About the EPRSL

The Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory is part of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University. It is located in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, on the second floor, south wing of Rudolph Hall, in Saint Louis. Dr. Raymond Arvidson is the director.

Laboratory staff and graduate student research focus on surface processes and histories of Earth, Mars, and Venus. Students are also actively involved in the Laboratory as a part of undergraduate courses such as the Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability, in which multidisciplinary approaches to environmental problems are stressed with plenty of hands-on experience.

The Laboratory is the location of NASA's PDS Geosciences Node. Laboratory personnel have been or are involved in NASA's  Mars Global Surveyor, Odyssey, Mars Exploration Rover, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Phoenix Mars Lander, and Mars Science Laboratory Missions. We are also involved in the European Space Agency's Mars Express Orbiter Mission. In addition to selected science tasks lab personnel are responsible for creating and distributing science data archives from planetary missions and individual scientists, working closely with contributors to ensure that the archives are complete and well-documented.

All these activities are supported by a computer system that hosts planetary data online for public access through the Geosciences Node. 

EPRSL Sustainable Office Gold Award
learn more about WashU sustainability here.

Related Resources

  • If you're looking for the Planetary Data System Geosciences Node web site, use this URL: http://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/
  • Several Laboratory personnel are participating in the two Mars Exploration Rover missions. Follow the progress of Opportunity on the JPL web site, and get to the latest science data from the Geosciences Node MER web page. Arvidson is also a participating scientist on the Mars Science Labortory Mission with the Curiosity rover, and you can follow the Curiosity mission on the JPL web site.
  • The Fossett Laboratory for Virtual Planetary Exploration, located in Rudolph Hall, Room 285, offers virtual reality immersive viewing of terrains crossed by the Curiosity and Opportunity Mars rovers, in addition to visualization of many other data sets. Various technologies are employed to provide a sense of presence in scenes, including the ability to move around 3D worlds presented to the viewer in realistic panoramas, with actual horizontal and vertical scales.