Cynthia Hori, GreenHab Officer
I love to teach science so much so that I have been doing it for 37
years. I have taught all sciences and all grades and I love teaching
middle school. As an educator I enjoy teaching beyond the textbook.
Teaching space is a great topic for creativity, engineering and
imagination and I have taught using NASA materials for as long as I
can remember. One nickname I have loved and owned has been
“Rocket-lady” since we always ended our space unit building Estes
rockets. At my school we have created an integrative studies program
and I team up with the English and History teacher to teach thematic
real world topics. Last year was our first Mars exploration unit and
the kids loved it. I am here at MDRS to learn more about Mars research
and to learn more from other teachers about how and what they teach
about Mars. Outside of school I love to hike, camp and knit. I also
love to take photos. I live with my husband, two dogs (Soon to be
three dogs!), two cats and 6 chickens in Bountiful. We are the proud
parents of one daughter and delightful 18 month old grandson.
Hope Zubrin, Crew Engineer
Hope Zubrin is a Mission to Mars Middle School Educator (19 years)
from Colorado. Her educational background includes a BA in Fine Arts
(3-Dimensionanl Design), a BS in Secondary Science (Bio-Chemistry)
Education, and a Masters in School Counseling.
Her passion for space was inspired by stargazing on her grandparent’s
farm and watching the first men walk on the moon. Knowing we are all
made of stardust thrills her and she finds pictures from the Hubble
Space Telescope absolutely amazing.
For the past 5 years she has dedicated her time and energy to building
a Mission to Mars program with the goal of inspiring future
scientists, engineers, and astronauts. Married to a man from Mars (not
really…but he does share her passion for the planet), she travels
extensively with her husband sharing her Mission to Mars curriculum.
She is thrilled to be here at MDRS with other educators that share her
enthusiasm. She truly hopes that someday one of her students will be
walking on Mars.
Ann Rockett, Crew Scientist
Ann is a STEM Coordinator and Middle School Space Science teacher from
Glenwood Springs, Colorado. She is a veteran teacher with a MA in CLDE
and STEM certification. As an author of science curriculum, she values
outdoor education and exploratory opportunities for students as the
most effective learning model. The secondary Space Science curriculum
Ann developed culminates with an annual visit to MDRS with a group of
students. The opportunity to return to Mars as a scientist
experiencing the full simulation is the highlight of her career!
Rockett feels passionately that space exploration is necessary to the
evolution of humanity. To impart current space knowledge and inquiry
based thinking skills to our youth is her most important mission. To
live and work at MDRS for a week and experience the reality of space
travel will be passed on to ignite the passion for space exploration
in our youth, creating a deep and meaningful understanding and
appreciation for space exploration.
Teresa Hislip, Crew Journalist
My story line begins with my motto: Life is the stories you can
tell. I am here at the MDRS to live and then tell stories; stories
about living, eating and researching as if I were on Mars, stories
about working and sharing space with fabulous people, stories about
space suits, space rovers and space rocks. Let the storyline begin!!
I love to bike, hike, and write. I love science, sisters, and serendipity.
Lost keys drive me crazy as do people who talk on and on and on and on and on.
I graduated summa cum laude with an honors degree in secondary science
education from BYU.I earned my Masters degree at the University of
And I am earning my Martian degree at the Mars Desert Research Station
in Hanksville, UT.
Kevin Berean, Crew Scientist
Kevin Berean is a Technology and Engineering Education teacher at
Amity Middle School in Bethany, CT. Kevin’s role at Amity also
includes serving as co-chair of the School District’s Science,
Technology, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) Committee and founder of the
middle school’s highly successfully Robotics and Engineering Research
Program. In recent years, Kevin has developed and implemented a
Mission to Mars Unit for his students. A space enthusiast himself,
Kevin first started his journey to bring Mars into the classroom by
attending Space Camp in 2016 and he now looks forward to taking his
experience as Crew 217 Scientist at the Mars Desert Research Station
to further develop his Mars unit to continue to inspire his students
to consider STEAM-related careers and to and engage them in our
pursuit to step foot on the red planet. Kevin is eternally thankful to
NASA, The Mars Society, and Amity Regional School District for giving
him this once in a lifetime experience. He is also grateful to his
wife and son for supporting his journey to Mars.
Jen Carver-Hunter, HSO
Jen teaches fifth grade at Mountain View Elementary School in Salt
Lake City. Her students represent many cultures, countries, and
languages, but face a significant opportunity gap compared to many of
their peers in the Salt Lake Valley. Jen’s professional development as
an educator is driven by her desire to provide engaging experiential
learning opportunities for her students. She hopes her experience at
the MDRS will inspire her students to choose studies and careers in
STEM fields while encouraging a love of space. Jen also hopes this
experience will support her integration of STEM content into her
language arts and mathematics instruction.
Jen enjoys spending her free time with her wife, Morgan, their sons,
Carver and Castle, and their dogs, Chance, Rosie, and Danny Boy. She
loves paddleboarding, reading, baking, and watching the Utah Royals
women’s soccer team play.
Shannon Rupert, Commander
Shannon Rupert is an ecologist with two decades of experience in Mars
Analog studies. She is director at the Mars Desert Research Station
and the principal investigator of the NASA Spaceward Bound Utah
teacher program. She is an expert in planetary mission simulations and
field exploration. Her current research includes the microbial ecology
of planetary analogs and the patterns of chemical signatures in
dinosaur bone of the Morrison Formation. Shannon holds a Ph.D. in
Biology from the University of New Mexico, a Master’s degree in
Biological Sciences from California State University, San Marcos, a
Bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from the
University of California, San Diego, and an Associate’s degree in
Biology from San Diego Miramar College. She has two extraordinary
children, three space dogs, two horses and a male cat named Patience.
Her hobbies include the fine art of coloring, and figuring out how to
rehab her 100 year old house.
Atila Meszaros, XO
Atila is a senior Biology Peruvian student (just took his last test
ever and aced it!). He craves his line of research to be related to
space exploration, within space analogs research. He works as
Assistant Director at MDRS, and this is his fourth crew at the Desert
Station. He is the National Point of Contact in Peru of Space
Generation Advisory Council and Secretary and Point of Contact of The
Mars Society Latinoamerica Chapter. In his free time, if he’s not
playing the ukulele, reading Lovecraft or Borges, or writing terrible
poetry, he could be traveling cross-country by bus to watch Bob Dylan.