Chris Rink
757-864-6786, 757-344-7711

RELEASE : 09-069
09-069: NASA Speaker Tells Colonial Tales With Science, Engineering
HAMPTON, Va. -- One European colonist's garbage is a modern day researcher's historical treasure.

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., hosts Dr. Michael Kelley who will discuss "Back to the Future - CSI Three Centuries Later" at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center.

Kelley uses cutting-edge forensic tools to examine the historical scene of life in the New World. What the colonists threw out, especially durable materials like pottery and glass, are a written history. Reading the "text" depends heavily on modern materials characterization instruments.

Southeastern Virginia is a rich resource for both the materials scientist and historical researcher. The study of pottery making for sugar production, for example, traces its development from English imports to local manufacturing.

Media who wish to interview Kelley at a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday should contact Chris Rink at 864-6786 or at by noon for credentials and entry to NASA Langley.

On Tuesday evening, Kelley will present the same talk for the general public at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. The evening presentation is free and no reservations are required.

Kelley, an applied research program manager in the Free-Electron Laser Group at Jefferson Lab and professor of applied science at the College of William & Mary, has always focused his research and teaching on surface science and materials characterizations. In addition to historical materials, his work has applications to antimicrobial surfaces, environmental contamination, laser-based processing, and advanced particle accelerators.

Kelley has his Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a doctorate in materials engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., and spent 26 years in the Central Science and Engineering Laboratories, Experimental Station at DuPont, Wilmington, Del., before coming to Virginia. He is an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Tech in materials science and engineering, and in physics at Old Dominion University.

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