Join Western’s Academy for Lifelong Learning for an Exploration of Mars in February

The Red Planet is no longer the forbidden planet. Despite its inhospitable environs, Mars is the most explored planet in our solar system because of what earthlings are driven to find there; life, or evidence thereof. There are currently seven spacecraft missions roving on Mars, with seven more scheduled to arrive during the next five years.

Without leaving earth, participants can embark on a fascinating exploration of Mars with Melissa Rice, assistant professor of Planetary Science at Western Washington University, who will take students on a captivating tour of the planet’s past, present and future as part of the university’s Academy for Lifelong Learning series, where Western’s outstanding faculty teach classes on a variety of interesting topics that are all open to the public.

Rice is on the science teams of both of the NASA Mars Rover missions currently active on the planet’s surface, and she will offer remarkable insight about the challenges of sending humans to Mars, the role of government versus private industry, speculation about colonization, and, the biggest question of all: are humans alone in the universe?

Class:              The Exploration of Mars

Presented by: Melissa Rice, WWU assistant professor of Planetary Science

Sessions:         Friday, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24; 10 a.m.-noon

Location:        Squalicum Boathouse at Zuanich Park

Cost:               $64 for A.L.L. members, $80 non-members

Register by:    Friday, Jan. 27

To register, visit, select “Click here to see class availability” at bottom of page, then select “The Exploration of Mars.”

About Academy for Lifelong Learning (A.L.L.): Hosted and administered by Western Washington University, A.L.L. is 100% member-driven and supported, offering adults a diverse spectrum of academic and cultural programming inspired by a distinct belief; A Curious Mind Never Retires.