Dr. John D. Rummel is the Director of East Carolina University’s (ECU’s) Institute for Coastal Science and Policy. After beginning with NASA as a postdoc at the Ames Research Center in California, he went on to serve twice with NASA in Washington, D.C.—from 1986 to 1993 as (among other things) Exobiology Program Manager and Manager, Life Support Systems Integration, and from 1987 to 1993 and 1998 to 2006 as NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer. In addition, from 2006 to 2008 he was NASA’s Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, responsible for all of NASA’s efforts in astrobiology.
He has chaired COSPAR’s Panel on Planetary Protection since 1999, and is also a member of COSPAR’s Panel on Exploration. From 1994 to 1998, he was the director of research administration and education at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. He has a B.A. in environmental biology from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology from Stanford. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he is also the recipient of the Life Sciences Award from the International Academy of Astronautics, among other honors.
"Mars One represents a chance to establish a new home for humanity outside the cradle of the Earth. As such, it may be one of the most important steps we could take. The sort of home that Mars might become, however, will depend strongly on how we approach its challenges—and opportunities. I am pleased to help the Mars One team in dealing with both."