Bernard Bates teaches and undertakes research work in planetary astronomy, exploration of the solar system, space technology, and any lights in the sky, including U.F.O.’s. He has worked with lunar soils, studying whether the composition of the soils could be revealed through the way they interact with light. He has also explored micrometeorites recovered from the ocean floor. Bates has been quoted widely in the media on space exploration, alien life, and astronomical phenomena, including in The Atlantic, Popular Mechanics, Computer World, Live Science, KPLU Radio, The Loop, and The News Tribune. Bates credits the Apollo project for his interest in pursuing planetary astronomy throughout college and graduate school. He regularly gives public talks on astronomical topics, including one of his most popular presentations—about searching for extraterrestrial life with a home computer. He teaches Mars exploration, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and astronomy.