Mars Lab Fund

At Western Washington University, students have the rare opportunity to be part of active NASA space exploration missions. In the Western Mars Lab, which was established by Prof. Melissa Rice in 2014, undergraduate and graduate students collaborate on two Mars rover missions: the Curiosity rover, which is actively exploring Mars, and the Perseverance rover, which launches on July 30, 2020 and lands on Mars February 18, 2021.

Students in the Western Mars Lab come from a variety of fields (including geology, geophysics, physics, engineering, computer science and chemistry) and work with the NASA teams to test spacecraft instruments, help operate the rovers, and analyze the data from Mars. Recent Mars Lab alumni are now operating spacecraft at Malin Space Science Systems, designing and building spacecraft components at engineering startups, and studying planetary science in Ph.D. programs at institutions such as Purdue University and the California Institute of Technology.

The Mars Lab needs support in order to create more opportunities for WWU students to pursue their passion for space exploration and planetary science. Your gift to this fund can help with:

1) Technology for the lab to connect students with NASA:

While the Perseverance rover travels to the Red Planet, the Mars Lab will be getting ready to participate in remotely in NASA mission operations from the WWU campus. Upgraded computing facilities will be needed in order to teleconference with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including high-performance workstations, screens and specialized software.

2) Research funding for students:

With additional support, the Mars Lab can create more opportunities for students to participate in research activities during the summer months and/or during the academic year. Support can also help more students travel to present their research at national conferences, participate in NASA Mars rover team meetings, attend training workshops on specialized research skills.

3) Outreach and general program support:

Students from the Mars Lab and Prof. Rice frequently visit schools, museums, and libraries to share the excitement of space exploration with kids and diverse audiences.  Additional support can help increase the frequency and expand the reach of these outreach events, as well as help maintain the Mars Lab’s planetary spectroscopy facility and other operations.

We hope you will consider a donation today!

 In January 2020, the Western Mars Lab traveled to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA to meet other scientists working on the Perseverance mission and to set eyes on the rover in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility before it would begin its journey to Mars. Back row from left to right: Cory Hughes ‘20, Sam Condon ‘21, Isabella Seppi ‘20, Darian Dixon ‘18, Mason Starr ‘19, Melissa Rice, Jess Mollerup ‘20. Front row from left to right: Kristiana Lapo ‘20, Katherine Winchell ’17, Tina Seeger ‘20, Amanda Rudolph ‘18.

"A hum of excitement fills the air as I follow the other members of our research team into a narrow, white hallway lined with large bay windows. As we crowd into the small room, I peer out at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility below us. I watch as a dozen or so engineers, all dressed in identical white “bunny suits,” shuffle around the clean room. From my bird’s-eye view in the High Bay, it looks like a choreographed dance. I stand there mesmerized as the team meticulously unfurls a giant sheet of silver and drapes it over the Perseverance rover’s cruise stage. Suddenly, it all feels so real. We are once again sending a robot to another planet."

-Jess Mollerup, WWU Student

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Rice’s work you can visit https://wp.wwu.edu/mars/

Details about the Perseverance rover mission are available on the NASA website https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

You can learn more about how the Mars Lab has been preparing for the Perseverance rover mission in these Planetary Society articles written by WWU students:

  1. Visiting Perseverance During Its Final Week at JPL by Jess Mollerup ‘20
  2. How to Send a Camera to Mars by Tina Seeger ‘20
  3. A Special Mastcam-Z Team Photomosaic by Darian Dixon ‘18
  4. Preparing for Five-Hour Operations by Katherine Winchell ‘17

 

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The WWU Alumni Association will reward the top five areas that secure the most donors with a bonus of $1,000 each. Congratulations to our winners!
Rank Prize Area of Support Donors
1 $1,000 WWU Volleyball 132
2 $1,000 Ice Hockey 127
3 $1,000 Accounting Department 106
4 $1,000 Men's Rowing 102
5 $1,000 Marketing Program 93
6 Women's Soccer 71
7 Psychology 61
8 College of Business and Economics 60
9 Scholarships & Student Success Funds 56
10 The Fairhaven Outback Farm 55
11 Computer Science 51
12 Men's Soccer 48
13 Cross Country & Track and Field 45
14 Woodring College of Education 45
15 MSCM & Operations 43
16 Women's Basketball 41
17 Chemistry Department 39
18 Water Skiing Team 36
19 Behavioral Neuroscience 35
20 Geology 31
21 Anthropology 30
22 Donate to Fairhaven Here! 29
23 English Department 28
24 WWU Racing 26
25 Music Department 26
26 Men's Ultimate (DiRT) 26
27 Linguistics 25
28 History Department 25
29 International Business Program 23
30 MBA Program 23
31 Biology 23
32 Young Democrats of WWU 23
33 Rowing (Women's Varsity Crew) 22
34 Marine and Coastal Science 21
35 Men's Lacrosse 20
36 Journalism 20
37 Women's Ultimate 20
38 WWU Child Development Center 20
39 Sailing Team 19
40 Western Libraries 19
41 Health and Human Development 19
42 Finance Program 19
43 Economics 18
44 The College of the Environment's Available Funds 18
45 College of Fine and Performing Arts 17
46 Help Build A Coast Salish Longhouse At WWU! 17
47 Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Program 17
48 Western GAP Scholarship 17
49 Speakers in Schools Fund - Give Day Challenge! 16
50 Communication Sciences and Disorders 16
51 Sociology 16
52 Mathematics 16
53 Women's Rugby 16
54 SEA Discovery Center 16
55 Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programs 15
56 Men's Basketball 15
57 College of Humanities and Social Sciences 15
58 Modern and Classical Languages 15
59 Education Abroad 15
60 College of Science and Engineering 14
61 Student Emergency Fund 14
62 University Honors College 14
63 Theatre Arts 14
64 Millie Johnson Puzzle Hunt 13
65 Viking Athletics 13
66 The Ray Wolpow Institute (RWI) 13
67 Club Wrestling 12
68 Physics and Astronomy 12
69 AS Clubs 12
70 Elementary Education Department 12
71 The College of the Environment 12
72 Men's Ultimate Teams 12
73 Political Science 11
74 International Student Support 11
75 Graduate School 11
76 Engineering and Design 10
77 Institute for Energy Studies 10
78 Men's Rugby 10
79 Center for Canadian-American Studies 10
80 Career Services Center 10
81 Management Information Systems 10
82 Advanced Technology Engineering Facility 10
83 Environmental Science 10
84 Marion Van Nostrand Scholarship 9
85 Diversity in Geoscience Club 9
86 Design Department 9
87 Woodring Equity & Diversity Programs 9
88 LGBTQ+ Western 8
89 Student Technology Center's Booster Fund 8
90 Fairhaven College Opportunity Scholarship 8
91 WWU Swim Team 8
92 Women's Ice Hockey 8
93 Decision Sciences 8
94 Communication Studies 8
95 Other 7
96 Western Symphony Orchestra Spain Tour 2023 7
97 Global Humanities and Religions 7
98 WHOLE - AS Food Pantry 7
99 Support Black Students In STEM 7
100 Compass2Campus 7
101 Women's Lacrosse 7
102 WWU Psychology Counseling Program 7
103 Women's Volleyball Sport Club 7
104 Happy Club 7
105 Salish Sea Institute 6
106 Institute for Critical Disability Studies 6
107 Dance 6
108 WWU Club Baseball 6
109 Music Department Scholarships 6
110 Figure Skating 6
111 Environmental Sciences Department 6
112 Art and Art History Department 6
113 Dr. Renee Collins Scholarship for Black Women 6
114 Environmental Studies Department 6
115 Associated Students General 6
116 Institute for Watershed Studies 5
117 Institute for Environmental Toxicology 5
118 The College of the Environment Annual Scholarships 5
119 WWU Alumni Association Scholarship 5
120 WWU Equestrian Team 5
121 Parents and Families 5
122 CBE Professional and Career Readiness Program 4
123 Women's Golf 4
124 Athletes to Educators 4
125 Secondary Education & MIT 4
126 Education Leadership 4
127 Human Services 4
128 Planned Parenthood Generation Action Club 4
129 Department of Philosophy 4
130 WWU SACNAS 4
131 Woodring Hardship Scholarships 4
132 AMSEC - Materials Science 4
133 WWU Club Golf Team 4
134 Bellingham Rotaract Club 4
135 Joann Otto Microscope Endowment Fund 3
136 Uche Ugwoaba Computer Science Scholarship 3
137 CBE Diverse Students Opportunity Scholarship 3
138 WWU Hip Hop Dance Team 3
139 Geography Program 3
140 Men's Water Polo 3
141 Science, Math and Technology Education 3
142 Men's Golf 3
143 Western Stands for Racial Equity Fund 3
144 Environmental Education 3
145 Climate Innovation Fund 3
146 Women's Water Polo 3
147 Adoptees Alliance 3
148 Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 3
149 WWU Speech and Hearing Clinic 3
150 Cybersecurity Club 3
151 Alpha Kappa Psi Omega Beta 3
152 Christman Challenge 3
153 Nursing 3
154 Student Economics Association 3
155 Named Scholarships 2
156 WISE Scholarship 2
157 Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education 2
158 Shannon Point Marine Center 2
159 The Broad Reach Endowment 2
160 Alma Clark Glass Scholarship for STEM 2
161 Vernon Damani "Dr. J" Johnson Scholarship 2
162 Jose S. Velasquez Memorial Scholarship 2
163 Judo Club 2
164 Brent Golden Memorial Scholarship 2
165 NeRDS 2
166 Palliative Care Institute 2
167 Advanced Technology Engineering Facility 2
168 East Asian Studies 2
169 Opera Club 2
170 KUGS Scholarship 2
171 Fairhaven Outback Farm 2
172 Society of Professional Journalists 2
173 Western Gallery 2
174 The Wesley Club at WWU 2
175 WWU Food Recovery Network 1
176 Lillie Mae Witherspoon Minority Scholarship 1
177 College of the Environment 1
178 Grace Miller-Dunbar Award 1
179 Mars Lab Fund 1
180 Kradjan Family Admissions Scholarship 1
181 Patrick L. Monahan Scholarship 1
182 Uche Ugwoaba Men's Soccer Scholarship 1
183 Gregory and Elizabeth Grant Scholarship Endowment 1
184 Freeride Ski and Snowboard Team 1
185 Center for Pacific Northwest Studies 1
186 Department of Management 1
187 WWU Girl Gains 1
188 WWU Outdoor Center 1
189 High Intensity Club (Kpop Dance Cover) 1
190 Cheerleading 1
191 Emily Lang Memorial Scholarship Fund 1
192 The Leslie Lingley Memorial Student Fund 1
193 Equestrian Team 1
194 Men's Volleyball 1
195 Climbing Team 1
196 Business and Sustainability Program 1
197 Cozy Club 1
198 Freeride Ski and Snowboard Club 1
199 Environmental Justice Scholarship 1
200 Honoring Women in Sport and the Impact of Title IX 1
201 AS Professional Women's Association 1
202 Chinese Student Association 1
203 Japanese Student Association 1
204 NAMI on Campus WWU 1
205 Nancy Bluestein-Johnson Peninsulas Scholarship 1
206 Rocky Spencer Memorial Scholarship 1
207 Stephanie Bowers Endowed Scholarship 1
208 Student Emergency Fund 1
209 WWU Fly Fishing Club 1
210 WWU Tennis Club 1
211 Campus School Legacy Scholarship 1
212 Womxn of Color Empowerment Scholarship Fund 1
213 Student Outreach Services 1
214 Lakewood 1
215 Bellingham Review 1
216 Elliot Scott Memorial Scholarship 1
217 Exercise Science Lab 1
218 Stephen Senge Fund for Teaching Innovation 1
219 Thaddeus & Lois Price Spratlen Fund for Diversity 1
220 Wakeboarding Team 1
221 WWU Queer-Con 1
222 CBE Investment Management and Scholarship Fund 1
223 Hillel of WWU 1
224 Opera Club 1
225 Student Services and Programs 1
226 Undocumented Student Support / The Blue Group 1
227 Veteran Services 1
228 Chess Club 1
229 WCE Promise Scholarships for Students of Color 1
230 College of Business and Economics 0
231 College of Humanities and Social Sciences 0
232 Athletics 0
233 College of Science and Engineering 0
234 Scholarships, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives 0
235 Programs/Centers/Institutes 0
236 Club Sports 0
237 Student Clubs 0
238 College of Fine and Performing Arts 0
239 Woodring College of Education 0
240 Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies 0
241 Western on the Peninsulas 0
242 Vietnamese Student Association 0
243 Mens Volleyball 0
244 Psychology Club 0
245 Cycling 0
246 Sustainability Engagement Institute 0
247 Kinesiology Club 0
248 The National Society of Collegiate Scholars 0
249 Pacific Islander Student Association 0
250 WWU Swing Kids 0
251 Professional and Continuing Education 0
252 Learning Environment Action Discovery (LEAD) 0
253 Adult and Higher Education 0
254 Early Childhood Education 0
255 Rehabilitation Counseling Program 0
256 Living Snow Project 0
257 Academy for Lifelong Learning 0
258 Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation 0
259 Bellingham Order of the Saber 0
260 Bennerstrom Prize 0
261 Bradley F. Smith Internship Program 0
262 Brian K. and Lori L. Burton Fund for Innovation 0
263 Campus Recreation 0
264 Caregivers and Parents 0
265 Carl H. Simpson "Bridging" Fund 0
266 Children's Literature Conference 0
267 Chuckanut District of WSFGC Scholarship 0
268 Communication Club 0
269 Cycling Team 0
270 Dina Benedetti Scholarship Endowment 0
271 Disability Studies Steering Committee (DSSC) 0
272 Donald B. McLeod Scholarship Endowment 0
273 Dr. Elena Pereyra Peach Award Scholarship 0
274 Dr. Lina Zeine Scholarship 0
275 Endowed Professorship in Jewish History 0
276 Ethnic Student Center 0
277 Filipino-American Student Association 0
278 Frank Punches Memorial Endowment Fund 0
279 Fresh Water Ecology 0
280 Global Ambassadors 0
281 Harry Potter Club 0
282 Health and Community Studies 0
283 Hearing Aid Bank 0
284 Ingrid Stahlbrand Kassler Memorial Scholarship 0
285 James B. and Angela Rhoads Scholarship 0
286 Jamie Foland-Tseng Memorial Scholarship 0
287 Jolene Sanchez Memorial Scholarship 0
288 Khmer Student Association (KhSA 0
289 KM Fund for Holocaust and Genocide Studies 0
290 Manis Family Scholarship 0
291 Mary Morrison Family Music Scholarship Endowment 0
292 Matthew Gaphni Memorial Scholarship 0
293 MK Advantages of Learning Differently Scholarship 0
294 Morse Leadership Institute 0
295 Mountain Environments Research Institute 0
296 Music Library 0
297 Native American Student Union 0
298 Net Impact WWU 0
299 Norma Hall-Alice Stout Memorial Endowment 0
300 Occam's Razor - Student Academic Journal 0
301 Office of Sustainability 0
302 Pre-Dental 0
303 Pre-Med Club 0
304 Pre-Optometry Club 0
305 Prim Scholarship for Diversity and Inclusion 0
306 Psychedelic Club 0
307 QueerCon 0
308 Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education 0
309 Resource Center 0
310 Rich and Stephanie Bowers Endowment 0
311 Running Club 0
312 Ruth S. Cox Memorial Scholarship 0
313 Sandberg Scholarship 0
314 Shaw Gynan Memorial Scholarship 0
315 SINI-HHA 0
316 Small Business Development Center 0
317 Sociology Club 0
318 Softball 0
319 Special Collections 0
320 Special Education 0
321 Studebaker Family Student Success Fund 0
322 Student Ambassador Scholarship 0
323 Student Employee Recognition Program 0
324 Students for Socialist Revolution 0
325 Tabetha Fox Clark Scholarship 0
326 Ted Pratt Scholarship 0
327 The College of the Environment Graduate Programs 0
328 The College of the Environment on the Peninsulas 0
329 The Collège of the Environment Access Scholarships 0
330 The Jazz Project Scholarship 0
331 The Journal of Educational Controversy 0
332 The Planet - An Award Winning Student Publication 0
333 Timothy Crossan Memorial Fund 0
334 Vassdal Design Scholarship 0
335 Wakeboard Team 0
336 Washington Campus Compact 0
337 Western Community Outreach 0
338 Western on the Peninsulas Scholarship 0
339 Wheelchair Basketball 0
340 Willis Ball Memorial Scholarship 0
341 WWU Life Drawing Club 0
342 WWU National Science Teachers Association Chapter 0
343 WWU Retirement Association 0
344 WWU Student Chapter of NSTA 0
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