Candidate Profile

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Astronomy & Space Science
Earth Sciences, Geology & Geography
Meteorology & Climatology
Raymond Arvidson received a Ph.D. from Brown University in 1974. He is presently the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor Washington University in St. Louis, and Director of the Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory ( He focuses on teaching and research about current and past environments on the Earth, Mars, and Venus. He has conducted geologic research in Greenland, the Egyptian Eastern and Western Deserts, Hawaii, the Mojave Desert, and the Missouri River. He is a fellow of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences. He has been instrumental in development and implementation of both orbital and landed missions to the planets, including participation in the Magellan Radar Orbiter Mission to Venus, Team Leader for the Viking Lander Imaging System on Mars, member of the Project Science Group for the Mars Global Surveyor Mission, Deputy Principal Investigator for the highly successful Mars Rover Missions (Spirit and Opportunity), the Robotic Arm Co- Investigator (aka “Dig Czar”) for the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission, Co- Investigator for the hyper-spectral mappers OMEGA (European Mars Express orbiter) and CRISM (on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), and a Science Team Member (and mobility specialist or “Wagon Master”) for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover that landed on Mars in August 2012. He is the Director of the NASA Planetary Data System Geosciences Node, making available ~300 terabytes of NASA data to the worldwide research community. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), received the AGU's Whipple Award, and the Lester Stroud Award from the Society of Applied Spectroscopy. He has been honored for excellence in teaching by the state of Missouri, received three NASA Public Service Medals, several dozen NASA citations for excellence, and several awards from Washington University in Saint Louis for research and teaching excellence.

Arvidson has lectured (and engaged passengers in numerous conversations) on planetary geology and astronomy, local and global geology, climate change, oceans, and how study of other planets fits into a better understanding of the Earth. This includes Clipper Cruise Line and Lindblad Expeditions to Antarctica, the Santa Cruz II in Galapagos, the Paul Gauguin in Tahiti, and AHI expeditions to Greece, Sweden, and Australia. Currently he is a Viking Resident Astronomer for Viking Ocean Cruises for the Viking Orion.

My talks can range from the local geologic and oceanographic settings relevant to the cruise destinations, to global aspects of climate change and implications (from modern to geologic timescales), to exploration of the planets by robotic spacecraft and findings relevant to understanding our solar system and how it has evolved, to human spaceflight, to astronomical topics such as the search for habitable planets around other stars and implications for understanding our place in the cosmos.

Rather than listing specific talks I prefer to mold the presentations based on the particular cruise destinations and management desires for topics to be covered. Having done this for over forty years to popular audiences and in classroom and professional settings (i.e., conferences), I would enjoy compiling and presenting the talks.
Viking Ocean Cruises, Sky, enrichment lecturer, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, geology and glacial history
Paul Gauguin Cruises, enrichment lecturer, Tahitian islands and volcanoes
Viking Ocean Cruises, Orion, Viking Resident Astronomer, space exploration and astronomy
Lindblad Expeditions, Antarctica, enrichment lecturer, climate and geology
Clipper Line, Antarctica, enrichment lecturer, climate and geology
Santa Cruz II Galapagos, enrichment lecturer, Galapagos and volcanoes
AHI International Expeditions, Australia, enrichment lecturer, climate and geology
AHI International Expeditions, Sweden, enrichment lecturer Baltic and Scandanavia
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Jupiter JU191221 South America & the Chilean Fjords 17 Santiago (from Valparaiso) Saturday, December 21, 2019
Viking Orion OR190625 Alaska & the Inside Passage 10 Seward (Anchorage), Alaska Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Viking Sky SK190527 Iceland's Majestic Landscapes 12 Bergen Monday, May 27, 2019
Viking Sky SK190516 Majestic Fjords & Vibrant Cities 11 Copenhagen Thursday, May 16, 2019