Melissa is a Co-Investigator for Mastcam-Z and an Associate Professor at Western Washington University, where she has held a joint appointment in the Geology Department and the Physics & Astronomy Department since 2014. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University in 2012, where she worked on the Mars Exploration Rover mission’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers, and was a NASA Astrobiology Institute Postdoctoral fellow at Caltech from 2012-2014, where she worked on Mars Science Laboratory mission’s Curiosity rover. When she’s not exploring Mars with rovers, she enjoys exploring new parts of her other favorite planet: Earth!
5 Feb. 2021 Op-Ed in the Seattle Times: “A Wright Brothers moment on Mars will expand our cosmic perspective:” https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/a-wright-brothers-moment-on-mars-will-expand-our-cosmic-perspective
29 Jul. 2020 article in “The Conversation” co-written by Melissa about the Mars 2020 mission: https://theconversation.com/nasas-big-move-to-search-for-life-on-mars-and-to-bring-rocks-home-142705