• Professor Melissa Rice
  • Melissa Rice, assistant professor of planetary science at WWU, will give a talk called “Mapping Mars: Our Evolving Vision of the Red Planet - Part II” on Tuesday, May 28 at 4 p.m. at Western Libraries in the Map Collection, (Wilson Room 290). This event is free and open to the public.

    In recent decades, mapping efforts by sophisticated spacecraft on Mars have revolutionized our vision of the Red Planet.  Rice will discuss the mapping, science, and exploration of Mars. While scientists once thought Mars was a living world covered with vegetation that changed with the seasons, the Space Age brought a new view of Mars as a dry, cratered and barren planet.

    This talk picks up where Rice left off in 2015 when she was the inaugural speaker for the “Speaking of Maps” lecture series. She will explore new maps by NASA's Curiosity Rover, and talk about plans for the next big mission to Mars launching in July 2020.

    Rice teaches in the Geology Department and the Physics & Astronomy Department and her research focuses on the geology and habitability of ancient Mars environments. She is a team member on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission and is part of the team building the Mastcam-Z cameras for the NASA Mars-2020 rover. 

    This event is sponsored by Western Libraries, The Planetary Society, WWU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and WWU’s Geology Department. It is offered as part of the Western Libraries “Speaking of Maps” lectures, designed to highlight the use and value of maps in research, in teaching and learning, and in daily life.  For more information about this event, please contact Dennis Matthews, Dennis.Matthews@wwu.edu, 360-650-3272.