Melissa Rice head shot

Melissa Rice

Mastcam-Z Co-Investigator and Associate Professor of Planetary Science, Western Washington University

Dr. Melissa Rice is an Associate Professor of Planetary Science at Western Washington University, where she has held a joint appointment in the Geology Department and the Physics & Astronomy Department since 2014. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University in 2012, and was a NASA Astrobiology Institute Postdoctoral fellow at Caltech from 2012-2014.

Her research focuses on the sedimentology, stratigraphy, and mineralogy of Mars. She was a collaborator on the Mars Exploration Rover missions, a Participating Scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission, and a Co-Investigator for the Mastcam-Z investigation for the Perseverance rover mission.

Latest Articles

The Spirit Rover, and Why Cuteness Matters

There is something about the Spirit Mars rover, something that tugs at our hearts. I finally figured it out: it's cute.

Latest Planetary Radio Appearances

The Eyes of a New Mars Rover: Mastcam-Z

Mat Kaplan attended a meeting of the science team for the zoom lens camera that will be atop the Mars 2020 rover mast. Planetary Scientist Jim Bell tells us how this new system will show us the Red Planet as we’ve never seen it before.

Celebrating Carl Sagan With Lou Friedman, Lynda Obst, Kip Thorne and More

November 9 was Planetary Society founder Carl Sagan's birthday, so we gathered a few of his close friends and several young scientists he inspired in front of a live audience. They also helped us celebrate Planetary Radio's 10th anniversary!