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Photo of Nathalie Cabrol
   Nathalie Cabrol
   Planetary Geologist
NASA Ames Research Center/SETI Institute
Moffett Field, California
United States Of America
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High School: Lycée Corneille, La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France, 
Licence in Physical Geography, University of Nanterre, France
Master in Planetary Geology, University of Paris Sorbonne, (France)
Ph.D. in Planetary Geology, University of Sorbonne, Paris (France)

Background Information
I was born in France on August 30, 1963. My parents are Michèle and Jean (John). They are my true inspiration. I guess I have from them the will of never giving up when things are not exactly the way you would like to see them. They have worked hard all of their lives to give me a wonderful childhood and allow me to go to school and college. They have always encouraged me. They are my best friends and although now we are separated by about 10,000 km, they are constantly in my heart and in my thoughts (we fax a lot…). We visit each other twice a year. They come with Viger (V-GER, you know…Star Trek). Viger is their little Yorkshire. I played with him a lot when he was a puppy and I was still in France. As a good "geologist" he travels… in a backpack!

I grew up near Paris, 25 km west in what is called the "green belt" of Paris, with parks and forests. I didn’t go to Paris very often until I started my college years, though. My childhood was spent between my parents and grandparents, holidays with my cousin playing on the shores of the Mediterranean seas and also going to Italy where I have relatives on the side of one of my grandma's. It seems that I never wanted to do anything other than what I am doing today. At five, I was spending my summer nights watching the sky and the stars in the fields. During the day, I was playing with shiny pebbles in the lake where we spent our vacations in Italy or with the sand on the beach. One of my grandma's told me years later, "When you were walking, you were never looking in front of you. You always looked at the stars or at the rocks". Naturalist already- maybe with a hint of biologist which was evident through the number of "guests" I brought back home (fishes, frogs, tadpoles, etc.). But a naturalist with a method and already some taste for testing and experiments, like when I was about three years old and tried to catch a crow by throwing salt on its tail following my parent's advice. Although I spent a long time hiding behind that tree and the bird came quite close, it did not work. Later on, when I was about 12, I started to cultivate beans in my room (my parents were *really* patient) to study genetics, I insisted. I was puzzled as to why some of the flowers were pink and others were white. I maintained a log for quite some time, and we ate the beans before they become too hard! So, I guess I do not know what made me study science. I was born with this in me. The universe and the planets fascinated me. I loved nature very early and, as an only child spending many hours alone, I developed a lot of curiosity and the capacity to dream. My parents bought me great books about astronomy, geology, and plate tectonics for birthdays and Christmas. They were really supportive of my passion and were always positive and encouraging. They made a difference. There were some defining moments at school too. Some of my teachers fascinated me by their passion for their discipline. My geology professor in my preparation year to the university helped mold me into what and who I am today. Sometimes it just takes a word to catch the attention of children forever. I have been married for two year and half years now to Edmond Grin, who is an Athena Science Team collaborator. We have known each other for a bit more than 16 years. We share the same passion and this makes life wonderful.

Contributions to Mars Exploration

content image for contributions section I am a Athena Science Team member. I was selected as a Participating Scientist at the end of May 2002. I will be styding the traces left by the action of water at both landing sites at macro and micro scale. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

Never give up your dreams and work hard for them because the reward is a life of fulfilled passion. [more personal reflections ...]