After finishing his Ph.D., the dearth of active spacecraft missions made jobs in the field a scare commodity. Jeff was ready to accept a position with terrestrial global climate change researchers near Washington, D.C., until a professor at the University of Hawaii whom Jeff had met during his lunar research days offered him a position at his laboratory. The catch was that the job wasn’t specifically related to planetary science, although the UH group certainly had an active planetary research program. Instead, the postdoctoral position was funded by a program whose goal was to develop an infrared imaging system to detect buried landmines. The job entailed a combination of field and laboratory work to study different soils using infrared spectrometers. Although this wasn’t necessarily planetary science, Jeff learned a lot about infrared remote sensing. It didn’t hurt that he found a spectacular house on a hilltop on Oahu to rent for the two years he lived in Hawaii.
As his two-year stint in Hawaii came to a close, Jeff was selected as the first Eugene M. Shoemaker Planetary Geology and Geophysics Fellow at the USGS in Flagstaff, AZ. As he left the islands to start that position, the Mars Pathfinder mission was on its way to Ares Valles. USGS involvement in the mission allowed him to participate in analysis of the multispectral image data from Pathfinder. As Pathfinder wound down, Jeff’s research turned toward laboratory work and computer modeling to study the effects of dust coatings and impact shock effects on visible and infrared spectroscopy. Some of this work continues to include analysis of Pathfinder data, but the additional data from Pancam and Mini-TES on the Mars Exploration Rovers should keep him busy for at least the next few years.