Mars Perseverance mission experts include a woman priest

Think science and religion are incompatible? Don’t tell that to Reverend Pamela Conrad, who works on the Mars Perseverance rover mission.

When Reverend Pamela Conrad looks up into the sky, she’s really looking up into the sky. She works as a fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Science in Washington, D.C. and is a member of the Mars Perseverance rover’s tactical operations team. Her areas of expertise include instrument suite management, data collection and analysis, and team planning collaboration with colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and other scientific institutions around the country.

By day, Pamela, 68, is a minister of the Episcopal Church, leading the congregation at St. Albans Church in Glen Burnie, Md. She is a geologist by training, but is also proficient in other disciplines. “There is no clash between science and religion. Both explore the wonder of the world and our place in it,” says Rev. Pamela.