spoke about the current NASA Mars 2020 Rover expedition, Perseverance and her part as a Participating Scientist looking for life on another planet on March 8th over the luncheon hour.
She engaged virtually with Secondary School and Senior Elementary School students in the West Niagara area about the project and inspiring young women and girls to explore careers in STEM.  This special edition of the Rotary Speakers Series is part of the Rotary Club of Grimsby’s Vocational area of focus.
Mariek Schmidt is an Associate Professor of Earth Sciences at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.  She is a geologist who studies igneous and volcanic rocks on both Earth and Mars.  She received a BA in Geology from Colby College in Maine before going to Oregon State University where she got a PhD researching the eruptive history and geochemistry of volcanic rocks in the Oregon Cascade Range.  
Professor Schmidt first started working on Mars in 2005 when she was hired as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C..  For this position, she was a Postdoctoral Collaborator on the Mars Exploration Rover mission and worked with data from both the Spirit and Opportunity rovers.  
She joined the Earth Science Department at Brock University in 2009 and established a research program investigating the eruptive and environmental histories of volcanic fields on Earth and Mars. 
In 2012, Professor Schmidt was selected by NASA to be a Participating Scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory mission, working with the Curiosity rover, a project that is ongoing.  And in late 2020, she was selected by NASA to be a Participating Scientist on the Mars 2020 rover mission and will get to work with data from the Perseverance rover. Schmidt also keeps active in terrestrial research with ongoing projects on the histories of volcanic fields in central Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, and Iceland.