NASA and the Environment Symposium

Brian Odom's picture
Call for Papers
September 29, 2022
Alabama, United States
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, European History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Humanities, Modern European History / Studies

Date: September 29-30, 2022
Location: Georgetown University/Hybrid
Organizers: NASA, Georgetown University, and New Jersey Institute of Technology 

“NASA is called the space agency, but in a broader sense, we could be called an environmental agency . . . Virtually everything we do, manned or unmanned, science or applications, helps in some practical way to improve the environment of our planet and helps us understand the forces that affect it.”

NASA Administrator James Fletcher to Congress, March 1973

To more critically analyze the historical connection between NASA and the environment, the NASA History Office and Georgetown University invite proposals for papers to be presented at a two-day symposium, from September 29-30, at Georgetown University, Washington, DC.  The purpose of the symposium is to analyze the long history of NASA’s interest in, responses to, exploration of, and impact upon, environments as broadly construed. The planning committee thus welcomes papers exploring NASA’s relationship to environments on Earth, on other planetary bodies, and in deep space, as well as papers undertaking a variety of methodological approaches including not only the history of science, environmental history, and the history of technology, but also social, cultural, political, economic, legal, and other types of historical analysis. Diverse scholars at every seniority level are encouraged to apply, and the organizers are pleased to provide funding for hotel accommodations for two nights near the university. 

Possible topics for papers include, but are not limited to the following:

  • NASA and the Environmental Movement
  • NASA and Environmental Justice/Inequality
  • Environmental Impact of NASA Technology and Development
  • International Collaboration/Global Environment
  • Space Exploration and Human Health/Biology
  • Environmental History of NASA Facilities
  • NASA Responses to Environmental Changes on Earth and in Space
  • Cultural Histories of NASA and the Environment
  • Earth and Space Photography/Art
  • Environmental Analog Sites/Artificial Landscapes
  • Earth Observing Technologies
  • Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
  • Earth Science Applications/Missions/Policies
  • NASA and Climate Change Science
  • Planetary Sciences
  • Planetary Protection Protocols
  • History of Exobiology/Astrobiology
  • Environmental Control and Life Support Systems
  • Orbital Debris/Space Junk
  • Environmental History of Space Colonies
  • Decadal Planning
  • Biographies of NASA Earth/Space Scientists

The format of the symposium will be a combination of panel discussions, keynote talks, and group discussion. The intention is to publish an anthology of selected papers.

Submission Procedures:
If you wish to present a paper or have questions, please send an abstract of no more than 400 words and a short biography or curriculum vita, including affiliation by July 1, 2022 to: 

Dr. Brian C. Odom, NASA
Dr. Dagomar Degroot, Georgetown University
Dr. Neil Maher, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Contact Info: 

Brian C. Odom

Contact Email: