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   Jeff Johnson

What advice can you offer to young scientists or engineers?

When you have difficulty finding a job directly related to your goals, search for jobs where you will learn things that are relevant to your goals. You will learn some additional and useful skills that will undoubtedly help you land that dream job when it becomes available.

What is the most fascinating thing about your mission?

There is a planet out there with as much land area as Earth, but we’ve only landed on three little spots to study the surface up close. If we were to attempt to figure out the history of the Earth based on observations at three locations, we would know very little about how the Earth actually works. Every time we explore another spot on Mars, we have the chance to see things no one has ever seen before and to make them as familiar to us as our own backyard.

What's the most challenging part of your job?

Writing successful proposals on a consistent basis to provide sufficient funding for my research position at the USGS.

Do you work on any other projects at your company?

I work on several other projects at the USGS. One involves laboratory spectroscopy of experimentally shocked minerals and rocks and application of those data to remotely-sensed spectra of Mars. The goal is determine the extent which impact cratering effects on Mars influence the composition and mineralogy of the surface. Another suite of projects study the effects of dust coatings on the spectra of rocks, soils, and rover components. The goals of these studies are to estimate the dust deposition rate on Mars and its effect on rover performance and geologic processes, as well as determining how well cameras and spectrometers can see the underlying rocks coated by difference amounts of dust.

Do you have any hobbies?

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Golf, Softball, Hiking, Skiing, Basketball

Jeff Johnson:
  Background Information
  Contributions to Mars Exploration
  Personal Reflections