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Dodgen lecture--2003; life on Mars: past, present, and future.

Christopher P. McKay, a Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames since 1982, researches the relationship between the chemical and physical evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is actively involved in planning for future Mars missions, including human settlements. Chris has been conducting polar research since 1980 in Mars-like environments such as the Antarctic dry valleys and, more recently, the Siberian Arctic. He has a strong interest in involving students in planning for the exploration of space, particularly Mars.

Christopher P. McKay received his doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Colorado in 1982 and has been a research scientist with the space science division of the NASA Ames Research Center ever since. The year McKay entered graduate school, the Viking spacecraft landed on Mars, an event that aroused his continuing interest in planetary science and the origins of life. Today McKay helps to plan future Mars missions, and he regularly journeys to the dry valleys of Antarctica to study life in cold, dry conditions.

Dr. McKay is currently a planetary scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in AstroGeophysics from the University of Colorado in 1982 and has been a research scientist with the NASA Ames since that time. Dr. McKay is one of the world's leading researchers studying Titan, and has been involved in numerical modeling of planetary atmospheres for many years. He is currently working on models of Titan's thick atmosphere in support of the joint NASA/ESA mission to the Saturn system. Dr. McKay is co-Investigator on the Titan probe atmospheric structure experiment (HASI). His broader interests focus on understanding the relationship between the chemical and physical evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He has been actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human settlements. Dr. McKay has also been involved with polar research since 1980, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys and more recently to the Siberian Arctic to condu ct research in these Marslike environments.

The Dodgen lecture is named in honor of Charles L. Dodgen, University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dodgen joined the Academy in 1959. He became executive officer in 1972, a post he held until his death in 1980.
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Author:McKay, Christopher P.
Publication:Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:0ARCT
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:381
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