Apollo 17 Astronaut to Speak at Subsurface Science Symposium

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907) 474-7778


Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and a former New Mexico Senator, will be the Keynote Speaker at the third annual Subsurface Science Symposium. The Symposium will be held on Oct. 5-8, 2003, in Salt Lake City's Salt Palace Convention Center. The Symposium's theme is "Advances in Understanding and Modeling Subsurface Processes" and is sponsored by the Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA) and the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). Schmitt is a trained scientist and geologist who also organized lunar science training for Apollo astronauts. He will share his unique expertise with approximately 250 attendees who come together to discuss the important work that research institutions in the U.S. are performing in various disciplines contributing to subsurface science, such as geochemistry, geophysics, hydrology, and environmental engineering.

Schmitt was the Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 17, which was the last Apollo mission to the moon. On December 11, 1972, he landed on the moon as the only scientist and last of 12 men to walk on the moon. Mission Commander Eugene Cernan and Schmitt spent three days on the moon conducting scientific experiments, collecting rock and soil samples, and driving the lunar rover to nearby mountains. Schmitt has spent over 12 days in space.

INRA is a non-profit scientific and educational organization consisting of eight Western research universities (Boise State, Idaho State, Montana State, Utah State, and Washington State Universities; and the Universities of Alaska Fairbanks, Idaho, and Montana). The total research and development budget for these universities in FY 2001 was approximately $530 million, which would rank the INRA institutions collectively as the seventh largest institution of higher education in the country in terms of research funding. INRA is a partner with Bechtel and BWXT in the management and operations contract for the INEEL, operated for the U.S. Department of Energy. The Alliance was formed to train future experts in fields of importance to the INEEL and to the region and to develop important collaborative research initiatives.