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Photo of Robert Anderson
   Robert Anderson
   MER Investigation Scientist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California
United States Of America
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High School: Warwick High School, Newport News,  VA
Bachelor of Science-Geology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA
Masters of Science, Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA
PhD-Geology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA

Background Information
Bob Anderson was born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised in Newport News, Virginia. He attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in geology in 1979. In 1985, he received a Master of Science from Old Dominion University in geology with emphasis on structural geology and mapping tectonic features surrounding the Tharsis region of Mars. In 1995, he received a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh in geology with emphasis on visible and near-infrared remote sensing. His Ph.D. research was centered on mapping young Quaternary surfaces, desert pavements and varnish, and soils around the Whipple Mountains of southwestern Arizona to better understand the past climatic history of the region. He is presently Adjunct Research Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Geology and Planetary Science as well as Adjunct Faculty at Pasadena City College teaching classes in Planetary Geology.

Bob came to JPL in 1996 to work on the Mars Pathfinder mission for Dr. Matt Golombek. After the conclusion of the Mars Pathfinder project, he was Deputy Director of Mars Education under Dr. Cheick Diarra and subsequent Mission Planner for the Mars 2001 lander. He has work with the FIDO rover team and is presently a geological consultant for Machine Learning Systems Group at JPL where his emphasis is on autonomous rover operations.

Bob and his wife Yanhua (who also works at JPL on the Cassini mission), and his father Henry live at Stevenson Ranch, where he enjoys running, gardening, and weight lifting and taking care of his salt water reef tanks.

Contributions to Mars Exploration

My current science research is centered on unraveling the geologic history of Mars with emphasis on understanding the tectonic, structural, paleohydrologic evolution of the Tharsis region. My recent publications in the Journal of Geophysical Research have focused on identifying volcanic centers of activity on Mars with emphasis on identifying associated recent hydrothermal activity. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

There are two portions of the mission that fascinate me the most; one is the different types of soil that we will find at the two MER landing sites, the other are the rovers themselves. I am a geologist by trade, and by taking a close look at the soils, we can understand the recent (and not so recent) history of Mars. [more personal reflections ...]