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Mark L. Fonda

Mark L. Fonda

Division Chief of the Space Science & Astrobiology Division, Ames Research Center

Professional Background

Mark L. Fonda is the Division Chief of the Space Science and Astrobiology Division at NASA Ames Research Center. He earned his B.S. in Biology from the University of California — Davis in 1979, and his MBA in Management from Golden Gate University in 1985. He started working at Ames in 1981 for General Electric in the Life Science Division and became a civil service employee in 1989 as a Physical Scientist in the Exobiology Branch of the Space Science Division. While working for General Electric, Fonda participated in all aspects of the Space Shuttle Flight Experiments Program including: science definition, mission operations, test and integration and project management for Space Shuttle Flight Projects (SL-3, SLS1 and SLJ).

Since becoming a NASA employee, he has lead many project teams including development of the Gas-Grain Space Station Facility for International Space Station and a variety of Space Sciences planetary instrument/facility definition and development laboratory breadboard concepts. In 1999-2001 he was Project Manager for a series of Astrobiology Missions to study the Leonids meteor showers.

In 2003, he was named the Space Science Division Deputy Chief and served as the Acting Division Chief for Space Science Division in 2004. He is now the Division Chief for Space Sciences and Astrobiology, assisting in leading a Division of 55+ Scientific and Administrative Staff (including another 40+ contractor and grantee staff) conducting both basic and applied research in Space Sciences.

In addition to his managerial responsibilities, Fonda currently assists NASA Headquarters in the technical management of the Planetary Protection Research and Analysis Program.