HLP bringing Mars Rover expert, NASA advisor to Doane

Dr. Steven Squyres, the scientific principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission that landed rovers Spirit and Opportunity on Mars in 2004, will take his audience on a tour of his work with NASA and the world of space when he comes to the Doane College Crete campus Tuesday, Feb. 28.

hlp speaker steven squyresDr. Squyres' lecture begins at 7 p.m. in Heckman Auditorium in the Communications Building of the Crete campus, 1014 Boswell Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

Last November, Squyres was named chairman of the NASA Advisory Council. He has also served as chair of its Space Science Advisory Committee.

A professor of astronomy at Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.), Dr. Squyres' research focuses heavily on the robotic exploration of planetary surfaces. He is best known for his research of the history and distribution of water on Mars and possible existence of a liquid water ocean on Europa.

Dr. Squyres has participated in a number of planetary spaceflight missions, including analyzing imaging data from the Voyager mission's encounters with Jupiter and Saturn, serving as a radar investigator on the Magellan mission to Venus and as a member of both the Mars Observer gamma-ray spectrometer flight investigation team and imaging team for the Cassini mission to Saturn.

A former student of Carl Sagan, he is the recipient of the 2004 Carl Sagan Memorial Award and the 2009 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Communication in Planetary Science.  In 2007, he was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science by the Franklin Institute and in 2010 the Mines Medal for his achievements as a researcher and professor. He has been in the media repeatedly, from appearances with PBS to the Colbert Report, ABC News, World News Tonight, and 60 Minutes. He was also featured in Wired.

"Dr. Squyres is a working scientist whose research and contributions to his field have implications for the future. As a leader he has worked seamlessly with people in his field and across a variety of professions to make (the Rover missions) come to fruition. It is a tremendous achievement," said Carrie Petr, director of Doane's Hansen Leadership Program.

In conjunction with the event, Squyres will visit physics and Information Science Technology classes. Doane also will host Star Lab, a traveling, inflatable planetarium. The campus will also be showing space movies throughout the month of February.

For more information, contact Petr at 402.826.8271.

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