CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars)
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The Team

D. L. Buczkowski | Uplink Team, Post-Doctoral Researcher


Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Loudonville NY, a suburb of Albany.

How did you get interested in space exploration?
I’ve been interested in space exploration as far back as I can remember. Star-gazing has been a passion of mine since I was a small child. However, I suspect that my serious interest in the study of Mars started when I saw the first images from the Viking landers when I was in elementary school.

What's your educational background?
I have a BA in Astronomy from Boston University. From the University of Massachusetts, Amherst I have a MS in Geology and a PhD in Geosciences. In both of my theses I explored the structural geology of Mars and Venus.

What are your hobbies?
I am an avid reader and am mostly likely to be found unwinding with a book. However, I also like swimming, biking, hiking, kayaking, riding horses and camping.

What's your job on CRISM?
I am a member of the uplink team. My duties include the processing of target selections, coordination with other MRO instrument targets and target uplink. I also work on interpretation of data from the Argyre region.

What excites you about exploring Mars?

Human beings have always been explorers and space is the next the frontier. Mars is the planet most similar to Earth, and its exploration has the potential to yield so many fascinating results: evidence of life, human exploration, future settlement, terra-forming. While these subjects might seem the stuff of science fiction, they are more possible on Mars than anywhere else in the solar system. What’s not to be excited about?

What advice would you give to someone like you who wants to get involved in space exploration?
Find a field you are interested in –whether it be geology, physics, chemistry or something else- and pursue it. Odds are you can figure out a way to apply it to space exploration. Don’t be afraid to apply for internships and special programs in high school and your undergraduate years; you won’t get a chance if you never apply.