Campus News 2007

For Immediate Release
February 20, 2007

Solar System Expert To Speak At Schreiner University

Saturns moon "Titan"

The Schreiner University spring Harry Crate Lecture featuring Dr. Hunter Waite is scheduled for February 27 at 7 p.m. in the Floyd & Kathleen Cailloux Campus Activity Center. Waite will discuss recent findings from interplanetary research missions to Saturn’s moons.

Waite is a full professor at the University of Michigan and Institute Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute. He is a planetary scientist and expert in mass spectrometry, and he has been a team leader for the recent Cassini-Huygens Mission.

Waite will speak on the topic of organic chemistry of Saturn’s moon Titan. Among the most fascinating discoveries of Cassini-Huygens is that Titan is a model of early Earth. There is an abundance of hydrocarbons in liquid and gas range, and the atmosphere, like Earth’s, is chiefly nitrogen, with an atmospheric pressure also close to Earth’s. In his Titan research Waite has also found abundant aromatic compounds like benzene and toluene, and he reports that even very large molecules (molecular weight larger than insulin!) are apparently present on Titan.

Waite received his undergraduate education at the University of Alabama and did graduate work leading to the MS and PhD degrees at the University of Michigan. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and former editor of Geophysical Research Letters. He has been a research scientist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. His primary responsibilities at SWRI include service as Director of the Center for Excellence in Analytical Mass Spectrometry.

For more information contact Dr. Bob Holloway, associate professor of chemistry, at 830-792-7250 or

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