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Dr. John Grant Comes to Campus as Next DVA

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ For Dr. John A. Grant, traveling to the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh should be a breeze after navigating the rovers on Mars.

Dr. John Grant Grant, a member of the science team for the Mars Exploration Rovers since 2002, will be coming to SUNY Plattsburgh as part of the Distinguished Visiting Alumnus (DVA) Program sponsored by the Plattsburgh Alumni Association.

On Thursday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m., Grant will give a public presentation, "My Other Cars are on Mars: Driving the Mars Exploration Rovers," in the Plattsburgh Room, Angell College Center. Grant will share his career choices with students, faculty and others. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Grant graduated magna cum laude in geology from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1982 and went on to earn a master's and doctorate in geology at the University of Rhode Island (1986) and Brown University (1990).

He joined the Smithsonian Institution in the fall of 2000 as a geologist at the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum. He is a member of the Mars Exploration Rovers Science Team and is one of six science operations working group chairs. Grant also co-chaired the science community process for selecting the landing sites for the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers.

Currently, he is mainly "in residence" at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif., working the day-to-day operations on the rovers.

After a two-year position at NASA headquarters, where he served as program scientist for the Mars Global Surveyor and now postponed Sample Return missions, Grant then accepted his current position at the Smithsonian.

Since 2001, he has also served as a co-investigator on the High Resolution Camera (HiRISE), which is to be flown on the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and is currently developing a ground-penetrating radar for possible deployment on a future Mars rover.

He has authored or contributed to numerous articles in many industry publications, including NASA's Geomorphology and Science magazines.

The DVA program brings alumni back to campus where they can share new ideas and become more involved in the academic mission of the college.

While on campus, Grant will be a special guest in several classes and will meet with student, faculty and staff.
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