“From Earth to Mars via Ocean Volcanoes and their Evolution”

September 10th in Falmouth

Sea Education Association (SEA) will host a public lecture, “From Earth to Mars via Ocean Volcanoes and their Evolution,” on Tuesday, September 10, at 5 pm.  Dr. James B. Garvin, chief scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, will deliver the lecture, the first of SEA’s Fall Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at the James L. Madden Center Lecture Hall, Sea Education Association, 171 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth. It’s free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

About the Lecture

Dr. Garvin will discuss how Hunga Tonga Hunga-Ha-apai (HTHH), a newly formed volcanic island in the Kingdom of Tonga, promotes a greater understanding of both Earth and Mars, and how and why it offers a compelling opportunity for future exploration.

In October of 2018, a joint NASA/SEA team comprised mostly of undergraduate SEA Semester students sailed aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans on a pathfinding mission to HTHH, which presented a rare opportunity to use newly-developed technology to gather data – on the ground, under the water, and from space – to better understand how a primeval landscape reacts to erosion in 3D.

According to Dr. Garvin, such data provides a useful guide as to how similar landscapes may have evolved on Mars when persistent surface waters may have influenced volcanism.  A second, more comprehensive NASA/SEA “mission of discovery” is scheduled for this fall.

The NASA/SEA collaboration may also help inform future space missions. Writes Dr. Garvin: “The infusion of the powerful talents and capabilities of a student exploration team with the NASA scientists in the field and in the ‘back room’ in the USA (at NASA) will allow the sea-based mission to mimic aspects of how the future of deep space exploration at the Moon and then Mars will unfold for NASA’s new prime directive initiative known as ARTEMIS, as well as aspects of the upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission.”

About the Lecturer

Dr. James B. Garvin is the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center chief scientist. He provides strategic advice and analysis on the scientific priorities and directions to the center director and senior leadership, as well as to NASA Headquarters. Prior to Goddard, Garvin served as the NASA chief scientist, advising three separate administrators on issues ranging from science strategies associated with the Vision for Space Exploration to those involved in rebalancing the NASA science portfolio. In addition, Dr. Garvin served as the chief scientist for Mars exploration from 2000 until 2004 and spearheaded the development of the scientific strategy that led NASA to select such missions as the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Phoenix polar lander, and the Mars Science Laboratory.

Dr. Garvin earned his Ph.D. in the geological sciences from Brown University in 1984. He also received an M.S. from Stanford University in computer sciences and a second M.S. from Brown in planetary geology. He graduated with highest honors from Brown University in 1978. (Official NASA bio.)

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