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National Geographic Live! A Planet to Call Home w/ Ellen Stofan

National Geographic Live
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The worlds of our solar system are far apart, yet some are connected by two themes: life and climate. Each of them holds key information to Earth’s past, present and future. Dr. Ellen Stofan believes Earth is our best guide as we look for life on other planets. Can you envision a time in the not-so-distant future where we live off the land…but the land is on Mars? Where we set sail on the ocean worlds of the outer solar system, looking for life? What would it take for you to be Earth-independent? A world-renowned expert in human exploration and a former chief scientist of NASA, featured in National Geographic’s critically acclaimed series, “Mars,” Dr. Stofan shares her vision of the next decade of space travel.


Dr. Ellen Stofan is the former Chief Scientist of NASA (2013-2016), serving as principal advisor to the NASA Administrator on the agency's science-related strategic planning and programs. She is a Senior Scientist Consultant at the Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, an Honorary Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London and co-chair of the World Economic Forum Future of Space Technologies Council. From 2008-2012, Stofan was Vice President of Proxemy Research, where she had been a Senior Scientist since 2000, and from 1992-2000, she held a number of senior scientist positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory including Chief Scientist of the New Millennium Program, Experiment Scientist for the Shuttle Imaging Radar-C, and Deputy Project Scientist for the Magellan mission to Venus.

She is an associate member of the Cassini Mission to Saturn Radar Team, and was the Principal Investigator for the TiME mission, a proposed a mission to NASA to land a boat on a sea on Titan. Her research focuses on the geology of Venus, Mars, Saturn's moon Titan, and Earth. She has published extensively, and received many awards and honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. She is co-author of the book Planetology: Unlocking the Secrets of the Solar System and the new publication Next Earth: What can our world teach us about other planets?, both published by National Geographic.

Stofan has a PhD and MSc from Brown University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of William and Mary. Stofan has received honorary degrees from Washington and Jefferson College, Meredith College and the College of William and Mary. She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Explorers Club. She is the former Chair of the College of William and Mary Foundation Board, where she also chaired the Development Committee, and chaired the Board and the Development Committee of Highland School. She is an advisor to the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Terra Alpha Investments, the Association of Governing Boards Guardians Initiative, and the Space Angels Venture Fund.

This presentation is part of the 2018/19 National Geographic Live Series.

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