Chatting with Dr. Tanya Harrison on PBS

I had a blast chatting with my good friend Dr. Tanya Harrison, who’s writing for PBS Terra on a new series called “Uncharted Expeditions”! This segment is about how the isolated environments found the Antarctic can help us understand the challenges we will face on deep space expeditions. As you’ll see, Tanya has a real knack for getting to the heart of a story. Note that I filmed on location from the Holiday Inn Express in Iquique, Chile (hence the uninspired background).

A Few Photos from Chile

Just a few quick snaps from our time doing fieldwork in Chile. The Atacama is truly the most Mars-like place on Earth! I feel like I’ve learned so much about how to interpret our rover data from spending time in this remarkable environment.

And check out this sulfate outcrop…. If my foot weren’t in there, you might think it was a workspace image from Curiosity.

These sulfate veins look just like what we see in Gale crater!

Total Eclipse 2024 Report

Over the weekend, I headed to the eclipse totality path via Texas. The wind is crazy but the sky is clear. I stopped at Cadillac Ranch, Ozymandias of the Plains, and the Leaning Tower of Texas. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

We diverted northward due to clouds and eventually found a reasonably clear spot at a rest stop in Arkansas. At first, the sun looked whole, but we all knew that the moon was up there lurking somewhere.

Then, things got noticeably dimmer! And then I discovered that the person we parked behind was also from Los Alamos.

Finally, we saw the awesome sight of totality. It was suddenly dark and cold, and Venus and Jupiter appeared. It looked like sunset in all directions. We saw bright red solar prominences on the disc margins. A remarkable reminder that we live on a planet.

How do we find meaning in the universe?

“So many cosmic things had to happen for this moment to be here.”

I’m so pleased to share this beautiful, thoughtful episode of Dispatches from The Well from Big Think in which host Kmele Foster discusses the future of our planet and humankind with Sean Carroll, Kevin Kelly, and me. This is the last episode in the seven-part series. I loved every single episode, and have found myself thinking about many of them long after I finished watching.

At the Monaco Yacht Show 2023

It’s not every day that I find myself at the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM), but in late September I had the pleasure of representing the science of the Explorers Club as they signed a new agreement with YCM committing to shared environmental and scientific goals on the opening day of the Monaco Yacht Show. I was invited to say a few words about what we can learn about Earth’s oceans from the geologic histories of our nearest neighbors, Mars and Venus.

From La Gazette de Monaco (translated from the French by our friend Google):

A “sustainable” commitment to the planet

This agreement once again reflects our Club’s commitment to environmental issues but also the link that unites Monaco and The Explorers Club ,” underlines Bernard d’Alessandri, general secretary of the Yacht Club. “ Our desire is to bring together witnesses to climate change and those who are working to combat this problem, ” he added.

The ocean is not “an eternal and unlimited resource”

Also featured at the luncheon was Dr. Nina Lanza, Space and Planetary Exploration Team Leader in Space and Space Remote Sensing and Data Science (ISR-6) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “ The ocean has long captured our imagination. We have always considered it an eternal and unlimited resource. But appearances can be deceiving. The oceans are much more ephemeral than we often think ,” explained the researcher. “ The oceans are probably the cradle of life. This is why exploration is so important: it teaches us about ourselves and our future ,” the scientist continued.

Sir William Roseman, Dr Nina Lanza et Bernard d’Alessandri © mesi_BD

Lift the Ice

I’m so excited that Lift the Ice is now released! Many of you may recall that I seemed to spend a lot of time in the Arctic last summer. I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the far north twice. One of those times was to film for this incredible new series out now: Lift the Ice.

This is a six-part documentary about six aspects of the Earth’s cryosphere.

You’ll find me in episode 4, “The Ice Is Alien,” for which I traveled to Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian Arctic to better understand how icy, habitable environments on Earth can be analogs for planetary environments on Mars and beyond.

On Earth, life finds a way (🦖) to thrive in these seemingly inhospitable places with incredibly sparse resources—could similar environments on other planets also harbor life? What kind of signatures should we look for? Come with me as I explore these remarkable places with outstanding polar scientists as we lift the ice on Earth to catch a glimpse of what life might be like on Mars. Streaming on Curiosity Stream.

Dr. Tanya Harrison joins the Explorers Club 50

Dr. Tanya Harrison was selected as one of this year’s Explorers Club 50: she’s “one of 50 people changing the world.” I am thrilled to see my friend in this group of remarkable explorers! Congratulations on this very well-deserved honor!

The Club is truly a special organization, one of very few dedicated entirely to field science.  As a planetary scientist, I believe that exploration is one of the most important human endeavors, and it’s field research right here on our home planet Earth that prepares us for exploring other worlds. The Explorers Club is filled with like-minded explorers who cherish our beautiful planet and love learning more about it. I’m lucky enough to be a Club Fellow and also a recipient of the Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grant Program. Through the Club, I’ve met so many fascinating people doing impactful work, and I love learning from all of them. I can’t wait to work more closely with Tanya on new exploration-related projects!

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