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Dr. Cathy Weitz

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Senior Scientist

Currently resides in VA
weitz [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Mars, Moon
Disciplines/Techniques: Crater Counting, Geology, Geomorphology, Mapping, Mineralogy, Radar, Remote sensing, Spectroscopy, Volcanism
Missions: Mars Insight, MER, MRO, MSL
Mission Roles: Instrument Co-Investigator, Mission Co-Investigator, Mission operations, Mission science team, Science operations
Instruments: Cameras, Imaging spectrometers, Spectrometers

Research Interests

Dr. Weitz is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Her current research focuses on sedimentary deposits on Mars to understand the geologic processes that emplaced and modified them over time, particularly aqueous activity. She is a Co-Investigator on the HiRISE camera where she has mission operations responsibilities to prioritize and target sedimentary and stratigraphic features. She is a science team member on the MSL Curiosity rover mission and studies eolian bedforms while also working with rover engineers to plan safe routes for the rover to drive. She is a science team member on the Insight mission and worked to identify safe locations around the lander to deploy the geophysics instruments. She is a collaborator on the ATHENA science team for the MER mission and performs analyses of soils and small rocks at the Opportunity landing site. She also studies the Moon, focusing on pyroclastics deposits and how they were emplaced by explosive volcanic eruptions.

Professional History

Dr. Weitz received her PhD in Geological Sciences in 1998 from Brown University where she analysed Clementine remote sensing data of the Moon combined with studies of Apollo 17 lunar soil samples. Upon completing her doctorate, she went to JPL as a National Research Council Associate and worked on the Mars 2001 mission and began research on martian volcanism. She then transferred her Associateship to NASA Headquarters and soon became a Program Scientist in the Mars Exploration Program. In addition to her management responsibilities at NASA Headquarters, she also spent time performing research on layered deposits located within the Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars. In 2000, she joined PSI. She is a member of the science teams on the MER, MSL, Insight, and MRO (HiRISE) missions. 

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