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. 

Related Resources

  • If you're looking for planetary data, go to our NASA Planetary Data System Geosciences Node web site.
  • Several Laboratory personnel are participating in the Mars rover missions. Follow the progress of the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers by clicking the rover names. Archived data from these two missions can be found on our Geosciences Node Analyst's Notebook site. 
  • The Fossett Laboratory for Virtual Planetary Exploration uses immersive On-Sight-based visualization technologies to visualize path planning and data analysis for Curiosity, including entering the Mars scenes at full resolution with other participants.