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Dr. Jim Rice

Senior Scientist

Currently resides in Paradise Valley, AZ
rice [at] psi.edu
Areas of Expertise
Mars | Cassini, Europa Clipper, Mars Global Surveyor, MRO | Geology, Ground-based observing, Mapping, Mineralogy, Numerical modeling, Photometry, Remote sensing, Space-based observing

Research Interests

Dr. Jim Rice is interested in the geomorphology/geology and history of water on Mars. He is a Co-Investigator and Geology Team Leader on the Mars Exploration Rover Project (Spirit and Opportunity) and also has mission experience working on the Mars Odyssey Orbiter and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Projects. Additionally, he has extensive geological field experience (over 20 years experience in Antarctica, High Arctic, Iceland, Hawaii) studying a wide variety of Mars analog environments and geologic processes including volcanism and impact cratering, glacial, fluvial, periglacial, aeolian, and lacustrine geomorphology and surface physical processes. He has also organized and led several NASA sponsored field conferences to Mars analog sites around the world. He has been a team member on numerous international geological field expeditions around the world including a 6 month long joint NASA/Russian expedition to Antarctica. This work included being a member of the SCUBA diving team to first investigate the perennially frozen lakes of eastern Antarctica.

Professional History

Dr. Rice received his PhD in Geological Sciences in 1997 from Arizona State University where he studied aqueous sedimentary basins on Mars. He then became a Research Associate at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona where he was a Science Imaging Team Member of the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) and Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) systems onboard the Mars Polar Lander. When Mars Polar Lander was lost, he returned to Arizona State University where he was responsible for the selection, prioritization, planning and targeting of observations for the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) experiments. He is a Mars Rover Co-Investigator, serving on the Geology and Strategic Long Term Planning Groups, and he is the Associate Project Scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. He has also served on numerous NASA Science Analysis Groups for manned missions back to the Moon and Mars. He was a NASA Astronaut Candidate Finalist in 2000 and 2009. Dr. Rice joined the permanent science staff of PSI In 2013.

Honors and Awards

NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover Science Operations
NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover 1 Extended Mission
NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover 2 Extended Mission
NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover 3 Extended Mission
NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover 4 Extended Mission
NASA Group Achievement Awards for Mars Odyssey Orbiter Operations
Induction into the Inaugural Class of the United Space Camp Hall of Fame

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