2021 SPEAKERS - PRESENTATIONS

LIVE VIRTUAL SPEAKERS

Dr. James L. Green

Chief Scientist, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S.A.

NASA’s Chief Scientist Jim Green serves as principal adviser to the NASA administrator and other senior officials on agency science programs, strategic planning, science policy, and the evaluation of related investments. Prior to his appointment as the chief scientist, Dr. Green was the director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters from August 2006 to April 2018. Under his leadership, he managed the New Horizons spacecraft flyby of Pluto, the Juno spacecraft to Jupiter, and the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars just to name a few. Dr. Green was awarded Japan’s Kotani Prize in 1996 in recognition of his international science data management activities and received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system. He has written over 115 scientific articles in refereed journals and over 50 technical articles. In 2015 Jim helped coordinate the NASA involvement with the film “The Martian.”

Dr. Douglas Terrier

NASA Chief Technologist 

Douglas Terrier is the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters, serving as the senior leader of the office. In this role, Terrier is the agency’s principal advisor and advocate on NASA technology policy and programs, helping plot the strategic direction of the agency’s space technology program. Prior to his current position, Terrier worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, as the center’s chief technologist, serving as the principal advisor to the Center Director for technology, and the Center point of contact for the Agency Chief Technologist and the Space Technology Mission Directorate.

Dr. Michael A. Meyer

Lead Scientist for the Mars Exploration Program

NASA Headquarters

Michael Meyer is a Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters in the Science Mission Directorate. He is the Lead Scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration and for Mars Sample Return Programs, responsible for the science content of current and future Mars missions.  Dr. Meyer is also Program Scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity mission.  In 2009, Dr. Meyer was awarded Exceptional Service Medal and the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Professional Service.

Dr. Meyer was the Senior Scientist for Astrobiology from 2001 to 2006.  The Program, which is dedicated to the study of the life in the universe, started in 1997 with Dr. Meyer as the Discipline Scientist.  Since 1993, Dr. Meyer managed NASA’s Exobiology Program and from 1994 to 1997, was also the Planetary Protection Officer for NASA, responsible for mission compliance to NASA’s policy concerning forward and back contamination during planetary exploration.  Dr. Meyer was the Program Scientist for the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission, which was launched in 2001 and is still orbiting Mars, and for the Mars Microprobe mission (DS-2) and for two Phase I Shuttle/Mir experiments.  He was detailed from the Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada, where he was an assistant research professor from 1989-97.  From 1985 to 1989, he served as associate director and associate in research for the Polar Desert Research Center, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University.  In 1982, he was a visiting research scientist at the Culture Centre for Algae and Protozoa in Cambridge, England.

Dr. Meyer’s primary research interest is in microorganisms living in extreme environments, particularly the physical factors controlling microbial growth and survival.  He has conducted field research in the Gobi Desert, Negev Desert, Siberia, and the Canadian Arctic. He is also a veteran of six research expeditions to Antarctica, to study microbial ecosystems in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (1985/87), investigate krill-phytoplankton relations (1978/81), and research primary productivity in the Weddell Sea (1977).  His experience also includes two summers working as a treasure salvager off the coasts of Florida and North Carolina.

Dr. Meyer earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in oceanography from Texas A&M University (1985 and 1981) and his B.S. in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1974).

Dr. Lindsay Hays

NASA – Astrobiology and Mars Sample Return

Lindsay Hays is a Program Scientist in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters. Her scientific background includes work on lipid biosignatures for mass extinction events and mass evolutionary radiation events, and photosynthetic organisms in modern hot spring environments, and she received both a S.B. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a postdoctoral management fellowship in the Astrobiology Program at NASA HQ, she spent time at JPL in the Mars Program Office where she was the Sample Return Science System Engineer and also worked on science activities for Humans to Mars. Most recently, she has returned to NASA HQ, where she is the Deputy Program Scientist for the Mars Sample Return Program, which seeks to bring samples collected by the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover back to be analyzed in laboratories on Earth to help scientists better understand Mars and the potential for past life on the red planet. Lindsay is also the Deputy Program Scientist for the Astrobiology Program, where she is the lead for the Exobiology Research Program and the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology Program, as well as the HQ representative for the Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Earth Environments (PCE3) Research Coordination Network. Additionally, Lindsay is the Program Scientist for the Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission to explore Venus.

Gary Jordan

Public Affairs Officer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Gary Jordan is a Public Affairs Officer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. His responsibilities include managing public messaging and media relations for Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Development, Commercial Crew, and the International Space Station (ISS); leading the digital multimedia content team; hosting live television commentary of dynamic spaceflight in Mission Control Houston; and producing and hosting “Houston We Have a Podcast.”

Gary first started at NASA in 2012 through their Pathways Internship program while he was still a student at Penn State University. As an intern, he directed and edited a parody music video titled “NASA Johnson Style,” which now has over 7 million views on YouTube.
In 2014, Gary began his career as a full-time NASA employee in internal communications where he lead a team to unify communication platforms and standardize branding, for which he would be awarded the NASA’s Trailblazer Award in 2016. He also ran an internal engagement campaign for 10,000 employees and contractors that was centered around the book and feature film “The Martian” and included stage presentations, written products, and unique experiences like an employee screening.

For the past 3 years, Gary has been a part of the external communication team at NASA where his primary newsroom beats are overseeing the public messaging for the International Space Station (ISS) Program, an orbiting space laboratory that is nearing 20 years of continuous human presence; and the Commercial Crew Program, a program that is working closely with SpaceX and Boeing to launch humans from American soil. He also supports the Commercial low-Earth orbit (LEO) program that is working to develop a robust commercial economy in low-Earth orbit in which NASA can be one of many customers purchasing services. Gary was awarded NASA’s Silver Achievement Medal in 2021 for conceiving, guiding and maturing “Houston We Have a Podcast.”

Dr. Nehemiah Joel Williams

NASA Aerospace Flight Systems Engineer

Nehemiah Joel Williams, Ph.D. works as a Propulsion Subsystem lead in the Vehicle System Management
(VSM) team within the Orion Program’s Vehicle Integration Office (VIO) where his primary
responsibilities include verifying the functional capabilities and fault detection, isolation and recovery
(FDIR) of the Orion spacecraft’s integrated propulsion subsystems (PSS) as well communicating Orion’s
propulsion subsystem performance to mission planners in support of Project Artemis, NASA’s lunar
exploration initiative. Nehemiah entered full time civil service at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in
2016, working initially as a liquid propulsion systems engineer, where he supported reaction control and
small scale rocket engine test campaigns, reaction control thruster thermal model development and
multi-phase computational fluid dynamics analysis of rocket engine injection systems in the Propulsion
and Power Division at JSC. Nehemiah also served as a part-time mission analyst with NASA’s Mars
Architecture Team where he worked various integration tasks related to Mars mission planning
activities. Nehemiah’s higher education includes B.S. degrees in Biblical Studies from Philadelphia
Biblical University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania (2004) and Mechanical Engineering from Temple
University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2008) and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering,
each from the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma, Tennessee (2010, 2016).

Ken Savin

Senior Program Director, In Space Production, International Space Station US National Lab

Ken received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1996 and came to Eli Lilly and Co. in 1998 from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center as a senior organic chemist. He worked on several projects in the areas of anxiety, depression, and inflammatory disorders, and he was involved in many cross-functional Lilly research collaborations. Ken had roles in management and research in Drug Disposition, Lead Generation, Isotopic Chemistry, Acquisitions and Assessment, Process Chemistry and Route Design, Technology and in Clinical Innovation. During Ken’s final years at Lilly, he led a team of scientists to develop and fly five experiments on the International Space Station. In May 2017, Ken retired from Lilly and joined the team at the Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS), as the manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. He has been a part of the Business Development and the Science and Technology teams and is currently the Sr. Program Director of In-Space Production at CASIS.

Jose Antonio Rodriguez Manfredi

Jose A Rodriguez-Manfredi is a scientist in the Department of Advanced Instrumentation at INTA – Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) in Madrid, Spain, of which he was the head of the department from 2010 to 2015. Since 2012 he has been the Principal Investigator of the Space Instrumentation Research Group at CAB.

Dr. Rodríguez Manfredi is the Principal Investigator of the space instruments TWINS (Temperature and Winds for InSight) on NASA’s InSight mission (on Mars since November 2018), and MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer) on NASA’s Mars 2020 mission (on Mars since last February 18). He is also co-investigator and mission manager of the REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) instrument that has been exploring Mars aboard Curiosity since 2012.

Dr. Rodríguez Manfredi has led as Principal Investigator, or contributed as a researcher, numerous Research and Development projects funded by the European Commission, the State Research Agency (and the previous equivalent bodies), as well as autonomic and local agencies and other institutions.

His interest is focused on the science and development of instrumentation for the characterization of environmental and geo-biological subsurface conditions on other planets, especially Mars.

Dr. Rodríguez Manfredi is very involved in the popularization of science, participating very actively in outreach programs, talks in schools, universities, etc.

LIVE IN-PERSON SPEAKERS

Dr. Andrew Aldrin

President of the Board, President & CEO, Aldrin Family Foundation & ShareSpace Education

Dr. Andrew Aldrin is President of the Aldrin Family Foundation, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to harnessing the inspiration of space to ignite a passion for STEAM education in students of all ages and backgrounds. He has served in leadership roles in this organization since 2014, during which time he has overseen the extension of educational programs to over 300 elementary schools and universities.

Dr. Aldrin is also the Director of the ISU Center for Space Entrepreneurship at Florida Tech and an Associate Professor of Engineering Management at Florida Tech. Before moving into academia, Dr. Aldrin had a distinguished career in industry and government research, including executive positions at Boeing, United Launch Alliance and Moon Express.

Dr. Aldrin was also a member of the research staff at the RAND Corporation and the Institute for Defense Analyses. He serves on the board of several charitable organizations, including The Secure World Foundation, Sea Space Symposium, and the Tau Zero Foundation. He holds a Ph.D. from UCLA in Political Science, an MBA from TRIUM (NYU, LSE, HEC), and an MA from George Washington University in Science, Technology and Public Policy.

Sharad Bhaskaran

Peregrine Mission One Director

Sharad Bhaskaran is a space industry veteran. He serves as the head of Astrobotic’s Planetary Lander Department and is leading Astrobotic Mission 1. Prior to Astrobotic, he spent 25 years at Lockheed Martin (LM) successfully developing and managing payload projects for spaceflight applications and leading the negotiation and testing of more than 30 U.S. payloads on the Mir Space Station. Bhaskaran was also the Program Manager for LM’s West Coast portfolio, which included the $300 million NASA Ames Research Center Programs & Projects engineering and science services contract and Shuttle operations support contracts at Armstrong Flight Research Facility and White Sands Space Harbor. Bhaskaran supported the International Space Station (ISS) Human Research Facility in various project and leadership roles, contributing to the successful launch and operation of the system on ISS. He began his career at LM as a Payload Systems Engineer, where he performed Spacelab payload structural analysis for three integrated racks that flew and operated on Shuttle missions SLS-1 and SLS-2.Lind

Sam Moore

Executive Director of the Moonshot Museum

 

Sam Moore is the Executive Director of the Moonshot Museum, a new museum coming to Pittsburgh’s Northside in 2022 focused on making space more accessible and inspiring people to find their place in the future of human space exploration and settlement through access to real spacecraft and space industry professionals. In this role, he oversees operations, exhibition design, fundraising, programming, and outreach for the museum. Prior to the Moonshot Museum, Moore served in leadership positions with museums and cultural nonprofits in Pittsburgh and beyond, including the Senator John Heinz History Center, the National Aviary, the Missouri Historical Society, and St. Louis’s Campbell House Museum. He holds an M.A. in history and museum studies from the University of Missouri and can be found biking the many miles of trails around Pittsburgh when not at the museum.

Alivia Chapla

Marketing Director for Astrobotic

Alivia Chapla leads all marketing and communications efforts at Astrobotic. Through her experience in strategy, digital communications, video production, event planning, and more, Astrobotic has consistently landed in international publications and has grown in general recognition. Prior to Astrobotic, Chapla applied her marketing and fine arts background to a wide variety of clients spanning from national brands including Dunkin’, Marriott Hotels, and the Pittsburgh Penguins to local nonprofits such as Travelers Aid Pittsburgh and Union Project. A Pittsburgh native, she has found her way back to the Steel City from years in South Carolina to help achieve Astrobotic’s mission to make space accessible to the world.

LIVE REMOTE PRESENTATIONS

Festival of the Spoken Nerd

Ralph Crewe of Isn’t That Something will host 2/3  of the Festival of the Spoken Nerd live from England –  Experiments maestro Steve Mould and geek songstress Helen Arney.

Festival of the Spoken Nerd is the UK science comedy phenomenon that will feed your brain, tickle your ribs and light your Bunsen burner.

To learn more about Festival of the Spoken Nerd check out:   https://youtu.be/quCULyHLMoo and https://youtu.be/hzvVLK9Y048

Copyright 2021. Mars New Year, a not-for-profit, section 501(c)(3).

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