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Volunteer Opportunities

Building the future on Mars:  
New opportunities to participate as part of the Mars Desert Research Station Team

As the Mars Desert Research Station begins its second decade of analog studies in Utah, there are plenty of opportunities to participate other than as a crewmember.  If you would like to get involved in any capacity, or if any of the volunteer positions listed here interest you, please contact us.  We would be delighted to have you join us.  Remember, most of these volunteer opportunities rely on your virtual presence, so you can be part of the team no matter where you are in the world.   Unless otherwise specified, please contact Shannon Rupert at srupert@marssociety.org for further information or to volunteer.  


Mission Support volunteers are the backbone of the crew experience.  We support crewmembers from the application process through their rotation at MDRS and beyond.  


We are currently looking for the following Mission Support personnel:


MISSION SUPPORT DIRECTOR:  Part of the MDRS management team.  Requires a huge time commitment.  Responsibilities range from initiating contact and providing instructions to the crews before they arrive at MDRS to managing the team of CapCOMS that are the crew’s main contact with the outside world while they are at MDRS.  This position also involves working with crews that have their own support teams.  Not for the faint-hearted, the role of Mission Support Director is central to the success of the crews.

CapCOMS:  The daily link between crews and Mission Support teams.  In recent years, CapCOMS have usually worked one evening per week, but this is flexible.  Prior to the field season, the Mission Support Director and CapCOMS will meet to decide how best to support the crews given their individual schedules.  CapCOMS can be located anywhere in the world and work during the field season only.

DOCUMENTS EDITOR: Works directly with the Mission Support Director and management team to create, maintain and update documents related to MDRS.  This role has not been active in the past few seasons and would require a large time commitment in the beginning.

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR: Coordinates the social media presence of MDRS.  This is a flexible position, and we welcome someone with their own ideas on how MDRS could best be represented in social media.

FLIGHT SURGEONS:  To be part of the flight surgeon team, you must be a medical doctor with relevant experience in emergency, extreme environmental, or remote/telemedicine.  Flight Surgeons are on call 24/7 to advise crews on medical issues that occur while they are at MDRS.

ENGINEERING TEAM: Members work throughout the field season with Mission Support and should have served as crewmembers at either MDRS or FMARS.  They are also central to refit/work party efforts.  Engineering Team members should be available throughout the field season several evenings a week.

CONSULTING ENGINEERS—We are looking for people with special expertise in engineering to work on specific projects.  Examples of engineering research include both short (exp. Plumbing design) and long term (operations) projects.  Just let us know what you can do!

For any engineering opportunity, please contact Judd Reed at JuddEReed@gMail.com.

REFIT/WORK PARTY CREW MEMBERS: Several times a year we have work parties at MDRS.  These are perfect opportunities for people who for whatever reason can’t be on a crew, but would like to experience a glimpse of life at MDRS.  We are always looking for people with expertise in home repair/construction and also those who would like to participate as part of a team to improve and maintain the facilities at MDRS.  Our next work party is in early October and will focus on plumbing repairs and refitting the GreenHouse.  There is only room for 6 people to stay at MDRS but we also welcome people who would like to stay in town at night and/or have a trailer or tent.   So come on out, support our efforts, build something on Mars, and have a blast.  

For the October work party, please contact Shannon Rupert.  To volunteer for future work parties, contact John Barainca at jwbarainca@hotmail.com

REMOTE SCIENCE TEAM:  Like the Engineering Team, members of the Remote Science Team are scientists who have served on crews at MDRS, FMARS and/or MARS-OZ. RST members work throughout the field season, and beginning this year will also work with crew scientists after selection and before they arrive at MDRS as part of a larger science team.

CONSULTING SCIENTISTS: These are experts in their field that the RST will consult as needed.  We especially need space scientists.  

PROJECT SCIENTISTS: We welcome scientists who would like to propose a short or long term project at MDRS.  Examples of projects include short term projects like mapping the area (this is one that needs someone to spearhead it) and long term projects (like our current food study).

For science opportunities at MDRS, please contact Shannon Rupert.

OBSERVATORY TEAM: We are looking for people who would like to contribute to our astronomy research and education/outreach at the new and updated Musk Observatory.

For astronomy opportunities, please contact Peter Detterline at pdetterline@gmail.com.

GREENHOUSE TEAM – We are currently in the process of converting our GreenHab (used for CLESS research in the past) to a GreenHouse to be used for both crew crops and greenhouse research.  

For GreenHouse opportunities, please contact Jesse Clark at jesse.clark@sandiegospace.org


OUTSIDE PROJECTS TEAMS: We are also seeking people interested in participating on the following project teams:
1. Sustainable energy
2. Resource Utilization
These teams will work on projects remotely and/or propose research to be conducted at MDRS.  For outside projects, please contact Jean Hunter at jean.mdrs@gmail.com


The following volunteer opportunities are special projects:

EDUCATION/OUTREACH: working with the MDRS teams and Mars Society’s Education Coordinator

OPEN HOUSE COORDINATOR:  We are looking for someone to organize and hold an open house for the people of Hanksville at the end of the field season (May 2013).  

INFORMATION TEAM—The time commitment for these positions is flexible.  We are looking for the following team members:

RESEARCH LIBRARIAN—An independent position for someone interested in keeping track of published work that was conducted at MDRS

WIKIPEDIAN—An independent position for someone interested in creating accurate and updated wiki articles about MDRS.

WEB RESEARCHER—An independent position for someone interested in periodically searching the Web to see what is being published about MDRS.  

And we are always looking for writers, artists and educators with unique ideas about how they can contribute to MDRS.   To get involved, please contact us.

For crew opportunities, please see the crew application page on our website.