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Team Bios - 2009 Northwest Passage Drive Expedition

The Field Team

Dr. Pascal Lee, Expedition Leader, Humvee Commander

Dr. Pascal Lee, 44, is chairman of the Mars Institute and a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute. He is based at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, where he is director of the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP). This international field research project is centered on planetary science and exploration studies at the Haughton meteorite impact crater site on Devon Island, High Arctic, viewed as an analogue for the Moon and Mars. The HMP has been active on Devon Island since 1997. Dr. Lee has extensive experience living and working in the Arctic and Antarctica. In 1988, he wintered over in Antarctica for 402 days.

On the Northwest Passage (NWP) Drive, Lee will be responsible for the expedition’s planning and implementation, and is the principal investigator (PI) of its research program.

John W. Schutt, Expedition Field Guide, Humvee Pilot

John Schutt, 60, is a geologist and world-renowned polar guide and mountaineer from Bellingham, Washington. A veteran of more than 42 field campaigns in the Arctic and Antarctica, he is the chief field guide of the US Antarctic Search for Meteorites program and also the chief field guide and base camp manager for the HMP on Devon Island, High Arctic.

On the NWP Drive, Schutt will be in charge of field gear preparation, navigation, and field resource management.

Joe Amarualik, Expedition Scout, Snowmobile Pilot

Joe Amarualik, 42, is a highly experienced field guide and Arctic land and sea-ice expert from Resolute Bay, Nunavut. The Canadian Ranger has successfully guided the Mars Institute’s previous Mars-1 Humvee Rover over 20 km of sea-ice from Cornwallis Island to Devon Island in May 2003.

On the NWP Drive Expedition, Amarualik will be responsible for assessing sea-ice conditions, route finding, and wildlife encounter management.

Jesse Weaver, Expedition Technician, Snowmobile Pilot

Jesse Weaver, 18, is an ace ATV and Humvee mechanic from Seymour, Tennessee. He is a field technician and the lead field assistant on the HMP on Devon Island. The NWP drive will be his fourth Arctic campaign.

On the NWP Drive, Weaver will be responsible for preparing, maintaining and repairing all vehicles on the expedition.

The Science Team

In addition to Dr. Pascal Lee, the science team behind the expedition includes Dr. Christian Haas of the University of Alberta (PI of the Sea-Ice Thickness Measurement Experiment), Dr. Andrew Schuerger of the University of Florida (PI of the Astrobiology Experiment), Dr. Marcelo Vasquez of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (PI of the Space Radiation Experiment), Dr. Peter Thomas of Cornell University (Co-Investigator in the Planetary Geology Analogues Experiment), Dr. Andrew Abercromby and Dr. Michael Gernhardt of NASA Johnson Space Center, Dr. Chris McKay and Dr. Terry Fong of NASA Ames Research Center, and Dr. Stephen Braham of the Mars Institute and Simon Fraser University (Co-PIs in the Human Exploration Studies Experiment).


The Support Team

Field operations will be supported remotely from Mars Institute headquarters in Vancouver, B.C. Support Team members include: Dr. Stephen Braham, associate director and chief engineer of the HMP; Marc Boucher, CEO of Mars Institute and Expedition Management Software developer; and Kira Lorber, logistics manager for the HMP. In addition, Elaine Walker, HMP education and public outreach officer, will support the expedition’s web activities.

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