Course Leaders / Organizers

Dr. Chris McKay

NASA Ames

Chris McKay is a planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, studying planetary atmospheres, astrobiology, and terraforming. He is a co-investigator on the Huygens probe, the Mars Phoenix lander, and the Mars Science Laboratory. He has also performed field research on extremophiles, in such locations as Death Valley, the Atacama Desert, Axel Heiberg Island, and ice-covered lakes in Antarctica.
Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Oana Marcu

NASA Ames

Oana has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology and works in the Space Biosciences Division at Ames, where she does biological research, including the response of organisms to microgravity and extreme environments. She was involved in a 2006 Shuttle flight science experiment. She had the idea of a space camp for students in 2008, and thinks that the best thing about the program is the team that made this project become real. She has participated in developing the science content of the program, and will lead the hands-on activities related to microbial growth and biomolecules. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Alfonso Davila

NASA Ames/SETI

Alfonso is a SETI PI. He is involved in the study of life in extreme environments. He is part of the team investigating the microbial content of the Mars-like soils in the Atacama Desert and characterizing the halite endoliths discovered there recently. Alfonso has participated in the development of the science activities, and will lead the lectures and hands-on activities related to Mars science and analogs. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Mr. Jhony Zavaleta

NASA Ames

Jhony is a robotics engineer working at NASA Ames for the past 6 years and has been involved in the design, construction and testing of several subsurface access prototypes for planetary exploration. Jhony has developed the engineering, rocketry, and robotic programs and also assisted in the development of the science program. He is also responsible for the logistics of the program and assisting in the management of the NASA STEP.
Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Nathan Bramall

NASA Ames

Nathan is a SETI Researcher who has a background in physics, spectroscopy, and instrumentation. He is working on developing new spectroscopic techniques to detect and characterize organic molecules and is doing active research on snow algae in Lassen National Park. Nathan has been key in developing the science and logistics of the program, organizing the structure of the field trip and will actively deliver physics lectures and hands-on activities.
Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Brad Bebout

NASA Ames

Brad Bebout has a background in marine sciences and marine biogeochemistry. He does work in the Exobiology Branch at NASA Ames Research Center studying the origin and evolution of life on Earth, and possibly on other planets. Lab Web Site Personal Web Site

Heidi Fuqua

NASA Ames

Heidi is an Aerospace Engineer with a passion for education, communication, and exploration. Currently enrolled in the International Space University, she is working with STEP and the LADEE mission as a summer intern at NASA Ames. On LADEE, she is working in the Mission Operations department and enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and backpacking. Project Web Site  
Ken Lavezzo Ken is a retired electrical engineer and Silicon Valley businessman who enjoys math, science, the outdoors, and helping students. He currently volunteers as a calculus tutor at Eastside College Preparatory High School in East Palo Alto."    

Dr. Richard Quinn

NASA Ames

Richard Quinn s a principal investigator with the SETI Institute and operates a lab at NASA Ames Research Center. He is also a science team member for the MECA (Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer) instrument on Phoenix, and for the outer space small satellite O/OREOS (Organism/ORganics Exposure to Orbital Stresses).

Project Web Sites Personal Web Site
Course Contributors (In Order of Appearance) - DRAFT - More information coming as it becomes available

Dr. Tori Hoehler

NASA Ames

Tori Hoehler is a research scientist in the Exobiology Branch at Ames. With a background in chemistry and oceanography, he now studies microbial community dynamics in extreme and analog environments. His focus is on the relationship between life and energy flow in these environments, with studies aimed at developing concepts for habitability and biosignatures that are broadly applicable in the search for life beyond Earth. Tori is a member of the CheMin team for the Mars Science Laboratory. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. William Warmbrodt

NASA Ames

Dr. William Warmbrodt has been the NASA Ames Aeromechanics Branch Chief since 1985. He oversees NASA scientists and engineers in rotorcraft and rotary wing analytical and experimental research in aeromechanics and flight controls. The Aeromechanics Branch of the Flight Vehicle Research and Technology Division is responsible for the aeromechanics research activities that directly support the civil competiveness of the U.S. helicopter industry and the Department of Defense Vertical Lift Mission requirements. Branch programs address all aspects of the rotorcraft which directly influence the vehicle’s performance, structural and dynamic response, flight dynamics and controls, external acoustics, vibration, and aeroelastic stability.
Project Web Sites Personal Web Site
 

Dr. Sigrid Reinsch

NASA Ames

Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Erich Fleming

NASA Ames

Erich is an investigator at the SETI Institute. He has a background in Microbial Ecology and Biochemistry. He is interested in natural microbial systems and how to apply them to space flight and extra-planetary colonization.
Project Web Sites Personal Web Site
Dr. David Paul David is a lecturer in management at Cal State East Bay and Northwestern Polytechnic. He is researching the role that mutual regard plays in the productivity and sustainability of teams. His Doctoral Dissertation focuses on determining the value of Regard in the workplace. He is a retired Colonel from the US Air Force Space Command with assignments in Intelligence, Weather, and Technology. He is CEO of The Cameron Group, a consultancy focusing on advanced reactor technologies.
Corporate Web Site Personal Web Site

Dr. Virginia Gulick

NASA Ames

Ginny Gulick is a SETI Institute Principal Investigator and has a background in geosciences, planetary sciences and hydrology. She is a Co-Investigator of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that is currently circling Mars approximately 250 km above the surface. She leads the HiRISE team's fluvial and hydrothermal processes science themes where she prioritizes and helps target observations that show evidence of past water erosion. She also leads the team's Education and Public outreach where she focuses on opportunities for students and life-long learners to become virtual science team members so they can also share in the excitement of scientific discovery. Dr. Gulick is a NASA-appointed member of the Mars landing site selection steering committee and has helped facilitate the selection process for both the Mars Exploration Rovers landing sites and for the upcoming 2011 Mars Science Laboratory candidate landing sites. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site
 

Dr. David Blake

NASA Ames

Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Matt Everingham

NASA Ames

Matt works at the NASA Ames Research Center, on a project called Exploration Uplink, focused on bringing field science and planetary exploration into classrooms through hands-on telerobotic activities. Matt also supports other projects with software systems engineering, robotics and science education, network and Linux system administration, research support and web site development. As a member of the California Space Authority staff, Matt was responsible for the project management and technical management of the Regolith Excavation Challenge and Moon Regolith Oxygen (MoonROx) Challenge; prize competitions being executed under the NASA Centennial Challenges Program. Matt was also responsible for establishing the Regolith Simulant Testbed, a simulated lunar surface environment. In addition, he focused on education and workforce development, managing and supporting projects that emphasized hands-on engineering and science activities and building a sense of community among young professionals in the space industry.
Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Lee Prufert-Bebout

NASA Ames

Lee Prufert-Bebout has a background in geology, geochemistry and microbial ecology, especially of cyanobacteria. Her work has taken her places as far ranging as temperate coastal estuaries and marshes, tropical open ocean, stromatolites in the Bahamas, hypersaline ponds in Mexico and Mars analog sites in the Andes. She is particularly interested in how environment affects the species composition and activities in natural ecosystems. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Jennifer Heldmann

NASA Ames

Jennifer Heldmann is a planetary scientist in the Space Sciences and Astrobiology Division at NASA Ames Research Center. Her research focuses on the study of Earth, the Moon, and Mars. She recently served on the Science Team, Payload Team, and as the Observation Campaign Coordinator for the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission to the Moon. She also studies recent water on Mars and is interested in the possibility of life on the Red Planet. She analyzes spacecraft data from Mars, develops numerical models to understand water-related processes on Mars, and has conducted Mars analog research in a variety of locations on Earth including the Arctic, Mojave Desert, Atacama Desert, Spitsbergen, and Antarctica. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Kimberly Ennico

NASA Ames

Staff scientist at NASA Ames Research Center with special interest in astrophysics, flight instrument design and calibration, and low-cost rapid mission development. From 2006-2009 was the LCROSS Payload Scientist and LCROSS Payload Integration & Test Manager. Also held positions as Project Scientist on the SMEX Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Conceptduring Phase A (2008-2009), Co-Investigator on the ASPIRE Origins Probe Mission Concept (2004-2009) and Co-Investigator and Payload Scientist on the MIDEX AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Concept (2001-2008). Served on the Astrophysics Subcommittee of NASA's Advisory Council (2008-2010) and has authored papers on infrared detector performance, infrared optical design, and astrobiology mission concepts.
Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Monika Kress

San Jose State University

Dr. Kress joined the faculty of the Department pf Physics & Astronomy at SJSU in August 2004. She received her PhD in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1997. From 1997-2000, she was a National Research Council postdoctoral research associate at NASA Ames Research Center. From 2000-2004, she was a research associate with the University of Washington's Center for Astrobiology and Early Evolution. She served on the 2003-2004 Antarctic Search for Meteorites. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Niki Parenteau

NASA Ames

Niki is a postdoctoral research associate at NASA Ames. She has been studying how bacteria live in hot springs in Yellowstone, New Zealand, and Lassen, and how they become fossilized to generate what are called “biosignatures.” She is interested in the detection and characterization of these biosignatures in very old rocks on the Earth, and potentially on Mars. Broadly, she is interested in the origin and early evolution of life on Earth, and possibly other planetary bodies. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site
 

Dr. Larry Lemke

NASA Ames

 

Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. Tony Ricco

NASA Ames

Tony Ricco is at NASA Ames on leave from Stanford University. Working from a background in sensors, microdevices, microfluidics, and interfacial science, he develops remote, autonomous bioanalytical systems for fundamental space biological and astrobiological studies, particularly for flight on small, shoebox-sized autonomous spacecraft called smallsats and cubesats. Some of the technologies developed enable remote measurement, inside a satellite, of gene expression in bacteria, dose dependence of antifungal drugs, viability of microbes over the course of months in space radiation, and effects on biologically important organic chemicals of long-term exposure to space conditions. Dr. Ricco also works with the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute in Ireland to develop next-generation medical diagnostic devices.

Project Web Sites:

GeneSat

PharmaSat

O/OREOS

LCROSS

Personal Web Site

Dr. David Morrison

NASA Ames

David is one of the founders of the field of astrobiology, and he has led in NASA efforts to understand the hazard of asteroid impacts and how to defend against them. He is Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, and Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute. Asteroid 2410 Morrison is named in his honor. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site

Dr. David Des Marais

NASA Ames

Dave Des Marais is a space scientist at NASA Ames Research Center and is involved in astrobiology and Mars exploration. He has conducted research on carbon geochemistry, microbial ecology, Earth's early biosphere, and Mars. He is a co-investigator with the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Science Laboratory missions. He leads the Ames team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and is Chair of NASA's Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group. Project Web Sites Personal Web Site
 

Dr. Emmett Quigley

NASA Ames


Project Web Sites

Personal Web Site


Administrative Contact:

Brad Bebout 1 (650) 604-3227

Last Update: April 26, 2010