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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2011
Scholarly Presentation to Focus on Mission to Saturn on Nov. 9
Community members are invited to join professor, research scientist, author and motion picture science advisor Dr. Kevin Grazier as he shares a wealth of information, first-hand experiences and personal anecdotes related to his work on the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system, during the College of the Canyons scholarly presentation “Lord of the Rings.” The presentation is scheduled 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, on the main stage of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC).
Featuring unique insight and data pulled from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) mission plans, along with orbit charts, photos and other important scientific data retrieved during the Cassini-Huygens space probe’s trip to visit Saturn, its many moons, dynamic rings and various satellites, this multimedia presentation is sure to thrill audiences of all ages.
In addition, Grazier will present some stunning new insights about what the Cassini-Huygens mission has discovered about Saturn’s surface makeup, topography, and atmospheric composition -- along with the potential to harbor life on Saturn and it’s largest moon, Titan.
Dr. Grazier holds undergraduate degrees in computer science and geology and physics, along with a Master of Science in physics from Purdue University. In addition, Grazier completed his doctoral research in planetary physics at UCLA by performing long-term, large-scale computer simulations of early solar system evolution.
While still completing his dissertation, in 1995 Grazier began working at NASA’s JPL writing multi-mission planning and analysis software. In 1998, he joined the team of scientists assigned to the Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system, eventually assuming the position of investigation scientist for the mission’s imaging science subsystem, and working to write and run software to help the spacecraft determine when and where certain scientific observations could be made.
The recipient of several JPL and NASA-wide software awards, Grazier continues to teach classes in planetary science, astronomy, cosmology, the search for extraterrestrial life and the science of science fiction.
He has also served as the scientific advisor for a variety of TV and film productions -- including the popular science fiction series “Battlestar Galactica” -- and has been a featured guest on the History Channel series “The Universe.”
Continually working to bring the wonders of science and space to the public, Grazier is an active participant in several educational outreach programs, speaking to thousands of K-12 students each year and serving on a number of NASA sponsored educational product review panels.
The scholarly presentation “Lord of the Rings” is being presented by the College of the Canyons Foundation. Admission to the event is free, however seating may be limited. Attendees can park for free in college lots 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, located off Rockwell Canyon Road adjacent to the PAC.
A post-presentation reception sponsored by the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will be held in the PAC lobby beginning at 6 p.m. the evening of the event.
For more information, contact the COC Foundation at (661) 362-3434.