In the short time since NASA's Perseverance rover landed in Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021, it's already made history.
Melissa completed her PhD in 2011 at Cornell University's Department of Astronomy, with a minor concentration in Science Communication. She was a postdoc at the California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 2012-2014, and she accepted a tenure-track position at Western Washington University in 2014. She is recently-tenured in WWU's Department of Geology and Department of Physics & Astronomy. Her research specialties include space exploration and planetary geology, and her work is currently funded by NASA's Curiosity and Mars-2020 rover missions.