Introducing James Sprinks

James Sprinks is a Research Associate in Planetary Science / Human Factors at the University of Nottingham’s Geospatial Institute. His current research involves the FP7 iMars project (, the broad aims of which are to develop tools and 3D models of the Martian surface through the co-registration of NASA and ESA mission data dating from the Viking missions of the 1970’s to the present day, for a much more comprehensive interpretation of the geomorphological and climatic processes that have taken and do take place. James’ involvement concentrates on the development of a Citizen Science Platform that allows the online public to analyse change on the surface of Mars. Through doing this the aim is to better understand how task design, interface design, data presentation techniques and communication tools can be best utilised to ensure the best possible user experience whilst ensuring the data produced is still scientifically robust.

Coming from a physics and astronomy background originally, James completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Southampton. His final year dissertation involved the study of binary star systems, specifically cataclysmic dwarf novae and the prediction models associated with their behaviour. After several years working in the education sector, he returned to academia to complete a masters degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through a co-ordinated scheme involving the University of Leeds, University of Southampton and Penn State University, USA. His research involved the use of GIS techniques to map the distribution and geometric properties of barchan sand dunes on the surface of Mars.

Cornish born and bred, James enjoys the outdoors, sea and sand. A keen Cornish Pirates RFC supporter, he attempts to play rugby at a sub-standard level, and badminton only slightly better! When not studying or attempting to play sport, James can be found either half way up a mountain somewhere or underneath some cats, Spotty and Optimus (he didn’t name them). You can find out about James’ research on his website:


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