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April 19, 2004

Bucknell geology professor Craig Kochel has more than a passing interest in Mars. As a graduate student in the 1970s, he mapped channels on Mars for NASA, was involved with Viking research for 15 years, and even named his daughter Kasei after a Martian riverbed.

Kochel is a geomorphologist, one who studies the origins of landforms and the processes that shape them. He has conducted analog studies on Earth in order to better understand the geology of the red planet. He also has been posting weekly updates from Mars Exploration Rover in the geology department and incorporating new findings into his class lectures.

"It's been a great experience for the students to be able to interpret the past from rock features," Kochel says. "They're seeing how scientists work in real time."

For more information about Kochel's research, go to

For more information about the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, go to


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