Jim, is an Astrogeologist with over 30 years research experience specializing in the exploration of the Solar System, especially the Moon and Mars. Rice was a Co-Investigator and Geology Team Leader on the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Project (Spirit and Opportunity). He was a Project Scientist on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Project and also has mission experience working on the THEMIS instrument onboard the Mars Odyssey Orbiter. Jim has been involved in Mars landing site selection and certification activities for every NASA Mars Mission since Mars Pathfinder in 1995. Rice was a Crewmember driving, working, living and conducting EVAs in the Exploration Rover Vehicle for a 7 day duration analog Moon mission in northern Arizona. This was conducted as part of the NASA JSC Desert RATS Analog Field Tests.
Additionally, Jim has extensive geological field experience in Antarctica, the High Arctic, Iceland, Hawaii and various other deserts studying a wide variety of Mars and Moon analog environments. He has been a leader and team member on numerous international geological field expeditions around the world including a 6 month long joint NASA/Russian expedition to Antarctica. This work included being a member of the SCUBA diving team to first investigate the perennially frozen lakes of eastern Antarctica. He has also trained and briefed NASA astronauts in geology and Mars exploration.