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John Grotzinger

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Curiosity’s mission of exploration at Gale Crater, Mars

Professor John Grotzinger
The Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology at the California Institute of Technology and Project Scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory mission

Monday 29 September 2014
5.45pm, Medical & Biological Sciences Building Lecture Theatre,  North Haugh, St Andrews

Professor Grotzinger, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is an internationally acclaimed geologist whose research is concerned with the evolution of surface environments on Earth and Mars. He is currently the Project Scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory mission and also a member of the Mars Exploration Rover Science Team and the HiRISE (High Resolution Science Experiment) team on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

His work as a field geologist addressing the chemical development of the early oceans and atmosphere on Earth has directly informed his work on the Mars Science Laboratory mission, whose Curiosity rover has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012, gaining insights into how water was involved in the early history of Mars. The Mars Exploration Rover is the first mission to conduct ground-based exploration of the bedrock geology of another planet and has resulted in the discovery of sedimentary rocks formed in aqueous depositional environments.

Professor Grotzinger received his BS in Geoscience from Hobart College in 1979, an MS in Geology from the University of Montana in 1981, and a PhD in Geology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1985. Since 2005, he has been based at Caltech (California Institute of Technology), where he is the Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology. He has received many prestigious awards for his ground-breaking research and, in September 2014, was named the new Chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech.

Grotzinger, J. (2014) Habitability, Taphonomy, and the Search for Organic Carbon on Mars, Science, vol.343 no.6169 pp.386-387

Caltech profile: Professor John Grotzinger
Website: Professor John Grotzinger
John Grotzinger CV (pdf)