In graduate school, I studied Archean Earth Banded Iron-Formations as a terrestrial analog to the hematite deposits discovered on Mars by the TES instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor Spacecraft. Upon completion of my Masters degree, I joined my advisor, Dr. Wendy Calvin, as a collaborator on the Mars Exploration Rover Science Team at JPL in Pasadena, California.
I have been participating in Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Operations since Spirit and Opportunity landed in January, 2004. I started out participating in the Mineralogy and Geochemistry science theme group designing observations for the rover to make in order to learn more about the composition of the surrounding terrain. I was also a Payload Downlink Lead for the Mini-TES instrument, reviewing data downlinked from that instrument to verify instrument health and take a preliminary look at data collected. In April of 2004, I became a Payload Uplink Lead for the Mini-TES instrument, generating the commands for that instrument on a daily basis. In September 2004 I started as a Keeper-of-the-Plan (KOP_ - building the complete science activity plan for one of the rovers each day. I continued work for the Mini-TES instrument and as a KOP until July of 2006, when JPL hired me as an engineer for the MER Mission. Since then I have fulfilled various roles on the MER integrated sequencing team including that of the Tactical Uplink Lead (TUL). The TUL is responsible for generating the master sequence for the rover, and coordinating the sequence generation and delivery for all the instruments throughout the planning cycle. I am also a member the MER Mission Planning Team which builds all communication windows for the rovers in coordination with the DSN schedulers and other missions.