Wendy Calvin

Portrait of Wendy Calvin

Wendy Calvin, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering Chair


Research/Outreach Areas:

Spectral properties of minerals and ices; Mars surface processes and materials; planetary exploration; field, laboratory and remote sensing mineral spectroscopy applied to exploration and drilling; geothermal energy.

Relevant Past Experience:

  • Twenty years of sustained research funding through NASA and DOE programs using remote sensing data sets and laboratory analysis to identify and map the surface composition of solid planets in the solar system.
  • Major scientific discoveries have included identifying oxygen on Ganymede, large path lengths in ice for the seasonal polar cap of Mars, and identification of ammonia ices on Pluto's satellite Charon.
  • Member of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Color Imager (MARCI) and Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) science teams. Service on numerous National Research Council (NRC) and NASA committees related to planetary exploration.
  • Recipient of the Mackay Faculty Achievement Award, the College of Science Excellence in Research Award, and Graduate Student Association Outstanding Mentor Award and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship.


See my personal web site for a full list of publications.

Major Discovery Papers

  • Ehlmann, BL, et al. (2008), Orbital Identification of Carbonate-Bearing Rocks on Mars, Science, 322, 5909, 1828-1832.
  • Squyres, S. W., et al. (2008), Detection of silica-rich deposits on Mars, Science, 320, 1063-1067. DOI: 10.1126/science.1155429
  • Christensen PR, et al. (2004) Mineralogy at Meridiani Planum from the Mini-TES Experiment on the Opportunity Rover, Science, 306, (5702), pp. 1733-1739.
  • Spencer, J.R. and W.M. Calvin (2002) Condensed O2 on Europa and Callisto, Astronomical J., 124, 3400-3403.
  • Brown, M.E. and W.M. Calvin (2000) Evidence for crystalline water and ammonia ices on Pluto's satellite Charon, Science, 287, 107-109.
  • Spencer, J.R., Calvin, W.M., and Person, M.J. (1995) Charge-coupled device spectra of the Galilean satellites: Molecular Oxygen on Ganymede, J. Geophys. Res., 100, pp. 19049 - 19056.
  • King, T.V.V., Clark, R.N., Calvin, W.M., Sherman, D.M., and Brown, R.H. (1992) Evidence for Ammonium-bearing minerals on Ceres, Science, 255, 1551-1553.


  • Ph.D. 1991, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • B.S. 1983, University of Denver