Jim Bell is a professor in the School of Earth & Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is an active astronomer and planetary scientist who has been involved in a number of robotic solar system exploration missions and investigations using the Hubble Space Telescope, Mars rovers, the Voyager missions, and orbiters sent to Mars, the Moon, and several asteroids. His research focuses on the use of remote sensing imaging and spectroscopy to assess the geology, composition, and mineralogy of the surfaces of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. Jim is the President of the Board of Directors of The Planetary Society, and is also an author of popular science books related to space exploration, including Postcards from Mars, The Space Book, The Interstellar Age, and The Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide.
Bell has a dual B.S. from Caltech in Aeronautics and Geological & Planetary Sciences, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii in Geology & Geophysics. When not studying the solar system through the eyes of robotic avatars, he is an avid baseball fan and player, and an occasional Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddler.