Ross is currently a Principal Investigator and Research Scientist with the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute. He carries out his research in the Space Science and Astrobiology Division (Planetary Systems Branch, SST) and the Intelligent Robotics Group (part of the Intelligent Systems Division, TI) at the NASA Ames Research Center. Ross is also a Research Fellow with the Center for the Origin, Dynamics and Evolution of Planets (CODEP) at UC Santa Cruz.
Ross works on planetary surface studies. He has performed geophysical modeling of diapirism on Mars and other terrestrial planets. He works on ways to quantitatively analyze the meter-scale topography and surface roughness of planetary surfaces via remote sensing. This work has been used to help plan landing sites on Mars. Ross is also working to gain a better understanding of the stratigraphy and layering in the Valles Marineris both in the slopes of the chasmata and the interior mesas in order to learn more about the geologic history of Mars.
He studies surface geomorphology, surface processes, remote sensing and photogrammetry of the solid bodies in our Solar System--if you can stand on it, he's interested in what its like and how it got that way. Ross also serves on the science teams of several active spacecraft.