Feed Your Brain - Lunchtime Enlightenment

Feed Your BrainGrab your lunch at a nearby convention center vendor and enjoy a little lunchtime enlightenment.

Each lecture will be live streamed. You may tune in 15 minutes before each talk by clicking on the respective Livestream logo below.


noon - 1:30 p.m., ICC

GSA Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony

Robbie Gries

Presidential Address by 
Robbie Rice Gries

Navigating “Me, too” in the Geosciences


GSA's Gold Medals

GSA Awards Ceremony

Please join GSA President Robbie Gries and GSA President-Elect Donald I. Siegel to honor and greet the 2018 GSA Medal & Award recipients. At this year’s combined event, Gries will deliver her Presidential Address. Vicki S. McConnell, Executive Director of GSA, will provide a presentation on the state of the Society, and Jack Hess, GSAF President, will provide a GSA Foundation update. All are welcome; no reservations, tickets, or meeting registration required.



12:15 - 1:15 p.m., ICC

Michel T. Halbouty Lecture

The Resources of The Moon

Paul D. Spudis

Paul D. Spudis
Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston Texas, USA

Ben Bussey

Ben Bussey
NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

NOTE: Ben Bussey, Chief Exploration Scientists, NASA, will be delivering this talk in place of Dr. Paul Spudis who passed away unexpectedly on 29 August.

New Polar Lighting Studies

In the years since Apollo, we have discovered accessible places in near-Earth space that contain valuable material and energy resources. By learning how to access, process, and use these space resources we will advance technology, stimulate wealth, and create a spacefaring infrastructure.

The Moon holds a unique advantage in this endeavor. Areas near the poles receive near-permanent sunlight (up to 95% of the lunar year); this resource enables power generation and near-continuous surface operations in a benign temperature location. In conjunction with accessible solar power, significant quantities of water ice reside in permanently dark craters near the poles. The combined effect of these proximate resources makes permanent human presence on the Moon possible. Through the development and use of the Moon’s resources, the creation of a permanent, extensible space-faring transportation system and infrastructure in space is possible.

Despite this promise, many unknowns remain about the use of extraterrestrial resources. We need a variety of robotic prospecting missions in order to get advanced, high-precision data from targeted deposits. Currently, we do not know the physical and chemical state of lunar polar ice; we need to understand its occurrence and how it varies, as well as its accessibility for mining and what equipment is needed. We must practice and understand both mining and processing, as the polar ice is mixed with a variety of other substances useful for long-term habitation of the Moon.

This view of the Moon and our reasons for returning there is relatively new; it signals a new paradigm of spaceflight. This time humanity goes to the Moon to stay—to use its resources and build a space-based, transportation infrastructure, an endeavor and future that presents major scientific, technological, economic, and national security advances.

View Spudis' Bio

PAUL D. SPUDIS is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. He received his education at Arizona State University (B.S., 1976; Ph.D., 1982) and at Brown University (Sc.M., 1977). His research focuses on the processes of impact and volcanism on the planets and studies of the requirements for sustainable human presence on the Moon. He was Deputy Leader of the Science Team for the Department of Defense Clementine mission to the Moon in 1994, the Principal Investigator of the Mini-SAR imaging radar experiment on India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008–2009, and a team member of the Mini-RF imaging radar on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission (2009–present). He was a member of the White House Synthesis Group in 1990–1991, the President’s Commission on the Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy in 2004, and was presented with the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal that same year. He is the recipient of the 2006 Von Karman Lectureship in Astronautics (awarded by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics), a 2011 Space Pioneer Award (from the National Space Society), and the 2016 Columbia Medal (from the American Society of Civil Engineers). He is the author or co-author of over 120 scientific papers and seven books, including The Once and Future Moon (1994), a book for the general public in the Smithsonian Library of the Solar System series, and (with Ben Bussey) The Clementine Atlas of the Moon (2004; Second Edition 2012), published by Cambridge University Press, and The Value of the Moon (2016), a history of lunar return efforts published by the Smithsonian Press.

View Bussey's Bio

BEN BUSSEY is the chief exploration scientist of the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Division within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) at NASA Headquarters.  In this role, he ensures that AES robotic precursor activities are integrated with programs in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and Space Technology Mission Directorate, and with commercial and international partners. A planetary scientist, he represents HEOMD in broader science discussions across NASA, industry, academia, national and international forums. He is conducting this capacity as part of an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), where he functions as a civil servant, but remains employed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Bussey’s research concentrates on the remote sensing of the surfaces of planets, and has included the first quantitative illumination maps of the Moon’s polar regions, identifying locations that are constantly illuminated for several months during the lunar summer, potentially making them ideal locations for lunar surface infrastructure. He also co-authored the Clementine Atlas of the Moon, the first atlas to map both the lunar near side and far side in a systematic manner.

Prior to joining NASA, Dr. Bussey gained science and mission experience at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, the European Space Agency, Northwestern University, the University of Hawaii, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. At APL he was head of the planetary exploration group.

Bussey has served as principle investigator (PI) for a number of activities: the Volatiles, Regolith and Thermal Investigations Consortium for Exploration and Science (VORTICES) team in NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI); a NASA Lunar Science Institute team that considered the Exploration and scientific potential of the lunar poles; and the Mini-RF radar instrument on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. He was Deputy PI of the Mini-RF radar instrument in India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission.

Bussey earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in planetary geology from University College London before moving to the United States.



12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

USGS Vision

James F. Reilly

James Reilly, USGS Director


As Director of the USGS, Jim Reilly is responsible for leading the Nation's largest water, Earth, and biological science, and civilian mapping agency.

Career History and Highlights

Prior to joining the USGS, Dr. Reilly served U.S. and allied militaries as a subject matter expert on space operations, and as a technical advisor supporting the National Security Space Institute of the U.S. Air Force. He served with the U.S. Navy as a Reserve Engineering Duty Officer.

He’s held management positions in academia, as well as at TAEUS Corporation, and PhotoStencil Corporation, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

As an astronaut at NASA, he had a distinguished 13-year career where he flew 3 spaceflight missions and conducted 5 spacewalks totaling more than 856 hours in space.

Prior to NASA, he served as chief geologist at Enserch Exploration, Inc., working on projects around the world. He has been active in geological research in Antarctica and on the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico.


Dr. Reilly received a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in geosciences from the University of Texas at Dallas.



Note: The Wednesday Feed Your Brain talk has been cancelled due to circumstances outside of the speaker’s control.