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James Ashley, '87

James Ashley, '87

James W. Ashley, ’87 is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Science Operations Center with the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University.

Ashley received a Bachelor of Science in geology from Grand Valley in 1987 and went on to receive a master’s degree in geology from Michigan State University in 1995, and a Ph.D. studying planetary remote sensing geophysics from Arizona State University in 2011.

Ashley has worked as a laboratory instructor, an adjunct professor, and a Senior Research Assistant at the Annis Water Resources Institute. From 1990 to 2004, Ashley served as a full time Hydrogeologist and Project Manager at various environmental consulting firms in Michigan and Arizona. Throughout 15 years on the job he worked to assess and/or remediate more than 250 contaminated industrial and commercial sites across the United States. 

While much of his career has been focused on consulting, his primary interest is the study of asteroids and meteorites which have fallen to Earth and other planets. He has presented his findings dozens of times at professional conferences and workshops, and enjoys sharing his research with the public through schools, museums, planetariums and corporate gatherings.

Ashley’s work has been published in more than 45 abstracts and peer-reviewed articles, and his list of awards and certifications is nearly as long. One of his most notable research documents was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research regarding meteorites found on Mars. Ashley received the Project Manager of the Year Award from Shell Oil Products U.S., The Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grant Award, and is a member of the American Association of Professional Geologists, the American Geophysical Union, and  The Meteoritical Society.

James currently resides in Phoenix Arizona. He and his wife Mary are expecting their first baby.

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