Dr. John Grotzinger '81
Dr. John Grotzinger
Degree: M.S. Geology, 1981
Profession: Mission leader and project scientist for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Mission and the Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology at California Institute of Technology
Lecture: Roving Mars with Curiosity
Dr. John Grotzinger has conducted field research on every continent except Antarctica and now directs a team of more than 400 scientists as they explore Mars via the Curiosity rover. Grotzinger has fulfilled several appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including Waldemar Lindgren Distinguished Scholar, director of the Earth Resources Laboratory and Schrock Professor of Earth Sciences. His awards include the Presidential Young Investigator Award of the National Science Foundation; the Donath Medal, recognizing a scientist under age 36 for outstanding original research marking a major advance in earth sciences; the Henno Martin Medal from the Geological Society of Namibia; and the Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal from the National Academy of Sciences. In 2014, he received the NASA Group Achievement Award for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, the NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal and the Roy Chapman Andrews Explorer Award. In 2015, he was the recipient of UM's Distinguished Alumnus Award.