The Challenges of Moon Colonization 🏆

Monday, September 11, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Carey Auditorium, Hesburgh Library

NASA plans to send humans back to the moon's surface by 2025 while private entities and other governments work on their own timetables. There will be many obstacles to overcome before establishing a permanent human settlement. What are these challenges, and how will they be addressed? Join ND Energy for a conversation with three specialists concerning the energy, food, water, health, political, ethical, and security considerations involved in this endeavor.

The panel includes Notre Dame professors Dan Lindley, Clive Neal, and Cara Ocobock. Lindley is a political scientist who has an extensive resume involving international relations and security; Neal is a specialist in planetary geology with multiple connections to NASA; and Ocobock is an anthropologist with expertise in human adaptation to extreme climate and physical activity. The conversation will be moderated by Diogo Bolster, Frank M. Freimann Professor of Hydrology and Henry Massman Department Chair for Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences.


Dan Lindley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Co-Director of the Notre Dame International Security Program, Fellow in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Fellow in the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and French from Tufts University in 1984. Before starting graduate school in the Security Studies Program at MIT (Ph.D. 1998), he worked in Washington, D.C. for Congressman Ratchford, the Center for Defense Information, the Federation of American Scientists, and the Brookings Institution. Lindley's book, Promoting Peace with Information: Transparency as a Tool of Security Regimes, was published by Princeton University Press in 2007. He has published and spoken on U.N. peacekeeping, internal and ethnic conflict, the Concert of Europe, the Cyprus problem and Aegean security, and pre-emptive and preventive war, with articles in: Contemporary Security Policy, International Studies Perspectives, Security Studies, International Peacekeeping, Defense and Security Analysis, Hellenic Studies, and PS: Political Science and Politics. He is currently conducting research on the prevalence of pre-emptive and preventive war, on the extent to which miscalculation and misperception have come to dominate states' decisions for war, and whether the development of new weapons helps lead states into war. He lectured at MIT and was a fellow in the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

Clive Neal is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. His research uses petrology, geochemistry, and more recently geophysics to investigate the origin and evolution of the Moon and large igneous provinces, i.e., “supervolcanoes.” In recent years, Neal has become more active in human space exploration, primarily on the Moon, but with the goal of getting humans further out into the Solar System. Current research areas include: Human exploration of the Moon, Origin and Evolution of the Moon, Lunar Basalt Petrogenesis through Crystal Stratigraphy, Formation of Impact Melts, Geophysical Instrumentation and Investigations of the Moon, Origin and Evolution of Large Igneous Provinces, and Evaluation of lunar resources and utilization. Neal received his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, and his B.S. in Geology from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. 

Cara Ocobock is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and a concurrent professor in the Department of Gender Studies, Director of the Human Energetics Laboratory, Fellow of the Eck Institute for Global Health, and Fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives. Her research program integrates human biology and anthropology with a focus on the interaction between anatomy, physiology, evolution, and the environment, exploring the physiological and behavioral mechanisms necessary to cope with and adapt to extreme climate and physical activity. Ocobock received her Ph.D. and A.M. in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and her B.S. in Anthropology Zoology and B.S. in Cellular, Molecular and Development Biology from the University of Michigan.

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