Dr Robert C. Anderson
Group Supervisor, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Bob Anderson was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and raised in Newport News, Virginia. He attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in geology in 1979. In 1985, he received a Master of Science from Old Dominion University in geology with emphasis on structural geology and mapping tectonic features surrounding the Tharsis region of Mars. In 1995, he received a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh in geology with emphasis on visible and near-infrared remote sensing. His Ph.D. research was centered on mapping young Quaternary surfaces, desert pavements and varnish, and soils around the Whipple Mountains of southwestern Arizona to better understand the past climatic history of the region.
His current science research is centered on unraveling the geologic history of Mars focusing on the tectonic and paleohydrologic evolution of the Tharsis region. He recently contributed to the successful Mars Science Laboratory Sample Acquisition/Sample Handling Subsystem. Duties include overseeing development of the sampling instruments on the surface of Mars, overseeing the development of the hardware on the MSL rover, including wheel development, OCM, and validation of rover testing, science lead for all test samples used for mechanical and instrument testing (SAM, CheMin, Chemcam) during V&V, as well as the JPL science interface for the DRT, Chimera, Drill, arm, and mobility.
During MSL, Bob was appointed as Group Supervisor for the Geophysics and Planetary Science section at JPL and well as past chair of the Planetary Science Division of the Geological Society of America.
Bob and his wife Yanhua, and their daughter Katie live at Stevenson Ranch, where he enjoys taking care of his salt water reef tanks.