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 Planetary Geosciences: People
Robert C. Anderson's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 264-621
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Curriculum Vitae:

Robert C. Anderson

  • B.S. in Geology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia (1979)
  • M.S. in Geology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk Virginia (1985)
  • Ph.D. in Geology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1995)

Research Interests
Unraveling the geologic history of Mars with emphasis on understanding the tectonic, structural, paleohydrologic evolution of the Tharsis region.


The goal of the Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System (OASIS) project at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is to evaluate, and autonomously act upon, science data gathered by in-situ spacecraft, such as planetary landers and rovers.

MSL - Mars Science Laboratory Icon MSL - Mars Science Laboratory

The Curiosity rover landed at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. It is designed to search for and assess past or present habitable environments, i.e., those capable of supporting microbial life.

MER - Mars Exploration Rovers Icon MER - Mars Exploration Rovers
NASA's twin robot geologists, the Mars Exploration Rovers, launched toward Mars on June 10 and July 7, 2003, in search of answers about the history of water on Mars.

Selected Awards
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Science Office Development and Operations Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Surface Sampling and Science Systems Team (2013)

Selected Publications
  1. Anderson, R.C., Dohm, J.M., Haldemann, A. F.C., Hare, T.M. and Baker, V.R., Tectonic Histories between Alba Patera and Syria Planum, Mars, Icarus, in press, 2004.
  2. Gaines, D., T. Estlin, F. Fisher, C. Chouinard, R. Castano, R. Anderson, and M. Judd, Planning for Rover Opportunistic Science, International Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space (IWPSS 2004). Darmstadt, Germany, June 2004.
  3. J.M. Dohm, N.G. Barlow, J.-P. Williams, J.C. Ferris, V.R. Baker, W.V. Boynton, H. Miyamoto, R.G. Strom, A. Rodriguez, A.G. Fairén, T.M. Hare, R.C. Anderson, J. Keller, and K. Kerry, Ancient Giant Impact Basin/Aquifer System In The Arabia Region, Mars, submitted to JGR-Planets, June, 2004.
  4. Castano, R., M. Judd, T. Estlin, R. C. Anderson, L. Scharenbroich, L. Song, D. Gaines, F. Fisher, D. Mazzoni, and A. Castano, "Autonomous Onboard Traverse Science System," Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, March 2004.
  5. R. Gellert, R. Rieder, R.C. Anderson, J. Bruckner, B.C. Clark, G. Dreibus, T. Economou , G. Klingelhofer, G.W. Lugmair, D.W. Ming, S.W. Squyres, C. dUston, H. Wanke, A. Yen, and J. Zipfel. Chemical Composition of Martian Rocks and Soils at the Spirit Landing Site in Gusev Crater: Initial Results of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, submitted to Science, May, 2004.
  6. R.E. Arvidson, R. Anderson, P. Bartlett, J. Bell, D. Blaney, P. Christensen, P. Chu, L. Crumpler, K. Davis, B.L. Ehlmann, R. Fergason, M. P. Golombek, S. Gorevan, J. Grant, R. Greeley, E. Guinness, A.F.C. Haldemann, K. Herkenhoff, J. Johnson, G. Landis, R. Li, R. Lindemann, H. McSween, D.W. Ming, T. Myrick, L. Richter, F.P. Seelos, S.W. Squyres, R. Sullivan, A. Wang, J. Wilson, Initial Localization and Physical Properties Experiments Conducted With the Mars Exploration Rover Mission to Gusev Crater, submitted to Science, May, 2004.
  7. Dohm, J.M., Ferris, J.C., Barlow, N.G., Baker, V.R., Mahaney, W.C., Anderson, R.C., and Hare, T.M., The Northwestern Slope Valleys (NSVs) region, Mars: A prime candidate site for the future exploration of Mars. Planetary and Space Science, 52, 189-198, 2004.
  8. Castano, R., M. Judd, R. C. Anderson, and T. Estlin, Machine Learning Challenges in Mars Rover Traverse Science, Workshop on Machine Learning Technologies for Autonomous Space Applications, International Conference on Machine Learning, Washington, D.C., August 2003.
  9. K. R. Kuhlman, L. B. Allenbach, C. L. Ball, W. G. Fusco, M. T. La Duc, G. M. Kuhlman, R. C. Anderson, I. K. Erickson, T. Stuecker, J. Benardini, and R. L. Crawford, Ultraviolet (UV-C) Resistant Bacteria Isolated From Rock Varnish in the Whipple Mountains, California, submitted Jour. of Microbiology, 2003.
  10. Estlin, T., R. Castano, B. Anderson, D. Gaines, F. Fisher, and M. Judd, "Learning and Planning for Mars Rover Science", International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence Workshop on Issues in Designing Physical Agents for Dynamic Real-Time Environments: World modeling, planning, learning, and communicating. (IJCAI 2003). Acapulco, Mexico. August 2003.
  11. S. P. Gorevan, T. Myrick, K. Davis, J, Chau, J., P. Bartlett, S. Mukherjee. S, Stroescu, C.Batting, R. C. Anderson, S. W. Squyres, R. E. Arvidson, M. B. Madsen, P. Bertelsen, W. Goetz, C. S. Binau, The Rock Abrasion Tool: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, JGR-Planets, 108, (E12), 8068, 2003.
  12. R. E. Arvidson, R. C. Anderson, Albert F.C. Haldemann, Geoffrey Landis, Rongxing Li, Randel Lindemann, Jacob Matijevic, Richard V. Morris, Lutz Richter, Steven W. Squyres, Robert Sullivan, Nathan Snider, Physical Properties and Localization Investigations Associated With the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers, JGR-Planets, 108, (E12), 8070, 2003.
  13. Fairen, A.G., Dohm, J.M., Baker, V.R., de Pablo, M.A., Ruiz, J., Ferris, J.C., and Anderson, R.C., Episodic flood inundations of the northern plains of Mars. Icarus, 165, 53-67, 2003.
  14. Wilkins, S.J., Schultz, R.A., Anderson, R.C., Dohm, J.M., and Dawers, N.H., Deformation rates from faulting at the Tempe Terra extensional province, Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29, No. 18, 1884, 2002.
  15. J. Fox, R. Castano, and R. C. Anderson, "Onboard autonomous rock shape analysis for Mars rovers," Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, Mar. 2002.
  16. Dohm, J.M., Anderson, R.C., Baker, V.R., Ferris, J.C., Rudd, L.P, Hare, T.M., Rice, J.W. Jr., Casavant, R.R., Strom, R.G., Zimbelman, J.R., and Scott, D.H., Latent activity for western Tharsis, Mars: significant flood record exposed, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 12,301-12,314, 2001.
  17. Anderson, R.C., Dohm, J.M, Golombek, M.P., Haldemann, A, Franklin, B.J., Tanaka, K.L.,., Lias, J., and Peer, B., Significant Centers of Tectonic Activity thourgh Time for the Western Hemisphere of Mars, JGR, vol. 106, E6, 12301-12314, June, 2001.
  18. Dohm, J.M., Ferris, J.C., Baker, V.R., Anderson, R.C., Hare, T.M., Strom, R.G., Barlow, N.G., Tanaka, K.L., Klemaszewski, J.E., and Scott, D.H., Ancient drainage basin of the Tharsis region, Mars: Potential source for outflow channel systems and putative oceans or paleolakes, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 32,943-32,958, 2001.

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