Geo016 - Exploration of Mars

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Geo016 / Exploration of Mars / (M) 3:00-5:20 / Lincoln Field 105 / Prof. James Head

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Paul Berry (02/04/04)

My name is Paul and I come from the great state of California. Northern California to be exact, about an hour east of San Francisco. I have played soccer for the past 13 years, and played tennis, soccer and ran cross country in high school. I have been lifeguard certified for three years and love my job. Currently I work for the Chemistry Department doing a number of things for the undergraduate labs. I like staying in shape, and am trying to get into OCS (officer candidate school) for the Marine Corps. I have been interested in Mars ever since we sent the first rover there, and have been serious about astronautics and aviation about the same amount of time that I have been playing soccer.

I chose to be in this course for a number of reasons. I have a passion for the Red Planet, yet know so little about it. I think my drive to be in this class stems mostly from my desire to go there. I see going to Mars as the ultimate vacation, because if I am lucky enough to be selected I wouldn't consider it work, but more of a life's pursuit. This may sound awfully corny, but that's what I see myself doing in fifteen to twenty years.

I hope to contribute a great deal to the research aspect of the class. I don't know too much about the geography of Mars or it's history, and won't therefore be able to help in that area, but do hope that I can devote much time to analyzing the data sent back to Earth from Spirit and Opportunity to discover something worthwhile to the class. From the class I hope to learn about the physical characteristics of Mars, such as it's geography, climate, orbital pattern, and natural history. Also I would like to learn about the history of Mars, as well as it's future. I want to know what we know about Mars and how our knowledge is being used to further our current research that will shape human involvement with the Red Planet in this century.

The class discussion on March 22nd looks interesting to me. I know very little about the Antarctic Dry Valleys, and would be curious to know how they are similar to the climate on Mars. I remember reading about a Brown graduate that was working in areas similar to the Antarctic Valleys (a BDH column last semester), studying the climate affects on bacteria. Another class that I look forward to is April 19th. I heard Mr. Young speak and liked very much his outlook on current situations regarding NASA and the politics surrounding it and the presentation he gave about his trip to the moon.

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