Ryan Anderson


I am a planetary scientist and developer at the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center. I am interested in using quantitative geomorphology and spectroscopy to understand past conditions on Mars and other planets. I also am interested in using computers to help humans do better science. In particular, I am interested in developing useful software tools for planetary scientists, and in using multivariate analysis and machine learning to make sense of large, complicated data sets. I program mostly in IDL and Python.

I am a member of the ChemCam science team on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. I work on day-to-day rover operations, developing data processing software, improving the calibration, and interpreting ChemCam results. If you are interested in what the Curiosity rover is doing, you can follow along with the mission on the blog that I write with two other USGS colleagues. I am also a member of the SuperCam science team on the Mars 2020 mission.


When I’m not doing science, I like to write. I have always been fascinated by “other worlds”, be they distant planets, the ancient past, or fictional realms. I’m an avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, and you can read my reviews of genre fiction of all types on my blog, among posts about other things. I am an aspiring fiction author, so from time to time I will post about that on the blog as well.


  1. Dude. Thanks for the great quote collection. When you travel to Mars, swing by and pick me up.

  2. For real pick me up too

  3. I don’t know whether you check the blog anymore, but I found you while I was trying to track down the new AGU Community Manager. I used to run Outdoor Science and am trying to reactivate my dormant blog. I thought I’d leave a comment because I’ve been away from writing for three years… trying to write science fiction! I did an MFA in creative writing and subsequently, erm, rewrote the first chapter of a novel lots of times. Ahem. It’s amazing to hear you’re a fiction writer too. Space opera, I assume? My twitter is still vivraper. You can catch me at the email on my website http://www.vivienneraper.com.

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