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Honorary Degree Citation for Jacob E. Bleacher, Ph.D., '00

Jacob Bleacher, who earned a bachelor’s degree in geosciences at Franklin & Marshall in 2000, is the chief exploration scientist with NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at the space agency’s headquarters. In this role, he bridges technology and architecture to advance human exploration of the moon and beyond.

Dr. Bleacher also is the primary contact with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and the science community outside NASA. His research focuses on understanding the volcanic history of the Earth, the moon and Mars by remote sensing mapping. When he began working for NASA in 2006, he was a research scientist at its Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, where he supported the Constellation Program Office to conduct studies examining potential landing sites and developing plans to help define requirements for hardware that would enable travel on the lunar surface.

Dr. Bleacher also has served as a test subject and crew member for NASA’s Desert Research and Technology Studies, which focused on field tests of operations for prototype human rovers for the moon. He has led its instrument field team, organizing its planetary science field research deployments, and was Goddard’s lead exploration scientist, creating awareness of ongoing human exploration projects.

Dr. Bleacher, who earned his doctorate in geological sciences at Arizona State University in 2006, is a co-author of several peer-reviewed science publications, including a cover article for the journal Nature about explosive volcanism on Mars, as well as the chapter on Mars Volcanism in the 2nd edition of the “Encyclopedia of Volcanoes.” He has returned to Franklin & Marshall many times to share his expertise with students and faculty.

Jacob E. Bleacher, for your dedication to aerospace exploration and scientific discovery; for your steadfast commitment to educating the public about NASA’s planetary science field research; and for your dedication in preparing the next generation of scholars for scientific excellence, especially at your alma mater, Franklin & Marshall College bestows upon you the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science.

Honorary Degree Citation for Jacob E. Bleacher, Ph.D., '00

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