Jim Bell is a planetary scientist, educator, author, public speaker, and President of The Planetary Society.
He is heavily involved in NASA solar system exploration missions like those of the Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. In all he has roles on seven NASA missions either flight or in development. In 2011 he received the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication from the American Astronomical Society. As professor in the School Of Earth and Space Exploration, Jim runs an active research program spanning many students and topics. Currently, active areas of research in his group include surface mineralogy and weathering history of Mars, surface composition and mineralogy of the Moon, and geologic processes on the surfaces of terrestrial planets, moons, and asteroids.