Howdy! My name is Keri Bean and I am a mission operations engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I'm in the science plan integration group at JPL. I currently am a Science Planning and Sequencing Engineer for the Dawn mission. I also am training to be a Tactical Activity Planner/Sequence Integration Engineer for the Mars Exploration Rovers.

I graduated from Texas A&M University in August 2013 with a master's in atmospheric sciences. My advisor was Dr. Mark Lemmon. I earned my B.S. in meteorology and double minors in mathematics and Earth sciences from Texas A&M University in spring 2010 with designation of Undergraduate Research Scholar.



I was the ’08-’09 director of educational outreach and ’09 election committee member for the USA chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

I was the college program coordinator for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.

I’m a former president, vice president, and treasurer for the Texas A&M Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

I’m a former lead forecaster, social chair, forecast coordinator, and team leader for the Texas Aggie Storm Chasers.

I was a member of the '09-'10 College of Geosciences Undergraduate Recruitment Team.

I’m a member of Women in Planetary Science.

I have a technician-class HAM radio license. My callsign is KE5RDD.

I am a member of JPL’s Advisory Council for Women.

I am a member of JPL’s speaker’s bureau.

I am a member of the R2-D2 Builders club. Yes, I am building my own R2D2. My husband and I have already built KN-3X.

I am a member of the JPL German Club.

Starting in January 2016, I will be the Section 397 Seminar speaker coordinator.


Missions I've Worked On

Below I've added links to missions I've worked on.


NASA website


Twitter account

Facebook page




Research posters/papers I’m an author on

Bean, K., M. Lemmon, 2008. A Quick Look at the Samples Obtained and Analyzed During the Phoenix Mission. SpaceVision.

Bean, K., N. Hall, M. Lemmon, 2008. A Quick Comparison of Dust Devils from MER and Phoenix. SpaceVision.

Ellehoj, M., P. Taylor, H. Gunnlaugsson, B. Gheynani, L. Drube, C. von Holstein-Rathlou, J. Whiteway, K. Bean, M. Lemmon, M. Madsen, D. Fisher, R. Volpe, and P. Smith, 2008. Phoenix Mars Lander: Vortices and Dust Devils at the Landing Site. AGU Fall 2008 Meeting.

Bean, K., G. Atkinson, 2009. Lunar-Gravity Testing of P-POD Based Constellation EVA Camera Mounting System. Microgravity University proposal.

Bean, K., M. Lemmon, et al., 2009. Surface Stereo Imager Observations of Dust Devils at the Phoenix Landing Site. 40th LPSC.

Ellehoj, M., H. Gunnlaugsson, P. Taylor, B. Gheynani, J. Whiteway, M. Lemmon, K. Bean, L. Tamppari, L. Drube, C. von Holstein-Rathlou, M. Madsen, D. Fisher, and P. Smith, 2009. Dust Devils and Vortices at the Phoenix Landing Site on Mars. 40th LPSC.

Ellehoj, M., H.P. Gunnlaugsson, K.M. Bean, B.A. Cantor, L. Drube, D. Fisher, B.T. Gheynani, A-M. Harri, C. von Holstein-Rathlou, H. Kahanpaa, M. T. Lemmon, M.B. Madsen, M.C. Malin, J. Polkko, P. Smith, L.K. Tamppari, P.A. Taylor, W. Weng, and J. Whiteway, 2009. Convective Vorticies and Dust Devils at the Phoenix Mars Mission landing site. Journal of Geophysical Research.

Holstein-Rathlou, C., H.P. Gunnlaugsson, J.P. Merrison, K.M. Bean, B.A. Cantor, J.A. Davis, R. Davy, M.D. Ellehoj, W. Goetz, S.F. Hviid, C.F. Lange, S.E. Larsen, M. Lemmon, M.B. Madsen, M. Malin, J. Moores, P. Nornberg, P. Smith, L. Tamppari, and P.A. Taylor, 2009. Winds at the Phoenix Landing Site. Journal of Geophysical Research.

Bean, K., G. Atkinson, T. Saultz, B. Stern, D. Delao, M. Requa, C. Mollere-Rodriguez, B. Young, M. Lemmon, and T. Pollock, 2009. Video Camera System for the Lunar Electric Rover to Document Lunar Extravehicular Activities. Moon Work proposal.

Bean, K., M. Lemmon, 2010. Measuring Nighttime Atmospheric Opacity Using Images from the Mars Exploration Rovers. Undergraduate Research Scholars proposal and thesis.

Bean, K., M. Lemmon, 2010. Nighttime Optical Depth Patterns from the Mars Exploration Rovers. 41st LPSC.

Holstein-Rathlou, C., H.P. Gunnlaugsson, J.P. Merrison, P. Nornberg, M.D. Ellehoj, K.M. Bean, M.T. Lemmon, L. Tamppari, P. Smith, and the Phoenix Science Team, 2010. Time-Dependent Dust Accumulation on the Mars Phoenix Wind Indicator. 41st LPSC.

Bean, K., A. Azocar, D. Charles, W. Davis, C. Mollere-Rodriguez, B. Moore, C. Pannier, A. Probe, C. Runco, M. Lemmon, 2011. A Heads-up Display for Extra-vehicular Activity Suits. Space Technology proposal.

J. E. Moores, R. Haberle, M. Lemmon, K. Bean, M. Mischna, M. de la Torre Juarez, C. Newman, F. Calef, B. Cantor, A. Vasavada, J. Maki, J. Martin-Torres, M.-P. Zorzano, R. Francis, E. McCullough, the MSL Science Team and the Engineering Camera Team, 2013. Constraints on Atmospheric Water Vapor and Circulation at Gale Crater from the MSL Atmospheric Monitoring Campaign. 44th LPSC.

K. S. Edgett, R. A. Yingst, M. E. Minitti, M. L. Robinson, M. R. Kennedy, L. J. Lipkaman, E. H. Jensen, R. C. Anderson, K. M. Bean, L. W. Beegle, J. L. Carsten, C. L. Collins, B. Cooper, R. G. Deen, J. L. Eigenbrode, W. Goetz, J. P. Grotzinger, S. Gupta, V. E. Hamilton, C. J. Hardgrove, D. E. Harker, K. E. Herkenhoff, P. N. Herrera, L. Jandura, L. C. Kah, G. M. Krezoski, P. C. Leger, M. T. Lemmon, K. W. Lewis, M. B. Madsen, J. N. Maki, M. C. Malin, B. E. Nixon, T. S. Olson, O. Pariser, L. V. Posiolova, M. A. Ravine, C. Roumelioitis, S. K. Rowland, N. A. Ruoff, C. C. Seybold, J. Schieber, M. E. Schmidt, A. J. Sengstacken, J. J. Simmonds, K. M. Stack, R. J. Sullivan, V. V. Tompkins, T. L. Van Beek, and the MSL Science Team, 2013. Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI): Initial Observations and Activities. 44th LPSC.

M. T. Lemmon, J. F. Bell III, M. C. Malin, K. M. Bean, M. J. Wolff, A. Vasavada, F. J. Martin-Torres, M.-P. Zorzano-Mier, and the MSL Science Team. Astrometric Observations of Phobos and Deimos During Solar Transits Images by the Curiosity Mastcam. 44th LPSC.

M. Lemmon, J. Bell III, M. Malin, K. Bean, M. Wolff, A. Vasavada, F. J. Martin-Torres, M. P. Zorzano-Mier, and the MSL Science Team. Astrometric observations of Phobos and Deimos during solar transits imaged by the Curiosity Mastcam. EGU General Assembly 2013.

Bean, K. & M. Lemmon, 2013. Determining Nighttime Atmospheric Optical Depth Using Mars Exploration Rover Images. Master’s thesis.

Bean, K.M. & M. T. Lemmon, 2014. Determining Nighttime Atmospheric Optical Depth Using Mars Exploration Rover Images. 8th Mars.

J. E. Moores, M. T. Lemmon, S. C. R. Rafkin, R. Francis, J. Pla-Garcia, M. de la Torre Juarez, K. Bean, D. Kass, R. Haberle, C. Newman, M. Mischna, A. Vasavada, N. Renno, J. Bell, F. Calef, B. Cantor, T. Mcconnochie, A.-M. Harri, M. Genzer, M. Wong, M. D. Smith, F. J. Martin-Torres, M.-P. Zorzano, O. Kemppinen, E. McCullough. Atmospheric movies acquired at the Mars Science Laboratory landing site: Cloud Morphology, Frequency, and Significance to the Gale Crater Water Cycle and Phoenix Mission Results. Advances in Space Research, 2015.

Coming soon: Planetary & Space Science paper on thesis topic

Some of the guest lectures I’ve given

Seminar about thesis work on Martian nighttime optical depth at York University in Toronto, Ontario, April 2013

Thesis defense, Texas A&M University, May 2013

Talk about working at JPL to Magnolia Science Academy 5 in Hollywood, December 2013

Seminar about thesis work on Martian nighttime optical depth to the Mars seminar series at JPL, January 2014

Talk about robotic exploration of the solar system with middle schoolers in Minnesota via NASA's Digital Learning Network, January 2014

Panelist on a Women's History Month panel discussion via NASA's Digital Learning Network, March 2014

Science Hack Day Ambassador, San Francisco, October 2014

Gave multiple talks at the Women in STEM conference for 8th grade girls at Citrus College, February 2015

Talk about Dawn and Martian astronomy to the Santa Monica Amateur Astronomy Club, February 2015

Talk about working at JPL to UTT Middle School in Tustin, CA via NASA's Digital Learning Network, February 2015

Talk about Dawn to Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic, February and September 2015

Panelist at a Girls in STEM event hosted by the Columbia Memorial Space Center at the Downey City Library, April 2015

Gave a joint talk with Mike Seibert about MER and Dawn at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, April 2015

Participated in the i C Ceres celebration at Caltech, May 2015

Gave a talk about my career and did some hands-on activities with 3-5th graders at the La Canada library, June 2015

Participated at an R2-D2 Builder's booth and gave a joint talk about building your own R2-D2 at the Los Angeles Discovery Cube, July 2015

Gave multiple talks about the Dawn mission at the California Academy of Science, September 2015

Gave a joint talk with Kristina Larson at Long Beach Comic Con, September 2015


NASA Group Achievement Award as part of the MSL Prime Mission Science and Operations Team

NASA Group Achievement Award as part of the Ceres Rendezvous Recovery Team

JPL Section 397 Discovery Award, 2014

NASA Group Achievement Award as part of the MSL Mastcam, MAHLI, and MARDI Instruments Team

NASA Group Achievement Award as part of the Phoenix Development and Mission Team

NASA Langley Moon Work Contest 2009, 3rd Place.

NASA Langley Space Technology Competition 2011, 1st place.


Bighorn Arch Seismic Experiment: I helped deploy seismometers in Wyoming around the Bighorn Mountains. I also went on geologic field trips to places like Devil's Tower National Monument, Yellowstone National Park, and more.

Mars Exploration Rovers: I completed an undergraduate and master's thesis on measuring the nighttime atmospheric optical depth and looking for any significant changes, either caused by dust settling or cloud formation. This research is now being put into journal form.

Phoenix Mars Lander: I worked on analyzing cloud observations, dust devils observations, lightning detection, and image calibration.

Hubble Space Telescope: I did photometry in the B, V, and I filters of M81 (Bode’s Galaxy) to determine any new Cepheid Variables as part of the Hubble Key Project to refine Hubble’s constant. I did this under the direction of Dr. Lucas Macri.

Mars Science Laboratory: I was a member of the Malin Space Science Systems science team and the MSL environment theme group. I helped coordinate meteorological observations, participated in operations, and conducted research. I participated as a Mastcam payload uplink lead, environment theme group lead, and environment theme group mini keeper of the plan.

Dawn: I am currently a science planner and sequence engineer for the Dawn mission. I am working with the team to develop a robust observation plan for Ceres and to sequence the science activities.

NEAScout: I worked on NEAScout a bit in development. I helped with developing camera requirements and reviewing ROIs for potential cameras.


NASA press release: Socializing on Mars

Popular Science: The Tech Behind the Phoenix Mars Lander's Onboard Cameras

The Planetary Society: Tweet Tweet Tweet

The Planetary Society: LPSC: Saltwater at the Phoenix landing site?

Star Stryder: LPSC Audio Files: From Space Academy to Space

Space and astronomy in the Twitterverse

Meteorology Students on Winning Team in NASA Competition

AIAA: Rocket Scientist by Association

Mars rover team faces the masses

NASA's Curiosity Rover team adjust to living by 40-minute longer Martian days

Research at Texas A&M: Exploring the Martian Atmosphere

Martian Moon Bites Into the Sun

Mashable: 15 Twitter Accounts Every Space Lover Should Follow

Wired: Curiosity Rover Identifies Mysterious Bright Object as Plastic

UrbanAstro: Interview with Keri Bean, the Martian Storm Chaser

Australian Science: Interview: Keri Bean - Mars meteorologist, Curiosity Rover team member

Western University Centre for Planetary Science and Explortion: Western Worlds podcast

Mental Floss: 18 Complicated Scientific Ideas Explained Simply

Universe Today: For Valentine's Day, Enjoy These Hearts On Earth, Mars And Other Places

Dawn Blog: Space Inspired "Nerd Couture"

Lady Paragons: 20 Fascinating Lady Scientists to Follow on Twitter

Pasadena Star News: JPL utilizes Legos, other toys to help build the future

San Bernardino Sun: From Lego's legacy, JPL utilizes popular toys

Keri Bean and Morgan Freeman talk science outreach!

My NASA Solar System Exploration profile

Drivin' a Spacecraft - A NASA Dawn Google+ Hangout


Hubble and Dawn Collaborate to See Ceres - A Hubble Google+ Hangout

Universe Today: Dawn Spacecraft's Dwarf Planet Dance Improves Hubble's Far Away View

Discovery News: NASA Spacecraft Ready to Unlock Ceres' Mysteries

Discovery News: Hunt for Dwarf Planet Ceres Mysterious Water Begins

io9: Find Inspiration from these Women Working with Science in Public

Popular Science: What's Next For the Dawn Mission? An Interview with Keri Bean, NASA Engineer and R2D2's Best Friend

io9: These Photos of Scientists With Their Machines Are Pure Excellence

PBS Newshour: Dawn over Ceres, a mission of humankind