March 7th, 2014

SPEAKER:                 Dr. William Clancey    

                            Senior Research Scientist

                                   Institute for Human and Machine Cognition 


Topic:                      Working on Mars    

                           Voyages of Scientific Discovery with the

                                  Mars Exploration Rovers


TIME:                        8:00pm  March 7th, 2014 
CSM Planetarium  Bldg 36, Free Parking in Lot 5    
.                                 Free and open to the public

For more than nine years, scientists have been doing fieldwork on Mars in the first overland investigation of another planet. Working through programmed robotic laboratories, called the Mars Exploration Rovers, they have a virtual experience of being on Mars. The Spirit and Opportunity teams have driven over 28 miles, taken thousands of photographs, analyzed the chemistry of the terrain, and inspected rocks by grinding them and taking microscopic images. And now the Curiosity rover is continuing the work.  How does working remotely through a robotic laboratory change the nature of field science? How does it change the scientists? A cognitive scientist with privileged access to mission operations, Clancey explains that the “robotic geologists” are not the rovers, but the scientists who have imaginatively projected themselves into the body of the machine.   Dr. Clancey will address these issues as well as give us an update on the Mars Curiosity rover.



Dr. William J. Clancey is a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola.  Recently he completed an assignment as Chief Scientist, Human-Centered Computing in the Intelligent Systems Division, NASA Ames Research Center.  Over 15 years in this position provided unparalleled access to the NASA Mars missions and their design.  He has spent many seasons involved in research at Mars analog field stations, including the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station on Devon Island in the High Arctic, where our own CSM/SMCAS intern Luis Alvarez participated in the 2011 field season.  He is the Author of Working on Mars: Voyages of Scientific Discovery with the Mars Exploration Rovers.