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Photo of Deborah Bass
   Deborah Bass
   Deputy Project Scientist Phoenix Mars Lander
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California
United States Of America
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High School: Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto,  CA
B. A. Geology, University of Pennyslvania
Ph.D. Planetary Geology, University of California, Los Angeles

Background Information
Dr. Deborah Bass is currently the Deputy Project Scientist for the Phoenix Mars Lander Mission, which landed safely in the northern Martian Arctic May 25, 2008. She also works in the Mars Program Office, examining the state and future of Mars Sample Receiving Facilities. Deborah received her bachelors degree in Geology from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD in Planetary Geology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Bass conducts independent research on the Martian water cycle, focusing on surface-atmosphere interactions in the north polar region. Deborah has been working with and around JPL for approximately 13 years, conducting most of her PhD research at JPL, as well as representing Cassini science planning for the CAPS and INMS instruments while she was employed at Southwest Research Institute. Dr. Bass was part of the science team on the Mars 98 Mars Polar Lander, working interfaces between the spacecraft team and the science team. Dr. Bass came to JPL formally in 2001, where she worked as the Science Operations System Engineer for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project, and most recently as the MER Deputy Science Team Chief. Deborah also participates in a variety of outreach activities for the space program, from conducting both print, television and radio interviews to engaging in public speaking opportunities for K-12, college and general public audiences. She was part of the Marsapalooza team, participating in a 7 day, 5 city tour to promote the MER mission just prior to landing.

In her hours away from JPL, Deborah spends as much time as she can with her husband, twin baby daughters, and two German shepherd dogs. Deborah also enjoys yoga, hiking, cooking and drinking fine wine.

Contributions to Mars Exploration

I study water transport in and out of the martian north polar region. While there does not appear to be any liquid water currently on the surface of Mars, there is actually a decent amount of water ice in the martian soil (like permafrost on Earth) as well as condensed at the poles in the form of polar caps. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

When I was in high school, I took a geology class. Geology is about studying the history of the Earth. You can classify rocks and mountains and other things in ways that show how they got there. When you start to learn geology, it is a lot of vocabulary. [more personal reflections ...]