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From Earth to Moon and Back Again: Stories from “Lunar Analog Studies” Presentation with geologist, Dr. Jane Nielson
Debris from space constantly rains onto the Earth’s surface; by the 1950s, meteorite studies showed that the variety of known space materials could represent a destroyed Earth-like planet, or raw materials that could have coalesced to create one. In 1963 the U.S. Space program provided funding for studies of suspected meteorite impact craters, and focused Earth Science into the debate about the origins of supposed extra-terrestrial masses, which also funded studies of deep Earth rocks. This talk will focus on some passionate 1960s debates, which space exploration and lab studies eventually resolved –including speculations that proved to be hilariously wrong.
Jane Nielson has three degrees in geology, including MS in Geochemistry from The University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University, and is a California Licensed Professional Geologist (PG). Dr. Nielson worked 18 years for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field and research geologist, and taught undergraduate geology courses at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ; California State University, Hayward; and Pomona College, Claremont CA. After retiring from USGS, she moved to Sonoma County in 1999, and in 2003 was a co-founder of the Sebastopol Water Information Group and the Sonoma County Water Coalition. She also serves on the board of directors for Sonoma County Conservation Action and the O.W.L. (Open-Space, Water, and Land Conservation) Foundation. She is co-author of The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery, published by Oxford University Press in 2008.