by subdiscipline, into a smaller number of thematic core research program elements. Despite numerous efforts by PSD to communicate the rationale for the reorganization and articulate clearly the new processes, there has been significant resistance from the planetary science community and concerns in some sectors regarding the major realignment of funding priorities.

Review of NASA’s Planetary Science Division’s Restructured Research and Analysis Programs examines the new R&A program and determines if it appropriately aligns with the agency’s strategic goals, supports existing flight programs, and enables future missions. This report explores whether any specific research areas or subdisciplinary groups that are critical to NASA’s strategic objectives for planetary science and PSD’s science goals are not supported appropriately in the current program or have been inadvertently disenfranchised through the reorganization.

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