CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars)
HomeMissionInstrumentsScienceDataEducationNews CenterGallery

The Team

Scott Murchie | CRISM Principal Investigator

Where did you grow up?
In Leominster, Massachusetts (a mid-size city in central Mass.).

How did you get interested in space exploration?
Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in stars and science fiction movies. In 2nd grade, I read about astronomy and planets all the time, and was especially interested in Mars.

What's your educational background?
I went to high school in the neighboring city of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. I received a B.S. from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and a Master's Degree in Geology from the University of Minnesota. I thought I was interested in environmental geology until a friend told me about studying the moon during her summer internship. I thought that was so interesting that over the holiday break, I visited Jim Head at Brown University who got me so excited that I switched to planetary geology.

What are your hobbies?
All kinds of gardening--especially native plants. Also, woodworking (when time permits).

What's your job on CRISM?
Everything—whatever it takes to keep things going in a forward direction. It may be setting directions, data analyses, management, documenting data, operations planning, web sites, helping out with anything that needs help and—when I'm lucky—doing science.

What excites you about exploring Mars?

The idea that there might have been life on Mars, and finding the place where it might have been. CRISM points to the best places where to look.

What advice would you give to someone like you who wants to get involved in space exploration?
My advice would be to find what really interests you. If it's science, engineering, computer programming or even medicine, it might have a way to a career in space exploration. Study hard and enjoy! When in college, find out from professors which grad schools are involved in space exploration and try to go to one of those.