Melissa Battler - Planetary Geologist, Science Team Lead
Melissa Battler holds an Honours B.Sc. in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo, and an M.Sc. in Geology from the University of New Brunswick's Planetary and Space Science Centre (PASSC), where she developed a lunar highland regolith simulant to help validate the design of lunar drilling and excavation equipment. She is currently working on her PhD at the University of Western Ontario's Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX), studying cold springs in permafrost environments as habitats for life on Earth, and possibly Mars. She is also Outreach Coordinator for CPSX, and is developing a high school level planetary science educational outreach program.
During summer 2007 Melissa led an unprecedented four month Mars mission simulation at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island, Nunavut. She has also served on six crews at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah from 2003 until present. She is also developing curriculum for the NASA Spaceward Bound "pre-astronaut" training programs at MDRS.
She is a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Student Ambassador, Executive Member of the International Lunar Explorer's Society, Advisor to the Mars Society of Canada, and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) Canada, co-founder of the Waterloo, Fredericton, and London Space Societies, and the Canadian Expedition Mars "pre-astronaut" training program.
Her primary goal is to become an astronaut and to study the surfaces of the Moon and Mars, (she is currently in round two of the CSA astronaut application process) however she would be almost as happy to train future astronauts, preparing them for scientific exploration of other planets.