Curiosity’s First Year of Exploration on Mars









Dr. John Grotzinger
Chief Scientist
NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission

What is the talk about?

NASA’s second rover named “Opportunity” produced dramatic evidence that long ago, at least one area of Mars stayed wet for an extended period, suggesting that conditions could have been suitable for sustaining microbial life. NASA’s third Mars rover “Curiosity” is an extraordinary machine that carries the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface. Dr. John Grotzinger is the lead scientist for Curiosity’s mission to explore Mars’ past climate and geology.  He will describe what the rover has discovered since landing on the Red Planet, and how the Mars Science Laboratory onboard Curiosity will continue our search for signs of extraterrestrial life there.

Presenter’s Biosketch


John Grotzinger is a field geologist interested in the evolution of Earth’s surficial environments and biosphere. His research addresses the chemical development of the early oceans and atmosphere, the environmental context of early animal evolution, and the geologic factors that regulate sedimentary basins. In his studies, John tries to create the basic geologic framework for sedimentary basins and orogenic belts in northwest Canada, northern Siberia, southern Africa, Oman, and the western United States. These field mapping studies are the starting point for more topical laboratory-based studies involving geochemical, paleontological, and geochronological techniques.

Schedule: Friday, Oct. 18, 2014 Location: UT Campus
5:45-7:00 PM: Community Science Fair Welch Hall (WEL)
7:00-8:15 PM: Main Program Welch Hall, Room WEL 2.224
Directions and Parking
Welch Hall (WEL) is located at 105 E. 24th St, on the corner of Speedway and 24th streets. Enter the Welch Hall building from the Speedway side. Hot Science – Cool Talks attendees may park at San Jacinto Garage (SJG) for a fee.

Further Resources


Teaching Curriculum (PDF format)

Grades Resource Type Title TEKS
3-5 Lesson Plan Canyons of the Universe: A Look at Water ErosionWorksheet for Canyons of the Universe: A Look at Water Erosion §112.14 Science, Grade 3: 7C, 7D§112.15 Science, Grade 4: 7B

§112.16 Science, Grade 5: 7A, 7B

9-12Lesson PlanChemistry and the Essentials for Life: Looking at MarsWorksheet for Chemistry and the Essentials for Life: Looking at Mars§112.33 Astronomy, Grade 9-12: 9B§112.34 Biology, Grade 9-12: 2E, 2H, 9A, 9D

§112.35 Chemistry, Grade 9-12: 3B