|The panel will consist of Heidi DeBlock, space
medicine expert, John Delano, planetary scientist, David Portree, Mars researcher and
author, and Scott Teare, physicist, astronomer and instrumentation expert. Chairing the
panel will be Colleen Gino, director of the Dudley Observatory.
The panel has been designed to offer something to all ages, and to those with
interest in Mars at all levels. Whether you are merely wondering what the recent
hullabaloo is all about, or are a serious student of the Red Planet, there will be
something for you. Each panelist brings a unique and complementary perspective.
Dr. DeBlock is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and
Anesthesiology at the Albany Medical Center where she is an attending physician in the
Surgical Intensive Care Unit. She has been working with NASA, Johnson Space Center's
Cardiovascular Laboratory since 1990 as a Visiting Research Scientist. In her research she
has examined astronauts and studied on-board data to determine the effect of
weightlessness on the body. Dr. DeBlock's research has taken her to the Kennedy Space
Center and the Dryden Spaceflight Research Center to attend shuttle landings over the past
Professor Delano holds the rank of Distinguished Teaching
Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University at Albany,
and a winner of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a Principal
Investigator in NASA's Exobiology program, and is an Associate Director of the New York
Center for Studies on the Origin of Life at RPI, which is one of only two NASA Specialized
Centers of Research and Training for Exobiology in the United States.
Portree is an award-winning science writer and historian
based in Flagstaff, Arizona. He is a regular contributor to the syndicated Earth & Sky
radio series, .has written several scholarly histories for NASA including "Humans to
Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning (2001)", and is currently working on a
history of Mars Sample Return mission planning to be published next year. David has
recently joined the faculty of the Mars Institute, an international non-profit
organization dedicated to furthering "the scientific study, exploration and public
understanding of Mars.
Dr. Teare is a professor of electrical engineering and
physics at New Mexico Tech and astronomy at San Diego State University. He is an active
researcher in experimental adaptive optics for the past 6 years and has been involved in
the development of the laser guide star adaptive optics system on the 100-inch telescope
at the Mount Wilson Observatory. He has been a regular observer of the planets through
meter class telescopes and has co-published unique ground-based images of the planet
Mercury in the astronomical literature.