Dr. Richard W. Zurek has been named manager of the Earth and Space Sciences Division in the Engineering and Science Directorate at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He replaces Dr. Daniel J. McCleese, who has been named chief scientist and manager of the Office of Strategy and Science Program for JPL's Mars Exploration Directorate.
Zurek, 51, will continue as project scientist for the Mars '98 mission, which will launch two spacecraft, Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander, in December 1998 and January 1999, respectively. He has served as lead scientist for JPL's Earth and Planetary Atmospheres Research Element since 1994. Zurek has studied the upper atmosphere of Earth and the atmosphere of Mars, using data from spacecraft including the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), Mariner 9 to Mars and the Viking orbiters and landers at Mars.
A native of Twin Falls, ID, Zurek has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Michigan State University and a doctorate in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington, Seattle. Following post-doctoral appointments in research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, he joined JPL in 1976. Zurek and his wife live in Tujunga, CA, with their three sons.
McCleese, 49, is principal investigator on the Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer, an instrument on Mars Climate Orbiter due for launch in December that will study the red planet's climate and weather. McCleese chairs the Mars Expeditions Strategy Group, a NASA advisory panel that developed the exploration strategy that the space agency and its international partners are following in the search for evidence of life on Mars. The group provides guidance to NASA and JPL on the current series of missions to Mars, including future sample- return missions.
Born in Chula Vista, CA, McCleese has a doctorate in atmospheric physics from Oxford University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He joined JPL in 1976 and managed JPL's Planetary Atmospheres Section before serving as manager of the Earth and Space Sciences Division. McCleese and his wife live in Altadena, CA, with their son and daughter.
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