Dr. Jim Bell is currently a Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He received his B.S. in Planetary Science and Aeronautics from Caltech in 1987 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from the University of Hawaii in 1992. Jim spent 3 years as a National Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at NASA's Ames Research Center from 1992 through 1995. Jim's research group primarily focuses on the geology, geochemistry, and mineralogy of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets using data obtained from telescopes and spacecraft missions.
Jim is an active planetary scientist and has been heavily involved in many NASA robotic space exploration missions, including the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR), Mars Pathfinder, Comet Nucleus Tour, Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, Mars Odyssey Orbiter, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover mission. Jim is the lead scientist in charge of the Panoramic camera (Pancam) color, stereoscopic imaging system on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, and is the Deputy P.I. of the Mastcam camera system on the Curiosity rover.