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  • Wednesday, November 15 GSP Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, November 15 GSP Monthly Meeting

  • November 15, 2023
  • 11:15 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Cefalo's Banquet and Event Center, 428 Washington Ave., Carnegie, PA 15106


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975 Sols of return sample science on Mars

Presented by

Dr. Kathleen Benison

West Virginia University

Wonder what the Perseverance rover has been doing on Mars and the status of its sample collection? This talk will provide a summary of the past 2.5+ years of the rovers accomplishments on Mars, from the perspective of a Mars 2020 mission return sample scientist. The talk will also describe the role of a return sample scientist, including the daily jobs required to help the rover work on Mars and the related research on Mars-analogs to better understand rocks in Jezero crater and prepare for study of Mars rocks in Earth labs.  Finally, a detailed description of the compositions and textures of two interesting rocks  sampled by Perseverance, and the preliminary interpretations about clues they offer about habitability and potential biosignatures, will be featured.

About our speaker: Kathy Benison grew up in a suburb of Boston, along the coast in Massachusetts.  She was introduced to science by Carl Sagan's and Jacque Cousteau's TV shows. She earned a B.S. in geology and chemistry from Bridgewater State College in 1990, after which she worked as a field chemist for Clean Harbors Environmental Services for one year. Kathy then earned a M.S. in Geology from Binghamton University, and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Kansas in 1997. Kathy was a professor of geology from 1997 until 2012 at Central Michigan University. She has been a professor of geology at West Virginia University since 2012. Kathy is a GSA Fellow, an Explorers Club Fellow, and a National Geographic Explorer.  She is currently a science editor for the journal Geology and a science team member of the Mars 2020 mission. She's also a mom of three young adults.

Cefalo's Banquet and Event Center

428 Washington Ave., Carnegie, PA 15106

11:15 to 11:45 Door Open/Social Half-Hour

11:45 pm Lunch Buffet

12:00 pm Lecture


Cefalo's Banquet and Event Center

428 Washington Ave., Carnegie, PA 15106

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