Bethany L. Ehlmann


Ph.D., 2010; Sc. M., 2008, Brown University, Geological Sciences (advisor, J. Mustard)      

M.Sc. by research, 2007, University of Oxford, Geography (Geomorphology), 2007 (advisor, H. Viles)

M.Sc. with distinction, Univ. of Oxford, Environmental Change & Management, 2005 (advisor, J. Boardman)

A.Bsumma cum laude, Washington University in St. Louis, 2004 (advisor, R. Arvidson)

Majors: Earth & Planetary Sciences, Environmental Studies; Minor: Mathematics

International Baccalaureate DiplomaRickards High School, Tallahassee, Florida, 2000

Additional Training:

Nordic/NASA Summer School: Water, Ice and the Origin of Life in the Universe, Iceland, July 2009

Vatican Observatory Summer School in Astronomy &Astrophysics, Castel Gandolfo, Italy, 2005

Rainforest to Reef Program: Marine Geology, James Cook University, Australia, July 2004

School for International Training, Development and Conservation Program, Panamá, Sept-Dec 2002


Assistant Professor, Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 8/2011-present

Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 10/2011-present

Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientist, 11/2011-present

Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) Science Team Collaborator, 9/2006-present

European Union Marie Curie Fellow, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Universite Paris-Sud XI, France, 7/2010-8/2011

Graduate Research Fellow, Brown University, 9/2006-5/2010

Postgraduate Researcher, School of Geography & Environment, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, 2004-2006.

Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Athena Science Team, Science Collaborator, 5/2003-9/2004

Undergraduate Researcher, Remote Sensing Laboratory, Washington University, 2001-2004

Space Studies Board Intern, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, 2003

Student Science Consultant, Interdisciplinary Enviro. Law Clinic, Washington Univ. School of Law, 2003

Research Associate, NASA Astrobiology Academy, Ames Research Center, 2002


Zeldovich Medal for Commission B (Planetary Science) for demonstrated excellence and achievement by a young scientist, Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) (2012)

Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award, Brown University (2010)

Sherwood Chang-Eliot Kalmbach Award for Excellence in Astrobiology Research, student speaker award at the Gordon Origins of Life conference (2010)

Best student oral presentation, runner-up, International Clay Conference, Italy (2009)

Pellas-Ryder Award, best student-led, peer-reviewed planetary sciences paper, Geological Society of America and Meteoritical Society (2009)

Best Student Paper Award, Planetary Sciences Section, American Geophys. Union Fall Meeting (2008)

NASA Group Achievement Award, Mars Exploration Rover Science Operations Team (2005)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2004-2009)

Rhodes Scholar (Missouri and Keble/Hertford, 2004)

Morris K. Udall Scholar in Environmental Studies (2002, 2003)

Barry M. Goldwater Scholar in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering (2002)


Ge157c, Caltech. Remote Sensing for Environmental & Geological Applications, spring 2013

Ge194, Caltech. Special Topics in Planetary Science: Current Issues in Understanding Reservoirs of Water on Mars, winter 2012

NAI Lecturer, International Summer School of Astrobiology 2011: Mars Exploration: Unveiling a Habitable Planet, Santander, Spain, June 27-July 1, 2011. 

Teaching Assistant, GE133, Remote Sensing of the Environment, Brown University, 2010.

Sherdian Center Certificate IV: Teaching Consultant Program, Teaching Consultant 2009-2010.

Teaching assistant, geosciences undergraduate spring break field trip, Brown University 2008

Sherdian Center Certificate I: Introduction to Reflective Teaching Practice, five course seminar, May 2007

Tutor for Remote Sensing-GIS, Oxford University Hilary and Trinity terms 2005, Michaelmas term 2006. Hired by colleges to teach seminar courses in remote sensing (term-long and revision) for first-year Geography students (Mansfield, Worchester, St. Hilda's, Christ Church, Merton, Wadham, St. Edmond's Hall Colleges)

Teaching Assistant, EPSc 407 Remote Sensing,  Washington University, 2003

Honorable Mention, Best Teaching Assistant, Earth & Planetary Sciences Dept., May 2003

Academic Tutor, Earth & Planetary Sci. Courses, Student Educational Services, Washington Univ., 2001-2002


Ph.D.Thesis Advisory Committee Member for Steven Chemtob and Kathryn Stack

Ph.D. examination committee member:  Alejandro Soto (Caltech, 2011), Congcong Che (SUNY, 2011)

Undergraduate advisor (Daniel Lo '14)

EN 11 mentor (Vivian Sun '12)


PI, NASA Mars Data Analysis. Phyllosilicates of the Northern Lowlands: Implications for Aqueous Alteration on Mars, 2012-2015, $313k

PI, NASA MSL Participating Scientist Program "Recognizing Evidence of Aqueous Alteration While Roving:  Linking hydrated mineral detections from orbit to MSL remote and in-situ measurements", 2012-2015, $384k

PI, NASA Mars Fundamental Research Program "Aqueous Alteration of Ultramafic Rocks in Oman as an Analog for Understanding Martian Carbonates: a Remote, Field and Laboratory Investigation." 2012-2014, $250k


Reviewer for Nature, Geology, Earth & Planetary Science Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research, Icarus, Planetary & Space Science; Associate editor, JGR CRISM special issue (2012)

Review panel member, NASA Mars Fundamental Research Program; External grant reviewer for NASA Planetary Geology & Geophysics Program, NASA Mars Fundamental Research Program, NASA Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research Program

Scientific Organizing Committee, Third International Conference on Early Mars, May 2012; Session convener, AGU, 2012

Rhodes Scholar Selection Committee, District 7 (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana) (2009-present)

IAG Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month contributor (10/2008, 5/2010)

American Geophysical Union (since 2001)

Geological Society of America (since 2003)

British Society for Geomorphology (since 2005)

Association Internationale pour l'Etude des Argiles (since 2009)

NASA Academy Alumni Association (since 2002)

Executive Selection Board, 2005-9; Soffen Travel Grant Committee, 2006-9, 2011; Phone Interviewer, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011


2012    Earth & Space Sciences Colloquium, UCLA; NAI Astrobiology seminar, University of Washington; Department of Geology, SUNY-Stony Brook

2011    Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences, Caltech; Department of Astronomy, Cornell University; Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University; Universite de Lyon, France; The Open University, UK; Universite Toulouse, France; UCLA Planetary Science Seminar

2010    D. Foster Hewitt Lecture Series, Lehigh University; Universitat Bern; Universite de Poitiers

2009   Washington University in St. Louis; Planetary Sciences Seminar, Caltech; JPL; NASA Ames

11/09 "Following the water and hunting for habitats on Mars: new results from the last 5 years of NASA exploration missions" Indiana University, undergraduate geosciences group

01/09  Curriculum preparation for the National Science Teachers Association. "What we can learn at different spectral and spatial resolutions: an example from Mars"

12/08  Panelist in NASA press conference at AGU; interviews with Canadian Television (CTV), BBC radio, Earth & Sky, SETI Institute Science radio; prepared press release images for Mars carbonate discovery

08/08  Assisted with Brown University blogs from the field in Iceland by Richard Lewis, Brown Media Services

07/08  Blog interview with The Scientific Activist, new findings about Water on Mars (

06/08  Interviewed for discovery of clays in ancient Mars lake deposits (The Guardian, National Geographic, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle); prepared press release images

9/07-4/08  Mentor for JHU-APL's CRISM Mars Exploration Student Data Team, Kickapoo H.S., Missouri

2/08  "Composition and stratigraphy of altered Noachian crust: new results from MRO CRISM for phyllosilicates on Mars", invited talk at the Planetary Sciences Institute

3/08  Planetary Society guest blogger for the Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference 2008

8/07  Docent for RI Museum of Natural History "Mars 3-D" exhibit

7/07  NASA Ames Academy for Exploration talk  "New Insights into Water on Mars: First results from CRISM"

5/07  Rickards High School International Baccalaureate Class Senior Celebration keynote speaker "The importance of breadth and internationalism in education"

3/07 Guest blogger for the Planetary Society, Lunar & Planetary Science Conference

9/06-01/10  bi-semesterly Earth science lessons for 2nd & 4th graders at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School

2/05  Oxford University Space and Astronomical Society  talk "First Year on Mars: Science Results from the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers"

9/05  Edwardsville Middle School  "NASA Mars Exploration Rover Mission"

8/04  Macquarie University, Australian Centre for Astrobiology  invited talk "First Results from the Mars Exploration Rovers at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum"

3/04  Panelist in two live, televised weekly JPL Mars Exploration Rover press conferences

1/04  Guest on Fox 2 News in the Morning, live (KTVI-St. Louis) : Mars Rovers Landings


University Resources Committee (sets annual operating budget), graduate student representative, Brown University (2008-2010)

Rhodes/Marshall Scholarship Nominating Committee, Brown University (2006-2009)

Geoclub (geoscience graduate student group), Treasurer (2007); Rep. to Grad Student Council (2008)

Rhodes Scholar Southern Africa Forum, executive committee member (2005-6)

Committee on Environmental Quality, Washington University, student rep. and co-chair (2002-4)

Student Union, Washington University, Senator, Academic Affairs committee co-chair (2001-4


Computer:  Proficient in ENVI, IDL programming, ArcGIS, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint. Comfortable in Unix or Windows OS

Field techniques:  Proficient in use of portable ASD spectrometer, thermal emission spectrometer, thermal camera, GPS. Experienced in GTS/theodolite surveying (both land and shallow water), transect and grid ecological surveys. Skilled in sediment core acquisition and marine grab sample acquisition and vibracoring.

Laboratory techniques: Experience with flux fusion sample preparation, ICP elemental analysis, XRD analysis of clays, laboratory sample preparation and data analysis for VNIR and TIR spectroscopic measurements

SCUBA: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver


English (native), Spanish (highly proficient), French (intermediate)