James Head, III, Ph.D., is the Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences at Brown University. He came to Brown from NASA, where he analyzed potential landing sites, studied lunar samples and data, and trained Apollo astronauts. Head studies the processes that form and modify the surfaces, crusts and lithospheres of planets; how these processes vary with time; and how they preserve the historical record of planets. He also has researched volcanism, tectonism and glaciation, participating in field studies in Hawaii and at Mount St. Helens, as well as on volcanic deposits on the seafloor dives and in the Antarctic Dry Valleys.
Head convenes the Vernadsky Institute/Brown University microsymposia on planetary science and related issues, held twice yearly in Moscow and Houston. He has served as an investigator with NASA and Russian space missions, including the Soviet Venera 15/16 and Phobos missions; the U.S. Magellan, Galileo and Mars Surveyor missions; and the Russian Mars 1996 mission.