What I Like to talk About

Some Speaking Topics Include:

The Importance of Having a Dream in Life

Achieving the Seemingly Impossible: Or How I Became a Rocket Scientist

History of Exploration on Earth and Space

Romance and History of Space Travel: From Dreams to Reality

Why Space Exploration is Important to our Future

Search for Life in the Universe

The Dangers of Space Travel

Can We Live on Other Planets?

Mars Exploration Rovers: Twins to the Red Planet

The Curiosity Mars Rover Mission

Solar System Exploration

The US-Soviet Race to the Moon in the 1960’s

Apollo Missions to the Moon

What is better Manned or Robotic Missions?

The Life of Neil Armstrong

What does the future hold for NASA?

Astronaut Selection Process (I have been an astronaut finalist twice)

Mars Landing Site Selection: Where to land a $2.5 billion rover on Mars?

Living in a Cosmic Shooting Gallery: Dangers of Asteroid Impacts

Did a Rock from Space Kill the Dinosaurs?

Astronaut Geology Training

My Background

Dr. Rice received his BS in Geology from the University of Alabama, MS in Geosciences from Northeast Louisiana University and PhD from Arizona State University.

Honors and Awards:

NASA Astronaut Candidate Finalist (2000 and 2009)

NASA Group Achievement Award: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA Group Achievement Award: LRO Mission Operations Team

NASA Group Achievement Award: 2010 Desert RATS Science Team

NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover Science Operations

NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover 1st Extended Mission NASA Group

Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover 2nd Extended Mission

NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover 3rd Extended Mission

NASA Group Achievement Award for Mars Exploration Rover 4th Extended Mission

NASA Group Achievement Awards for Mars Odyssey Orbiter Operations

Induction into the Inaugural Class of the United Space Camp Hall of Fame

U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Headquarters Internship (Flagstaff)

National Research Council Fellow


Scottsdale, Arizona




Dr. James W. Rice, is an Astrogeologist with over 25 years research experience specializing in the exploration of the Solar System, especially the Moon and Mars. His career includes working for NASA, The Astrogeology Headquarters of the United States Geological Survey, the Mars Spaceflight Facility and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Rice is a Co-Investigator and Geology Team Leader on the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Project (Spirit and Opportunity). He was the Associate Project Scientist on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Project. He also has NASA mission experience working on the Mars Odyssey Orbiter. Dr. Rice has been involved in Mars landing site selection and certification activities for every NASA Mars Mission since Mars Pathfinder in 1995. Dr. Rice has been a leader and team member on numerous international geological field expeditions around the world including a 6 month long joint NASA/Russian expedition to Antarctica. This work included being a member of the SCUBA diving team to first investigate the perennially frozen lakes of eastern Antarctica. Dr. Rice has also trained and briefed NASA astronauts in geology and Mars exploration.

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