SHANNON MARIE RUPERT — Director of Science, MDRS; Biology, Ecology, Remote Science
Shannon Rupert is an ecologist with a decade of experience in Mars Analog studies. She founded and coordinated the Mars Society’s Remote Science Team from its inception until 2007 and again in 2010 and has served on crews as both biologist and commander at MDRS, FMARS and MarsOz. She served as the Science Lead for the NASA Mobile Agents Project and currently is a scientist/educator with NASA’s Spaceward Bound Program. She teaches biology at Dine’ College on the Navajo Nation and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Biology at the University of New Mexico, where she is studying the ecology of acequias (community irrigation systems) in Northern New Mexico. She holds a M.S. in Biological Sciences (Plant Ecology) from California State University, San Marcos; a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego; and an A.S. in Biology from San Diego Miramar College.
JEAN HUNTER - Principal Investigator, MDRS Food Study
Jean Hunter teaches at Cornell University's Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. Her research interests include food engineering and the use of fermentation and enzyme technologies to produce useful products from food and agricultural wastes. Most of her work during the last 10 years has focused space life support including testing and optimization of food systems for long term planetary missions, small scale processing of food materials and agricultural residues in bioregenerative life support systems, in-situ resource utilization, water recovery, and solid waste processing. She has been active at MDRS as a CapCom, a member of the Remote Science Team, worker bee on opening and closing crews, and lead investigator of the MDRS food study for the last four years.
KARON WYNNE — Principal Investigator, Habitat Study; Habitat Design, Health & Safely, Biology
Karon Wynne is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and a Masters in Public Health at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. As a Ph.D. candidate her research is focused on the development of novel technology for the diagnostics and treatment of traumatic brain injury. Karon also works at NASA Johnson Space Center developing a countermeasure for radiation induced cellular damage. She has been recognized as a Texas Space Grant Consortium Fellow and an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. Prior to attending graduate school Karon received a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from West Virginia University (WVU). At WVU, Karon was a member of the Honors College and was awarded both a university scholarship and the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship. After graduating from WVU, Karon worked for the U.S. Department of Energy at the National Energy Technology Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory developing alternative energy technology. She has also interned at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where her research focused on the use of microfluidics for pathogen identification in the event of biological warfare. Karon participated as the Biologist and Health and Safety Officer for Crew 109 at MDRS. She is currently conducting an ongoing study to identify what aspects of the habitat meet the functional requirements for crew needs in order to determine areas for improvement. This work will provide information that can help with the design process of future habitats. She joined the Remote Science Team in 2011.
MELISSA BATTLER — Geology
Melissa Battler holds an Honours B.Sc. in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo and a M.Sc. in Geology from the University of New Brunswick. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at the University of Western Ontario’s CPSX, studying Mars analogue springs in Arctic permafrost environments as habitats for life. During the summer of 2007 Melissa led a four month Mars mission simulation at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island, Nunavut. She has also served on six crews at MDRS from 2003 until present, and in 2007 won the "Tuna Can Award" for most time spent on analogue Mars. She co-founded the Mars Society Canada’s (MSC) Expedition Mars “pre-astronaut” training program, and worked with the NASA Spaceward Bound program at MDRS during its first season. Her primary goal is to become an astronaut and to look for evidence of life on Mars, however she would be quite happy to train future astronauts, preparing them for scientific exploration of other planets. She also enjoys kickboxing, rock climbing, yoga, camping, traveling, and playing Rockband.
JONATHAN CLARKE — Geology
Dr. Jonathan Clarke is a geologist with the Australian government’s geoscience agency, working in groundwater. Previously Jon has taught at several universities and worked in the minerals sector in Australia, the Philippines and Chile, he has over 30 years of experience to date. Jon first visited MDRS in 2003 and returned there in 2010 and 2011. He is acting president of Mars Society Australia and is involved with the MarsOz project, which aims to set up a similar station to MSRS in the Flinders Range, albeit to a very different design. Jon's Mars interests include martian geology and geomorphology and their analogues, astrobiology, exploration technologies, and habitat design. Previous publications include papers on fluvial and carbonate sedimentology, modern marine benthic biotas, palaeoecology, landscape evolution, and regolith geology. Jon has been active in several spaceward bound expeditions to Arkaroola and the Pilbara. He is a keen camper and scuba diver and an avid reader and film buff. He is married to Anna and they have two grown up daughters and a cat.
SHERYL BISHOP — Human Factors
Dr. Sheryl Bishop, Ph.D. is a Social Psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas. She currently holds the post of Senior Biostatistician for the School of Nursing. Dr. Bishop has served as lecturer, faculty and SSP co-chair for the Space Life Science and Space and Society Departments at the International Space University, Strasbourg, France, since 1996.
For the last 25 years, Dr. Bishop has investigated human performance and group dynamics in teams in extreme environments, including deep cavers, mountain climbers, desert survival groups, polar expeditioners, Antarctic winter-over groups and various simulations of isolated, confined environments for space, including a number of missions at MDRS and FMARS. She was a crewmember in 2005 for the
Mona Lisa Mission (Crew 39). She routinely presents her research at numerous scientific conferences, has over 60 publications and 50 scholarly presentations in both the medical and psychological fields on topics as diverse as psychometric assessment, research methodology, outcomes research, stress and coping in extreme environments, psychosocial group dynamics and human performance in extreme environments. She is frequently sought out as a content expert by various media and has participated in several television documentaries on space and extreme environments by Discovery Channel, BBC and 60 Minutes. Dr. Bishop is a founding member, Board of Trustee member and Senior Editor for the Journal of the Society of Human Performance in Extreme Environments, Contributing Editor for Life Sciences for Habitation (formerly the Journal of Life Support and Biospheric Sciences) and Review Editor for the Journal of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine.
KATHRYN BYWATERS — Biochemistry, extremophiles
Kathryn Bywaters obtained her BA in Biochemistry from California State University San Marcos and is currently pursuing her PhD at University of Nevada Reno in Environmental Science. She has served as crew biologist at both MDRS and FMARS. Her goal, after obtaining her PhD, is to start a career where she is actively involved in and able to contribute to the expansion of knowledge involving space exploration.
JULIE A SCHMIEDLIN EDWARDS-- Biology
Julie Edwards is a retired laboratory researcher from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor MI. Her interests include Martian Astrobiology (search for life on Mars), Space Architecture (laboratory design for a Mars habitat or pressurized rover), and CELSS and life
support (greenhouse structure and function). Julie is a founding member of the Mars Society and secretary of the Michigan Mars Society chapter.
AKOS KERESZTURI--Mars related analog aspects of geology, astrobiology of cryptobiotic crust, exploration strategy
Dr. Akos Kereszturi is a geologist in Hungary, working on planetary sciences and surface evolution of Mars. His main research areas are: fluvial erosion on Mars, sedimentary deposits, possibility of liquid water and brine there, and in-situ exploration issues. He is working as a post-doc researcher at Konkoly Astronomical Institute, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences on a project of the European
Space Agency, and teaches planetary science at two universities in Hungary. He visited MDRS in 2004, 2008, and FMARS in 2004. His interest covers the remote based identification of in-situ targets at Mars analog terrain, identification of cyanobacteria inhabited rock crusts, water budget on microscopic scale inside rock varnish, and EVA planning regarding the geological conditions.
LUIS SARAIVA—Evolution, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Animal Behavior
Luis M. R. Saraiva is a neuroscientist, an adventurer, and a space and deep sea exploration and colonization advocate. He is originally from Portugal, where he lived until 2004 where completed a “Licenciatura” (equivalent to BSc+MSc) in Biology, having specialized in Ecology, Paleontology and Microbial Evolution and Behavior. He then moved to the University of Cologne in Germany, after being selected to be a Fellow of the International Graduate School in Genetics and Functional Genomics (Class of 2004-2008). While there, he completed several
courses, lab rotations and his PhD thesis in Genetics/Neurobiology with a summa cum laude. In the Summer of 2008 he applied and was not selected to be an Astronaut for ESA. In despair he moved to Boston where he was a visiting scientist at Harvard Medical School. In October of the same year he became a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He works in Dr. Linda Buck’s Lab trying to unravel the neural circuits that regulate innate behaviors, like aggression and sexual behavior. In addition, he is also trying to discover the olfactory receptors that recognize pheromones and how these olfactory cues can modulate behavior. He presents his work in conferences and has published several research papers in high-impact factor scientific journals.
In January 2010, he completed a 14-day expedition to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah and metamorphed to Marsonaut Saraiva. There he served as the Biologist and Health and Safety Officer (HSO) of the 6-member MDRS Crew 89. He logged a little over 24 hours on 9 extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) conducting his own research projects or helping with other crew members projects. He also conducted research in the laboratory and worked together with the crew engineer developing and testing a shower that can recycle water. In March 2010, invited by Brian Shiro (MDRS Crew 89 Commander) he joined “Astronauts for Hire, Inc”, where he currently holds the ranks of Chief Science Officer and Suborbital Payload Specialist. “Astronauts for Hire” is an exciting organization developing the first pool of qualified astronauts to conduct experiments on the next generation of commercial spacecrafts. In November of 2010, he was selected to be part of the 2012 First Undersea Colony Crew, a project headed by “Atlantica Expeditions”.
Luis uses sports to keep is mental sanity in place, is a travel and adrenalin junkie. Up to now he has visited over 25 countries (spreadout through 4 continents) and considers that his 2006 volunteering mission in the West-Bank was a life-changing experience. He thinks that our future as a thriving civilization heavily depends on the ‘genetic enhancement’ of humanity and space and deep-sea exploration and colonization.
STACY SKLAR— GIS (ESRI ArcEditor and ArcInfo 9.3, EDRAS Imagine 9.3), geology, field methods, basic chemistry and biology
Stacy Sklar is currently attending Mesa Community College obtaining her GIS Certification in GIS and Remote Sensing then transfering to Arizona State University in the Planetary Geology department. She is currently an intern with Fish and Game working on the Gailuro Recreation Area Project. Stacy is a veteran of MDRS, FMARS, RST, and CapCom. An avid hiker and lover of all outdoor sports, her newest adventure is rollerblading with her new four legged flatmate.
DR. NANCY WOOD— Microbiology, molecular biology, study design, Mars analog strategies
Dr. Nancy Wood holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from Rutgers University and has many years' experience in research and teaching at several universities in the US. Her research has included studies in microbial growth, development, and physiology, nitrogen fixation, bacterial and human viruses, molecular biology of cancer genes, and methods development. At MDRS, she was a member of crews 5 and 14, where she studied microbial profiles of environmental samples, such as windblown dust, sampling methods, and collection strategies from a crewed exploration rover. She has been a long - term member of the Remote Science Team. Nancy's other interests include mountaineering in the US and Europe, SCUBA diving and water sports, and organic gardening.
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ADRIANNE KISH - REMOTE SCIENCE TEAM
SAMANTHA JACOBS - REMOTE SCIENCE TEAM
JACK CACKLER - REMOTE SCIENCE TEAM
BALWANT RAI - REMOTE SCIENCE TEAM