This summer the Mars Society will celebrate their 16th Annual International Mars Society Conference in Boulder, Colorado. I was already excited about this awesome convention, but now that I’ve been invited to speak, I’m even more excited! This year’s conference, held from August 15 – 18, will include many scientists and policy experts who will discuss Mars-related topics. Some key speakers this year include Dr. Carol Stoker, NASA astrobiologist, Dr. David Brian of the University of Colorado/Boulder and MAVEN co-investigator, and Dr. Steven Squyres of Cornell University, principal investigator for NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity Rovers, and winner of the 2013 Mars Pioneer Award.
Not only will the conference include large panel discussions among these professionals, but the weekend will also include a special 2013 Mars Society STEM Education Event. This portion of the conference (on August 17th and 18th) will include hands-on activities and special guest speakers and presentations. This is also the portion of the conference where I’ll be speaking! I plan to share about my journey, including my dream to go to Mars, my experiences at space camp and shuttle launches, and my opportunity to collaborate with Astronaut Luca Parmitano. I’ll be joining special guests Dr. Robert Zubrin, President and Founder of the Mars Society, Chuck McMurray, Deputy Education Director for the Mars Society, and Christopher Nie, of the University of Colorado/Boulder’s Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Program. The two-day program will serve to inspire kids and students while encouraging them to investigate STEM, space sciences, and human exploration of Mars.
About The Mars Society
The goal of the Mars Society is to “further the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet.” They accomplish this goal through public outreach fostering Mars pioneers, worldwide support for government-funded Mars research and exploration, and private-enterprise Mars exploration and settlement. Their board of directors includes Bishop James Heiser, an author, Mars Society Conference speaker and Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America, Declan O’Donnell, member of the Mars Society’s Steering Committee, author of space law and space policy publications and Denver trial attorney, and Robert Zubrin, founder and President of the Mars Society, President of aerospace R&D company Pioneer Astronautics, and Mars author/expert.
The Mars Society is also passionate about STEM education and igniting a passion for space and Mars exploration in young people. They have recently developed a Speakers Bureau with a list of representatives in the U.S. to talk about the organization’s mission, its work in Mars-related research, such as the Mars Desert Research Station and the University Rover Challenge, the latest news about Mars exploration and the growing field of STEM-driven education and curriculum with a special focus on space exploration, including the Red Planet.
I’m so incredibly excited to have been invited to speak at their 16th Annual Conference this August. This is just an amazing opportunity with an organization that I really appreciate and value – it will be a highlight of the summer for me!
Photo credits: The Mars Society