Hi! My name is Sam Clegg. I live in Los Alamos, NM, USA and I am a co-investigator on ChemCam. I operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory LIBS lab where we investigate ChemCam observations. I also participate in the ChemCam instrument calibration and interpretation of observations. When I am not working on ChemCam, I am coaching baseball.
When I was younger, I wanted to be an astronaut and a baseball player. I was very interested in the space shuttle missions but not specifically interested in Mars. My primary research interests focus on using lasers so the opportunity to spark rocks on Mars with ChemCam sparked my interest in Mars. I also found the Pathfinder and MER rover missions very exciting.
ChemCam is important because it is a very versatile instrument. ChemCam will survey the area around Curiosity to determine where to go to conduct more detailed scientific investigations. ChemCam will also conduct detailed geochemical analysis and detect several elements that other instruments cannot detect. I would be most excited about detection of carbonates and water-bearing samples on Mars.