Thursday, 03 October, 2013
Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Dr. Penelope Boston will deliver the public lecture, "The Planet Within: Caves from Earth to Mars and Beyond," on Thursday, October 3, at 3:40 p.m. in Earth and Planetary Sciences Building room 302. Professor Boston is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Director of Cave and Karst Studies at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, as well as Academic Director of the National Cave and Karst Institute.
Dr. Boston is the author of over 160 technical and popular publications and editor of four volumes. She is currently writing two books on the astrobiology of the subsurface environment. She is a fellow of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts and member of its External Advisory Council, and she serves on the NASA Planetary Protection Subcommittee. She received the Lifetime Science Achievement Award from the National Speleological Society and was named a Caving Legend (2012) by the BLM Fort Stanton Cave Project.
Dr. Boston's visit is made possible through Phi Beta Kappa's Visiting Scholar Program and co-sponsored by the UTK chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and UTK's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Now in its fifty-eighth year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent 611 distinguished scholars on more than five thousand two-day visits to colleges and universities across the country. Its primary purpose is to give undergraduates the opportunity to meet and learn from some of America's most distinguished scholars.
Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society, with chapters at 283 institutions and more than half a million members throughout the country. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.
UTK's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was installed on May 18, 1965, when the first 24 undergraduates were initiated. Only about ten percent of the nation's institutions of higher learning have the honor of hosting Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and only about ten percent of the graduates of these institutions are invited to become members, based on a rigorous academic selection process.
Additional information about the Visiting Scholar Program can be found on Phi Beta Kappa's website.