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OPENING KEYNOTE SPEAKER Michael J. Malaska, PhD
The Exploration and Mapping of Saturn’s Moon Titan
Planetary Ices Group
Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Insitute of Technology
Bio: Dr. Michael Malaska is a scientist in the Planetary Ices Group at NASA/JPL. He obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from MIT, his PhD in chemistry from UC Berkeley, and performed postdoctoral research in neurochemistry at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in Florida. After a 20 year career in the pharmaceutical industry inventing new medicines, images of Titan’s alien surface sent down by the Cassini spacecraft ignited his passion in planetary science. He went from being an interested amateur, to a volunteer researcher, and ultimately changed his career to planetary science and astrobiology. His current research program combines laboratory simulation, spacecraft remote sensing, and field geology to explore and understand Saturn’s moon Titan. He has done field work in North Carolina, the Mojave Desert and Salton Sea in California, the Greenland Ice Sheet, and an extremophile sulfide cave in southern Mexico.
CLOSING KEYNOTE SPEAKER TBD