I was born and raised in Trenton, Michigan. As a kid, my father tuned in the TV so that we could watch the first images of the surface of Mars from the Viking 1 lander. Since then, I have been fascinated with space exploration with a keen interest in Mars. After I graduated from high school, I joined the US Navy where I was very fortunate to be accepted in a college degree program and receive a commission as a Naval Officer. I later attended graduate school in Colorado. My thesis work was focused on orbital remote sensing optimization. Working for NASA and being able to contribute to the Mars Exploration Program has been an incredible experience and a dream come true.