Ryan B. Anderson

Research Physical Scientist
United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center
2255 N. Gemini DriveFlagstaff, AZ 86001
Mobile: (734) 657-8085



2012                            Ph.D. Cornell University, Astronomy (Geology Minor)

2009                           M.S. Cornell University, Astronomy (Geology Minor)

2006                            B.S. University of Michigan, Physics and Honors Astronomy & Astrophysics (double major)

Full Course List

Professional Experience

August 2012 – Present        Mars Science Laboratory Mission Operations (ChemCam Payload Uplink Lead and Payload Downlink Lead, Keeper of the Plan)

October 2014 – Present      Research Physical Scientist / DeveloperU.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center

January 2012 – September 2014 Shoemaker Postdoctoral FellowU.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center

January 2012 – Present      Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam Science Team Member

2007 – Present                       MER Mission Operations (Pancam Payload Downlink Lead)

2006 – 2012                            Graduate Research Assistant, Cornell University

2006                                           NASA Academy, Goddard Spaceflight Center

2005                                           Intern, Lunar and Planetary Institute

2004                                           Intern, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics REU program

2003 – 2004                           Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Michigan

Fellowships and Awards

2014                             USGS STAR Award

2013                             NASA Group Achievement Award; USGS Certificate of Appreciation

2012 – Present         USGS Shoemaker Postdoctoral Fellow

2008 – 2011              NASA Graduate Student Researcher Program (GSRP) Fellowship

2006                            New York Space Grant Graduate Student Fellowship

2006                            Cornell Patten Graduate Student Fellowship


Research Interests: Dr. Anderson is interested in using quantitative geomorphology and spectroscopy to understand the evolution of planetary surfaces. He is also interested in using computers to make sense of complex datasets using multivariate analysis and machine learning. His geologic mapping work played a role in the selection of Gale crater as the landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, and he is a member of the MSL ChemCam team. He is heavily involved in the quantitative chemical calibration and interpretation of ChemCam laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy data.

Scientific Publications