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hometown: Pasadena, CA, United States
degree: M.Sc. Planetary Geology Brown University
career: Geologist & Blogger
workplace: The Planetary Society
Space is instantly engaging. It doesn't take much to get the public -- young or old, highly educated or not -- excited about exploring other worlds. Once their curiosity is piqued and they start asking questions, they become scientists. Many of the questions driving current research and exploration are easy for anyone to understand. Are we alone? What makes Earth different from the other planets? How did our planet get here? Are there other Earths out there? We don't know the answers! And when the public understands that these are the mysteries we're trying to solve, they, too, want to see missions of exploration go out into the unknown to try to find clues. My mission is to help the public follow along by explaining the hows and the whys and by translating from scientists' and engineers' jargon into terms that the interested public can understand. Along their travels, these missions return incredibly beautiful, literally awe-inspiring images. These images belong to all of us, and there's so many of them languishing in data centers, waiting for people to find them. So my other mission is to help these data see the light of day, by excavating it myself and by teaching others how to mine the archives themselves.