Photo of Ken Herkenhoff

Ken Herkenhoff

United States Geological Survey

Ken Herkenhoff has been interested in astrophotography since he was a child, and now specializes in imaging Mars.  His love of the outdoors led him to study geology and earn a Bachelor’s degree in that subject at the University of California, Berkeley in 1981. He earned a doctorate in Planetary Sciences at Caltech in 1989. Ken was a post-doctoral researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena for two years, where he became involved in several planetary missions, including Mars Observer, Cassini, and Mars Pathfinder. In 1998 he moved from JPL to the U. S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he currently works as a research geologist. Ken was the science lead for the Microscopic Imagers on the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and is a Co-Investigator on the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission and on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover Mastcam/MAHLI/MARDI and ChemCam science teams. Ken has published hundreds of papers and abstracts as first or co-author on various topics including the impact origin of Upheaval Dome (Utah), light scattering in Mars’ atmosphere, and Phobos photometry.  But most of his work has focused on the design, calibration, and operation of cameras on Mars spacecraft. He is a Co-Investigator on the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover Mastcam-Z science team and is looking forward to contributing to another successful rover mission!