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Astronauts, Robots and Rocks: Preparing for Geological Planetary Exploration





Welch Hall room 2.224

UT Campus, Welch Hall 2.224

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by Dr. Mark Helper 
Department of Geological Sciences, UT - Austin
Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 7 PM CT

What is the Lecture About?

Imagine yourself as a scientist visiting a research site on the moon for the first time, using new ways to understand the unexplored territory around you. Geologist Dr. Mark Helper will bring this scenario to life, presenting how his expertise in geological field research is assisting NASA develop new techniques for human planetary exploration. Dr. Helper will tell us of training astronauts to do geological field work, and of work with NASA roboticists at a large Canadian impact crater to test the use of robots as an aid to human planetary exploration.

More info about Dr. Helper's research can be found in a short video from The University of Texas .

Presenter's Biosketch

Dr. Mark Helper is a Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences. He teaches undergraduate courses in introductory and advanced Field Geology, GIS and GPS Applications in the Earth Sciences, and Gems and Gem Minerals, and lectures and leads field trips for other undergraduate and graduate classes. His current research explores geochemical and Isotopic similarities of Proterozoic and Archean crust in East Antarctica and the southwestern U.S. As co-chair of FEAT (Field Exploration and Analysis Team), Dr. Helper is also involved in the geological field training of astronauts and allied activities, in preparation for NASA's return to the Moon.

Website of Interest: The Haughton-Mars Project is an international interdisciplinary field research project centered on the scientific study of the Haughton impact structure and surrounding terrain, Devon Island, High Arctic, viewed as a terrestrial analog for Mars.

K-12 teachers can receive professional development credit for attendance to our professional development workshop. To RSVP and join the workshop, click here.

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