ICAMSR - International Committee Against Mars Sample Return

NASA's Resume Operations Center
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NASA's Resume Operations Center,

Attached is my resume for the NASA position being offered Planetary Protection Officer. I have served as an astroenvironmental activist for over 17 years as the Director of the International Committee Against Mars Sample Return (ICAMSR) an organization dedicated to raising concerns about planetary protection involving sample return missions and international space laws pertaining to forward and back contamination of celestial bodies (www.icamsr.org). I am an American citizen and astrobiologist who has spent 10 years (1999-2009) as a Research Associate for the Cardiff Centre of Astrobiology at Cardiff University in Wales in the United Kingdom. In 2010 I was made an Honorary Research Fellow for the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology also in the UK. My scientific interests include the study of the geology, geobiology and history of the Great Lakes region in the United States and Canada. My other studies include rock varnish and ichnology. I have authored two books, Mars The Living Planet (1997) and The Microbes of Mars (2011). Both of these books examine the biology data returned by the Viking 1 and 2 Landers in the search for microbial life on Mars. Dr. Gilbert V. Levin and Patricia Ann Straat two members of the NASA 1976 Viking biology team each provide interesting chapters.

In 2000 I published a comparison study of dissolution cavities found in rocks on the shores of Lake Ontario to similar looking rocks imaged at the Viking 2 landing site on Mars now thought to be the bottom of an ancient ocean basin. My published papers and magazine articles about microbial mediated manganese rock varnish coatings are well known in the astrobiology community and I was first to publish in 2001 that rock varnish coatings on Mars could hold the key to whether there is evidence of a past or present biosphere. My recent paper with co-authors David H. Krinsley, Ronald I. Dorn, Josh Razink & Robert Fisher, "Mn-Fe-enhancing budding bacteria in century-old rock varnish, Erie Barge Canal, New York", appears in the Journal of Geology, 2017, volume 125, p. 317-336] published by The University of Chicago (DOI: 10.1086/691147). The paper makes parallels between manganese oxide rock varnish coatings found on Earth and on Mars. In 2012 I predicted before NASA's Curiosity rover landed, that it would find manganese oxide rock coatings on Mars. A finding the rover confirmed later on:


In 2015 the UK Space Agency endorsed a proposal (attached) sent to them by myself along with co-experimenters Gilbert V. Levin. Ronald I. Dorn a Professor of Geography of Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona, Giorgio Bianciardi a Researcher and Adjunct Professor at the Dept. of Medical Biotechnologies, at Siena University, Italy, and Robert Lodder, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington Kentucky, to use the NASA Curiosity rover as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientist Program to look for evidence of photosynthetic pigments inside freshly broken rocks by the rovers wheels. The proposal sought to use the frequencies of special spectroscopic filters on the Mast Camera and abilities of the rovers MAHLI microscopic imager camera. An initial go-ahead was given by NASA by HQ to go ahead (letter attached) and submit a formal proposal.



However, after months of waiting for NASA's final approval, our team and proposal were declined in February 2016 with NASA saying the MSL rover did not have the capability to reveal photosynthetic pigments on Mars. However during the proposal process our team went over numerous scientific data and information about the Curiosity rover Mastcam filters and we found it did have the ability to reveal photosynthetic pigments if they were present on Mars.

Signature of Barry DiGregorio
Barry E. DiGregorio
16 N. Hartland Street
Middleport, NY 14105
(716) 735-7096