Jim Bell is Professor at the Cornell University Astronomy Department's Center for Radiophysics and Space Research; he also has a Graduate Field appointment in Geology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii in 1992, performing research on Mars surface mineralogy and climate variations using infrared and optical telescopes at Mauna Kea Observatory. He was a National Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at NASA's Ames Research Center prior to coming to Cornell. His studies primarily focus on the physical, compositional and mineralogic properties of planetary surfaces, asteroids, and comets using data obtained from telescopes and spacecraft missions. He has been a member of the Science Teams of the NASA Mars Pathfinder, Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR), Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR), Mars Odyssey Orbiter, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Science Laboratory rover missions, and is the Payload Element Lead for the Pancam color cameras on the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. He has also been a Principal Investigator (PI) in the NASA Mars Data Analysis and Planetary Geology and Geophysics Programs. In addition, he is carrying out laboratory and field studies of the spectroscopic properties of rocks and soils that are analogs to planetary surface materials.
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- Director of Graduate Studies