About Janice Bishop

Senior Research Scientist,
Chair of the Astrobiology Group,
SETI Institute

Dr. Janice Bishop is a chemist and planetary scientist who explores the planet Mars using spectroscopy. Her investigations of CRISM data of Mars are revealing clays and sulfates in the ancient rocks that provide information about the geochemical environment at the time the minerals formed. Dr. Bishop studies the spectral fingerprints of minerals and rocks in the lab in order to generate a spectral library for identification of these in the Martian data. Her research also involves collecting and studying Mars analog rocks and soils at a variety of locations including volcanic islands, cold deserts, hydrothermal regions, acidic aqueous sites, and meteorites which are the only Martian samples available on Earth to date.

Another component of Dr. Bishop’s research is collecting spectra under Mars-like conditions. Spectra of many hydrated minerals change depending on the moisture level in the air and the amount of water molecules adsorbed on the surface or bound in the mineral structure. Understanding the spectral properties of mineral mixtures in the lab is also important for identifying minerals on Mars and Dr. Bishop’s group is preparing and characterizing the spectral properties of several mixture suites.

 Major Awards:
  • 2018 – Elected as Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
  • 2016 – Jackson Award in Clay Science.
  • 2015 – Humboldt Visiting Scientist Award
  • 2013 – Helmholtz International Fellow Award.
  • 2011 – Public Service Group Achievement Award to the MRO CRISM Instrument Team for developing the highly capable CRISM instrument, significantly advancing our understanding of the Martian surface, its composition and evolution.
  • 2010 – Characterization of “Water on Mars” by the MRO Team selected as one of Science Magazine’s Top Ten Insights of the Decade.
  • 2010 – Featured Scientist, “A Day in the Life of an Astronomer” Astronomy Magazine, March issue.
  • 2009 – Best Paper Award, IEEE Whispers conference “Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing” (co-author), Grenoble, France.
  • 2008 – Kavli Fellow; invited to 18th Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium, Irvine, CA.