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Founder and CEO

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J.R. has been exploring Mars since he was 14. His first project counted Martian craters to investigate that planet's climate. From then on, he was hooked. As an undergraduate at Cornell University, while majoring in Geology, he was a member of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Camera team. These years were spent analyzing rover data, creating Mars mosaics and sharing Space at public observatories while learning the geology that creates the planets. J.R. spent several summers interning at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to develop future planetary instruments and research planetary resources.


J.R.'s next step toward Mars took him to Brown University to earn a PhD in planetary science working NASA CRISM team to unlock the secrets of the minerals of Mars. This work focused on investigating the volcanic and hydrothermal history of Mars and took him to Mars Analog sites around the world, from Antarctica to Hawaii and beyond.


J.R. then served as postdoctoral researcher and later adjunct professor at Louisiana State University, where he continues to advise the next generation of Mars scientists. J.R. now works as a Principal Investigator at the SETI Institute, working with NASA to develop and plan the future of Mars exploration.  

J.R. founded Made of Mars to drive the future of planetary exploration. Made of Mars will partner with the public to develop the technology that will enable humans to thrive in Space by transforming the materials of Mars and beyond into things that we can use now and for a multiplanetary future. Made of Mars combines J.R.'s long standing passion for exploration, outreach and design to build a better future on Earth while enabling the Journey toward Mars. 

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Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at the University of San Francisco, and her Masters in Public Health at Emory University. Jennifer has several years of experience working in local government managing, coordinating, and implementing public health programs. In addition to her passion for health equity here on Earth, she is driven to contribute to our future as an interplanetary species. 

jennifer herrera

Project Manager


Nicki is a Martian geologist, science communicator, and social media specialist. She received her masters degree in geology and geophysics from Louisiana State University, with a thesis focus on boulder distributions around Martian impact craters. At LSU, she also became passionate about sharing science with the public and worked with the College of Science as a science communicator. She is currently expanding her passion for communication and higher education as the Executive Education Engagement Manager at the Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business. Through Made of Mars, she hopes to inspire public efforts for space exploration.

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 Martian Geologist - Media Development


Yu is an interdisciplinary researcher, speculative designer, and new media artist. Yu researches the burgeoning areas of advanced science technology and speculative design and their fascinating intersection where our unlimited imagination meets the fast pacing science technology development. She uses design as a method of investigation, while implementing emerging technologies, aimed at expanding our imagination, breaks the sense of normality, brings thoughts to experiment into tangible forms and explores possible future scenarios. Yu is working with Made of Mars to develop the design experience to connect you to the Journey toward Mars. 


Design Advisor



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